LocalWin.com - Your Local Business Finder

How About Your Wedding Budget: The Money Issue

Wedding_BudgetWeddings cost a heckuva lot of money. For most of us, the response to that simple statement is a roll of the eyes and a simple statement of our own: "Well, duh!" But have you really given the matter much thought? Unless you or your Mr. Right are wealthy, or you can get your Dad to spring for a traditional wedding, you're going to have to consider how much you're willing to spend to get hitched. According to some sources, the average wedding (just the wedding, mind you) costs -- are you ready for this? -- about $27,000. That's more than many people make in a year. How yours compares depends on how much you can afford to spend. It's not unheard-of for people to re-mortgage their houses in order to enjoy a lavish wedding, but you don't need to go overboard -- unless, of course, you really want to.

Putting together your wedding budget should be among the first things you do, once the question's been popped and appropriately answered. (We're assuming, here, that you're looking for a more-or-less traditional wedding with a full range of guests, rather than a quick jaunt down to the local Justice of the Peace office.) You should get started right away, since it's been estimated that planning for a wedding, either formal or informal, can take up to 250 hours. To put that into perspective, that's over 10 days of solid work, and you don't even get paid for it -- which is why making a budget, and sticking to your budget, is crucial. For the average wedding, as mentioned above, the money goes out at an astonishing rate of $108 per hour. Everything has to be considered: the church, minister, reception hall, dinner, rings, flowers, dresses, tuxedos; the list is extensive, which means that you'll need a formal budget to keep everything in order and on track. It's enough to make you want to run off to Las Vegas for the weekend and get married there.

Frankly, your best bet is to hire a good, experienced wedding planner and let them deal with all the headaches -- it's their job, and they know all the little tricks to getting everything to run smoothly. However, wedding planners are very expensive, too; a good one can cost anywhere from 7% to 20% of the wedding's total cost -- $2,000-5,000 isn't at all unusual. If you'd like to wing it, you can head to the Internet for a little help. Wedding budget organizers and worksheets are available online that will help you break your budget down by percentages for each category of expenses. All of them are slightly different, but a good one will take all the major expense categories into account.

In a nutshell, here's how it works. You start out with the amount of money you're willing to spend; include in your total any credit cart debt you're prepared to incur, as well as any other funds (even your second mortgage). It doesn't matter whether it's a million bucks or a hundred, you've got to be realistic. Then it's a matter of breaking down the percentages. Surprisingly, the ceremony -- from location fees to the minister's fee -- usually isn't that excessive, making up about 3% of your total costs. Wedding rings run about the same. Gifts for the bridesmaids, transportation, and invitations all bite about 2-3% out of the budget, while flowers and clothing should take up 8% and 10%, respectively. The wedding photographer should cost no more than 12%, and the music -- whether band, DJ, or your Cousin Bob on the ukulele -- shouldn't go above about 8%. This leaves a whopping 48% (!) for the reception. Remember, though, this includes the location, drinks, food, dancing, cake, decorations, and all kinds of party favors.

Calculating what you can afford to spend on all these expense categories should give you a good idea of where to go from there. It should go without saying that this list won't work for everyone; if your uncle owns a nice mansion with a ballroom, then you just might not need to rent a reception hall, and your expenses for the reception category will be notably diminished. Keep in mind, also, that you do have a little wiggle room within the categories, especially if you can strike a deal with various vendors. Any money you save can go toward another category that needs padding -- generally the reception category (unless of course that uncle's around). In any case, whatever you end up with, be sure you do your best to stick to it -- or you may live to regret it. If you only have enough money in your music category for the VFW polka band, you can't afford to hire Bon Jovi. That would take living on a prayer just a little too far, wouldn't you say?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you are a business owner get listed at Best Wedding Site, part of Localwin Network.
About Us | Privacy | Terms | Copyright © 2005-2015 Localwin.com. All rights reserved.