You finally chose a wedding day and think you have found the perfect venue but now what? Before you start planning anything further, you need to put together a budget for your wedding day!
Do you care most about the photos you will keep or is it your dream to have a killer band for a rocking party? Know that going into the budgeting process and allocate more money for those areas. You also need to be prepared to scale back on the things you don’t care as much about!
Be realistic: Most weddings we see in the Washington DC area are $800-$1,200 per guest. Don’t believe the “average” DC wedding budgets you see in magazines and on other blogs. Unfortunately, you can’t have a wedding like you see in bridal magazines for $50,000 in this region. Period.
Wedding Guests: Your guest count is the biggest way to contain your budget (read: save money). Take a hard look at not only your guest list, but your parent’s list, and your groom’s parent’s guest lists to see how necessary each invite and plus one is. But hold on, your list isn’t safe either. Stop and think who you will still be friends with in 10 years. Those coworkers might not NEED to be included.
Don’t forget the un-sexy items: Yes, you have to think about transportation, insurance, rain plan and lighting. These items might not appear in your Pinterest-fueled dreams, but they have to be a consideration in your budget.
Prepare for the Unexpected: Know that you will likely go over budget. Most couples go over by about 20%. Last minute add ons and upgrades tend to be the culprit here.
Prioritize: What are the items you care most about? Those items should get weighted more in your budget. What items do you care least about? You MUST choose some items to be less of a priority to get a realistic handle on your budget. In reality, your food and beverage will be the most expensive line item, but depending on your priorities, the band or floral and decor will likely be next in line.
Ask An Expert: Hire a planner or at the very least talk to a friend who is recently married in a venue similar. They can outline the true costs of the type of wedding that you are thinking of having BEFORE you book a venue! We happen to know the best wedding planner(s) in DC!