Engagement!! Engagement is an exciting time. Either you just got asked to by the love of your life to marry them, or you were the one to ask the love of your life to marry you. Either way it is an awesome feeling. You start thinking about having all of your friends in it and all wedding dreams you may have had. You buy a bridal magazine, or even start looking on Pinterest for inspirations. Then….reality happens. You realize there is a lot to do and a time frame to do it in, and then you realize how much it could cost, and then… you’re already overwhelmed.
Planning your wedding should be an enjoyable time in your life, but reality is, is that planning anything can bring on some stress.
Planning a wedding is different than planning a party. There are more guests to think about inviting, it will be a lot more expensive, and a lot more details will be in play. Planning a wedding has a budget, multiple different vendors, a venue, attire, guests, bridal party, parents, decor, rings, honeymoon, hair and makeup etc.
This post will be about the first three step in planning your wedding after the engagement and some focus on a wedding budget. So, there isn’t an exact rule on what to do first, but I have some suggestions on what I feel are the first steps after an engagement.
- Make a tentative guest list. Why on earth would I suggest this? You have to start somewhere. Once you have your tentative guest list you can see how many guests are on that list.
- Come up with a beginner budget. I have a formula to come up with a tentative starter budget. You have your guest number, so now, take that number and multiply it by $125 you’ll come up with a baseline budget. For example; you chose 100 guests to share in your special day with you. Now, you take 100 guests and multiply it by $125 and the budget amount turns out to be $12,500. Now at least you have something to work with. This most likely won’t be your final budget, but gives you a starting point. Once you have your starting point then you can either increase it or decrease it. And once you have a starting point budget, choosing a venue becomes easier.
- Next is choosing a venue. Once you know how many guests then you’ll know your venue has to hold that many guests, along with tables and chairs, a dance floor, and room for a possible buffet or carving stations and walking room.
These 3 things on the list are your first steps. Here’s a recap of why;
Once you have a tentative list of your guests, you’ll be able to increase or decrease your list. Tip for guest list – Choose the most important people in your life to celebrate with you. Don’t worry about inviting people you haven’t seen in years.
Your budget – Everything you plan will revolve around your budget, so, you have to have a starting point. This first number doesn’t have to be your final budget, but you decide if it will be more or less.
Venue – Once you have your venue booked, you now have your wedding date set, and then everything else can be planned.
To continue on with your talking about your wedding budget, here is a list of things that go into a wedding budget;
- Venue – sometimes ceremonies and receptions are at the same venue, and sometimes they are at separate venues
- Officiant – Every officiant has a fee, even ministers at churches have a fee for offiating.
- Catering (food) – this will be the biggest part of your budget
- Attire & accessories – wedding gown, veil/head piece, shoes, jewelry, garter, tux, cuff links – also include dress alterations in budget
- Beauty regiments – Hair, nails and makeup
- Rings – yes, you should include the rings in your budget
- Honeymoon – yes, also include your honeymoon in your budget
- Cake – main cake and groom’s cake
- Photographer & Videographer – you can have one or the other or both.
- Wedding Planner/Coordinator – It is highly recommended you hire a wedding planner and or coordinator.
- Floral – bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, ceremony pews flowers, altar area flowers
- DJ/Band/Musicians –
- Decor/Miscellaneous items – cake server & knife, card box, guest book or alternative, backdrop, toasting glasses, candles
- Gifts – for bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer, and parents
I think I mentioned everything, but there is a slight possibility I may have missed one, lol. The budget is important and it can be very tedious, but it’s worth it so you don’t lose your mind over it.
Before you start spending any money, you should research things on what they cost, and then start adding things up and see if you can stay in the budget you created. Then decide what you have to have and what you feel is not as important.
Another thing to remember is that you don’t want to go broke or go into debt over your wedding.
This is just a small part of budget discussion. I will go into more details. Being informed and educated will help with dealing with the stress. Once the hard stuff is done, then the other stuff gets easier and more fun.
Stay tuned for the next chapter.
Happy planning 🙂