Wedding Budget – The Breakdown

Being on a budget of any kind is tough. Don’t let anyone fool you – EVERYONE is on a budget and whether it is smaller or larger in dollar value, there is an amount that everyone must stay within. The budget for your wedding is no different, it is just a little trickier.

Decide on the total dollar value you are able to spend on your wedding, and divide the finances as follows, using your preferred wedding budget template. Using a template or specific program is a must – and there are dozens available on the internet!

Remember that taxes and tips are included in the total amount:

40 Percent – Estimate to spend 40 percent of a budget on the reception venue. This includes food, beverages, staffing, taxes and tip. 

10 Percent – Ambiance. Flowers, lighting, decorations will add up quickly.

10 Percent – Music for reception; band, DJ or both.

10 Percent – Photography for the entire event. If you plan a photobooth, include it in this category.

10 Percent – Attire. Brides entire ensemble (headpiece, veil accessories, shoes), groom’s entire ensemble – head to toe.

3 Percent – Favors and gifts for guests, including all attendants’ gifts.

3 Percent – Ceremony. This includes marriage license, ceremony flowers, officiant fee,  musicians (different from reception music). This is it’s own category!

3 Percent – Invitations, save-the-date cards, table markers, guest book, place cards, gift card holder, pen that guests will use to sign the guest book, programs… are all included in this category.

3 Percent – Sweets. Cake, sweet table, individual cakes or desserts.

1 Percent – Transportation costs, bus, limousine, however you plan to get your party from point A to point B (here’s to find out more).

The last 7 percent is for ICE. No, not frozen water… In Case of Emergency. Use this money if something suddenly happens and the cost of one of your categories increases. You fell in love with  gown slightly out of your price range, there is an unexpected surcharge or corkage fee or cutting fee. Having an emergency fund  will save you a lot of aggravation.

It is important to remember that every couple’s budget may vary depending on their vendor preferences and that each couple may have different priorities when it comes to their wedding. You can set yours accordingly, borrowing a percent from one category to make up in an other.

However, there is only 100% so, make sure your figures add up!!!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

How to Spend your Wedding Budget article photo



Managing Your Finances – Together

Many couples today are paying for their own wedding, which makes it no great surprise that they would start their new life together in debt. Debt is that nasty four letter word that no one likes, we all fear and is hard to dig yourself out of unless you are prepared.

Not surprisingly, it is how you handle the debt that determines whether you will be a) successful at removing it and b) your marriage can weather the debt storm. According to financial guru, Suze Orman, money issues play a significant role in 90 percent of divorces.

Tips on managing debt  from Suze Orman:

Budget – The purpose of a budget is to control your spending. Think of it as a diet for your bank account; you cannot charge more than you make or your debt will weigh you down.  Be honest with each other about spending and never go over budget without giving the other person a heads up.

Joint accounts – Having a joint account to pay household bills is a good idea. But, each person should have their own separate account as well.

Equal Contribution – Each person should contribute the same percent of their income to the household. If you make $100,000 per year and your spouse makes $50,000 per year, your contribution will be double. Percent is the key word. If you don’t make equal money, you can’t contribute the exact same dollar amount.

Control – You should always be allowed to control your own money. If your spouse insists that you relinquish all of your money into a joint account and you have to ask for money, this is a recipe for disaster.

In most relationships, there is one person who is a spender and one is a saver. If you can combine your strengths and weaknesses for the greater good, this is a terrific combination. If you are both spenders, you should seek financial guidance early in your relationship so you don’t become a statistic.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago