Budgeting Basics

— Wedding Budget Planning

Some of the most beautiful weddings are the ones that are deeply intimate and embrace simplicity. Lavish details and over the top decadence are replaced with raw romance and simple traditions. The money spent on your wedding shouldn’t be reflective of its significance or meaning. Regardless of what you intend to spend; working to a budget will help nasty surprises with the total cost at the end! We asked Wedding Planner Victoria Cameron of Victoria Cameron Wedding Planning to share the absolute basic budgeting advice for couples in the early stages of planning their weddings…

Keep your guest numbers in mind
With weddings you’re dealing with multiples of most items. Multiple stationery suites, multiple table settings, multiple meals, etc. That seems like an obvious statement but you’d be surprised how quickly budgets can be exceeded with minimal styling for this very reason. As a general rule you can assume that the higher your guest numbers the more expensive your wedding will be so with that in mind, if you’re set on a certain look that falls outside your budget it may be time to revisit the guest list.

Be reasonable in your expectations
As with most things, you get what you pay for. You’re not going to get an opulent and lavish look that’s overflowing with flowers for the same price as mixed blooms in mason jars. The same way that custom-made linens will cost more to hire than those already in a catalogue, the personalization of items costs more than their stock standard counter-parts.

It’s also important to share your budget with your vendors and show them examples of the work you like so they can provide you with accurate quotes or suggest alternatives if they feel your first choice will exceed your budget.

Set budget priorities
Weddings are deeply personal celebrations and we in the industry are aware that everyone has different budgets, styles and also spending priorities. Mikka Richter, a Production Coordinator at Victoria Cameron advises that you and your partner choose one or two non-negotiables and focus on making them truly amazing.

Creating the wow factor can be cost effective if you think outside the square
Everyone wants to create an event that will take their guests breath away or leave them talking about it for years to come but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make this happen. Outside of the décor, this is more often than not achieved through thoughtful and well-executed food and beverage service. Perhaps it means providing late night snacks like pulled-pork rolls or ensuring that a glass of champagne is in every guest’s hand the moment the ceremony concludes. It’s always the little things that count.

Don’t pigeonhole yourself
Give yourself options for everything. When I’m working with clients I often have multiple design options being prepared so that once I have their budget complete I can recommend the option that is most suitable for their style but also closest to their budget. This is easy to do yourself by asking your vendors to quote on a couple of options. Show your florist an example of the centerpieces you like but also request that they provide a couple of options that also complements your style and varying price points.

When you’re first starting the planning process it’s also important to research your vendors. Narrow it down to two whose work resonates well with you and ask them both to provide quotes.

Accept help
Mikka also recommends accepting helping hands. If you have family offering to “gift” certain elements of your wedding to you, accept the help. Similarly if you have talented friends who can assist with sound equipment or graphic design they can also be ways to reduce costs.

- Victoria Cameron, Expert Wedding Planner

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