Tag Archives: wedding budget

Choosing Your Date – Dates,Times, and Cost of Weddings

Let’s have a little chat about choosing the date and time of your wedding. It’s something that you all have to do very early on in your planning process. You can’t really do anything without choosing your wedding date, and then shortly thereafter you have to choose the exact time that you want everything to occur. I received this cute little infographic by TurboTax all about dates, times, and how the cost of your wedding can be impacted by both of the factors, and so I thought I would start off with that…

{Thursday Tips} Dates,Times, and Cost of Weddings

Free Tax Filing, Efile Taxes, Income Tax Returns – TurboTax.com

And now for some of my thoughts and insight into all of this…

Locations: It’s true that the cost of weddings are dependent on the specific location of where you have your wedding. If you’re on a tight budget and you live in a city where the cost of weddings are higher, you may want to perhaps get married in your smaller hometown or find a venue outside of the city. Example: My friend lived in DC, but chose to get married in our small Florida hometown. It was either spend $30,000 on an wedding for 50 people in DC, or spend the same amount and have 150 people in our small hometown. 🙂 

Time of Year: Ah yes, the time of year can play a HUGE factor in what your wedding ends up costing, but also in the availability of vendors and venues! The most popular/least popular wedding months are going to vary by your location though. I know in Florida, the most popular months are March, April, October, and November- because the weather is the nicest in those months. So for your location, if you want to know what the most popular months are, think of when the weather is the best. 🙂

Time of Week: Weddings that occur on days other than Saturday are becoming a lot more common. It makes sense- who ever said that you absolutely had to get married on a Saturday anyways?! Of course you’ll want to think of your guests when choosing the day of the week to get married, but if you want your wedding to be on a Wednesday, I say why not?! Besides, you could possibly get a lesser rate for your venue rental! But I’m not going to promise that you can get any “discounts” from other vendors, because service is service and product is product no matter what the day of the week is. 🙂

Time of Day: It’s true- the time of day can have a huge impact on what you end up spending. Mostly because all of the other times of day that are available- morning, afternoon, later evening- result in less food and alcohol. Well, except for later at night- that would most likely result in more alcohol, if you have a partying crowd. 🙂

Brides, what are your plans? Have you chosen your wedding date and time yet? How did you come to your decision?

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Wedding Budget 101

Who’s Paying?

Talk with your families about who will pay for what: Some brides’ families still pick up the entire tab, but more and more groom’s families are participating too. How do you bring up the conversation? For many couples, talking to each family separately is the best way to have truly open discussions. When you do talk, here are strategies for determining your initial budget.

  • Ask both of your folks to commit to a specific dollar amount, and then add up all the contributions to create your budget.
  • Alternatively, it may be easier to ask each set of parents to finance a particular aspect of the wedding (such as the ceremony, honeymoon, or catering) instead of just committing to a dollar amount.
  • Decide how much you two can contribute between now and the wedding. (37 % of the couples we polled say they’re planning to contribute financially to their wedding.)

Cost Considerations

If you’re planning on a formal candlelit dinner in the grand ballroom of that amazing hotel downtown, your budget is clearly going to have to be much bigger than if you’ve sketched out an afternoon tea and dessert party in your parents’ pretty backyard. In general, there are several major factors that will really affect what you’ll need to set aside.

Guest List Size
There’s a per-head cost for food and liquor, and these two are typically the biggest expense in the whole wedding, so changing the guest list size is the surest way to increase or decrease your costs. On top of that, you’ll save on all your other details, including décor, stationery, favors, and rentals, because you won’t need as much of everything.

Wedding Setting
Some cities and towns are just more expensive than others. New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are the obvious culprits, but small towns and remote destinations can entail greater costs if things like flowers and talent have to come from afar. Tourist towns can also up your wedding price tag during peak season. Likewise, certain venues are more expensive than others. Some — such as a city park — come with no (or low) fees. Others might cost you the equivalent of a year’s college tuition. Also, be aware that many popular locations have head count minimums, meaning they won’t host a wedding that’s too small, and some may also have a per-head minimum that requires a certain type of event.

Date and Time
Highly sought-after seasons and days of the week are pricier for obvious reasons. An evening reception is usually more expensive than a brunch or afternoon reception, not only because of higher catering costs for dinner, but also because people tend to drink less during the daytime, and many couples choose to go more low-key on elements like lighting, music, and décor during the daytime.

Wedding Style
The more formal the affair, the more expensive, because you’ll have to match the site, food, and musical entertainment to the overall upscale tone. The outlay for a full six-course meal is typically greater than for a cocktail soiree with mostly hors d’oeuvres; the fee for a twelve-piece band is greater than that for a DJ or a quartet; all-out décor like lighting, specialty linens, and dramatic floral displays also will run up the bill. Plus, fancier affairs tend to be larger.

How Much Do You Actually Need?

Just like buying shoes, an apartment, or a pair of jeans, when it comes to financing a wedding, you should figure out how much you need to spend to get what you want. Set your expectations accordingly. Knot Note: The average cost for a 150-person wedding is about $25,000 (higher in urban areas).

  • Here is a basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay:
    Reception: 48%-50%
    Ceremony: 2%-3%
    Attire: 8%-10%
    Flowers: 8%-10%
    Entertainment/Music: 8%-10%
    Photography/Videography: 10%-12%
    Stationery: 2%-3%
    Wedding Rings: 2%-3%
    Parking/Transportation: 2%-3%
    Gifts: 2%-3%
    Miscellaneous: 8%
  • To avoid stress, allot about 5% of your budget for a “just-in-case” fund.
  • If you’re paying for your honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well.

How Much Can You Save?

As soon as you’re engaged, start putting aside as much of your income as you can for the wedding. Saving 20% of your monthly income is a good — though painful — goal. The longer your engagement, the more you’ll be able to sock away.

  • Ways to save: Limit your spending on small stuff (renting movies instead of going out; going to Starbucks once instead of twice a day; downloading just the song you love instead of buying the whole CD). These changes will hardly affect your quality of life, but after a year, the extra cash will cover some wedding essentials.
  • Make the most of your money: Instead of stashing your money in a low-interest savings account, consider buying CDs or opening a money-market account. The interest rate can be double that of a savings account. Just check the fine print to avoid penalties.

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