...Deciding on your wedding BUDGET
The Holiday season, followed closely by Valentine's Day, is the busiest time for engagements. Christmas is considered one of the four big proposal days, along with Valentine's, Thanksgiving and New Year's. Be it tradition, result of the hibernation, romantic notion or a simple fact that the couple will be able to show off their engagement ring to the family over holidays, last year alone 39 percent of proposals occurred between November and February among 20,000 newlyweds surveyed by the popular wedding website TheKnot.com.
So whether you are the one that proposed or the one that got proposed to, at the current moment you must be in an in-between stage of "Oh my, I'm engaged!" and, "Oh well, what do I do now?"
I will walk you through all the necessary steps of how to go from “I will” to “I do” without the stress and mishaps.
And the first step, overlooked by so many, is setting up your realistic wedding budget.
On an average, U.S. couples spend $27,000 on their weddings, with New York, Northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania couples spending on average $33K. As with any huge monetary undertaking, the best advice is, sit down, breathe and take a survey of your situation.
Once you announce your engagement to your family and friends, sit down with your closest family and figure out if and how they will be able to help out. Try to get actual dollar numbers, so you can have a realistic wedding budget.
Help doesn’t need to come in the form of money. Although I usually do not recommend hiring family and friends for your wedding services, there may be certain areas that they can help you with. Your graphic artist friend can design your custom invitations free of charge. Someone might know a bridal boutique owner and guarantee a major discount on your wedding gown. You never know until you ask.
Below, you can see a usual wedding breakdown and how to prioritize wedding budget elements. Keep in mind that it is YOUR wedding, so if you don’t care where you get married, but you absolutely know that you want that $12,000 Reem Acra gown, then of course you would adjust those percentages accordingly.
Anyhow, on an average, this is how you will spread the budget dollars:
RECEPTION, site, food, drinks, rentals, cake, favors - 48 percent
CEREMONY, location fee, officiant fee, musicians - 3 percent
MUSIC - 8 percent
PHOTOGRAPHY and VIDEOGRAPHY - 15 percent
ATTIRE-Bride’s and Groom’s - 10 percent
FLOWERS - 8 percent
RINGS - 3 percent
STATIONARY - 3 percent
TRANSPORTATION - 2 percent
Be sure to read my next blog about the next step in your planning: CHOOSING THE VENUE