How to Plan a Wedding with $5,000
The concept of a budget was foreign to me when I moved out on my own for the first time after college. I was just thrilled to get a regular paycheck. After all, I was making more money than I ever had. I always just kinda knew how much money I had and when I was running low. I often checked my checking account online but rarely sat down and actually planned where my money was going to go.
Until I unknowingly bounced a check. And then another. And then another. All in one week. About $200 in bounced check fees later, I realized that I didn’t have that much of a clue as to the flow of money through my checking account. I knew I had to set a budget and stick to it.
Creating a budget is the only practical way to get a grip on your spending and in the case of planning an event, to know how much you can spend on each area.
A budget is the total sum of money allocated for a particular purpose or period of time. Here’s a look at how far $5,000 will stretch to plan a wedding ceremony and reception at a church. These percentages are traditionally accepted.
|Wedding Budget Breakdown
Total Budget: $5,000
|Expenses||% of total budget||Estimated Cost||What you want/plan to spend|
Site and officiant fee, marriage license
Site, food, drinks, rentals, cake, favors
Dress, veil, undergarments and hosiery, shoes, accessories, jewelry, hair and makeup, tuxedo or suit, shoes
His and her bands
Ceremony, bride's bouquet, attendant bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, centerpieces, flower-girl basket
Ceremony and reception musicians, singers, DJ, sound system rental
Photographer and videographer's fees, albums, prints
Transportation for wedding party, guest shuttle and/or parking attendants
Invitations, response cards, thank-you notes, postage, guest book
Attendants, parents, welcome baskets for out-of-town guests
As you can see, some areas seem tighter than others. You may be able to get friends and family to volunteer for wedding transportation and use that money to beef up your photography budget. If your groom’s parents are covering his tuxedo or suit, use that extra money on your gown or move that money over to the flower budget. There are many ways to cater this budget to suit your wedding priorities. A creative bride and groom can manipulate the numbers to create an ideal wedding budget for their wedding.
There’s one sneaky little area of expense that a bride would be smart to factor into her budgeting: the ever-illusive “miscellaneous” category. What will amaze you as the wedding day approaches is how much isn’t factored into the budget. Set aside part of your budget for miscellaneous expenses: tips, last minute purchases or unforeseen expenses. They will add up quickly.
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