Wedding Budgeting - Part 2

On Tuesday, I shared a few tips on how to get started on developing a budget.  If you missed my post, be sure to catch up first!   Any full service Rebecca Rose Events client or Rebecca Rose Creative Design in Day client receives a full itemized budget document for tracking all wedding expenses.  Depending on the wedding those documents can be 2-3 pages with lots of formulas that can take a few hours to develop.  Although different, each budget includes a few similarities. If you followed my suggestions from Tuesday's post, you should already know the total budget parameters, the estimated guest attendance and the priorities. Putting together a wedding budget is a bit of a puzzle but it’s easiest to start with all the pieces first. Here are a few items to include in the budget breakdown: 

Food and Beverage:  The majority of the budget should, and probably will, be spent on treating guests to a meal and beverages.  Venues, caterers, and restaurants often calculate a price per person.  Under the category of food, you should consider hors d’oeuvres for cocktail hour, the meal for dinner and non-alcoholic beverages.  Under beverage, you should consider, beer, wine and cocktails.  Beverage is often a separate line item because it can be taxed differently in some states. After calculating those two lines, you should figure out estimated labor fees for service staff, kitchen staff, and banquet managers (if applicable).  Some contracts may require a 15-20% service fee in addition to or in lieu of a labor fee. Last but not least, don’t forget that the state in which your reception is taking place charges applicable taxes for food and beverages. Your final food and beverage costs will be variable based on the number of guests that actually attend your wedding.

Venue Rental Fees: For the most part your venue rental fees will be a fixed cost.  Some venues may have the option for additional hours of setup, security fees, or custodial fees.

Ceremony Fees:  If your ceremony is at a church or a different location from your reception, you will likely have a separate agreement or contract.  That contract may include details about musicians, florists, ceremony coordinator or custodial staff.  Each of those may have fees than can be included in a separate line in your budget depending on the details of your agreement.

Vendors:  Your wedding will require a team of professionals including but not limited to a florist, DJ or band, wedding planner, cake baker, calligrapher, hair/makeup team, stationer, and photographer.

Rental Items:  This category can include a host of items that can vary based on the headcount and the venue including table linens, tables, chairs, china, glassware, flatware, tenting, specialty lighting, staging, dance floor, furniture, and kitchen equipment.

Paper Goods:  Included in this category are save the date cards, invitations, welcome gifts, menu cards, escort cards, place cards, signage, and wedding programs.

Each and every wedding budget is truly unique and different.  Some couples also opt to include wedding attire, accommodations and wedding rings in the master budget. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer and your budget document should be what works best for you.   As you make decisions and sign contracts, be sure to update your budget document so you have accurate tracking throughout the process.  

Happy planning!