We’re backkkk and ready to talk wedding budgets!  Wedding season was a wonderful whirlwind this fall! Ariel got married on 10/6 so we’ve been just a little busy to say the least.

In our first wedding planner series entry, we shared the inside scoop on the very first steps in planning our wedding. If you missed it, catch up here!

Now all about the wedding budget!

…It’s one of the most important and controversial topics during the planning process! I’ve had thousands of wedding budget conversations with clients in the past.  This time it was different, obviously.  If you’re anything like me, the last thing on this earth I want to do is to have to ask for money.  I haven’t done it since I was young… We’re talking before I had a job! I found myself wondering, how does this conversation begin? Who should I ask? Do I call in for reinforcements? Lucky for me, it wasn’t as daunting of a task.  This is because as a planner, my mom was pretty well aware how much weddings cost.  My dad, on the other hand, had no clue.

We chose to call a formal meeting with my parents (because that’s normal right?). Our guestlist was complete and we had a pretty good idea of how many people would actually attend. The guest list is extremely important for determining any wedding budget, so I went into this meeting with a number in my head for about how much this day could run us. I say could, because there are always ways to scale back. My parents gave us a very generous number.

Since I create wedding budgets all the time, I went home and started crunching the numbers.  This is where a wedding planner is extremely helpful.  Most people have no clue how much a venue, catering, florals, lighting, photographer, etc. will cost.  Some will find it shocking that a lot of photographers with great experience in our area easily start at $3,500 and go up from there.

As a side note, I completely acknowledge that couples finance their weddings in different ways. Ryan and I were so blessed to have the support of our families, and we will forever appreciate them helping us build the wedding day of our dreams. Regardless of where the money is coming from, it is SO important to have these conversations with whomever is financing, even if it’s you and your partner!

Ok, back to the story! We are in great shape, we have my parent’s number and what we were comfortable contributing.  It allows us to know where we were coming up short. Now it was time to talk to the in-laws. As if talking to your own parents about money isn’t awkward enough, now you have to talk to your fiancé’s parents. Luckily, the conversation went great and knew where to set our wedding budget. We are not believers in the common practice of one person’s family paying for the wedding while the other’s paying for the rehearsal, etc. In our experience, just as Rome, weddings aren’t built in a day- and it absolutely takes a village.

Moral of this slightly awkward story: I cannot stress enough how important it is to know who is giving what and what your ideal wedding budget is before you begin booking vendors. Someone who is contributing may want to give you the money upfront. I recommend you open a separate bank account and deposit it there.  That way, this money is set aside and you don’t accidentally dip into for everyday living.

Once you know how much you have to splurge on your venue, begin looking!! This is the fun part.  Close your eyes and envision where you see yourself walking down the aisle, sipping cocktails, enjoying dinner and partying the night away.  For us, it was in different locations: ceremony at the church & a separate reception location.  In next week’s blog’s I’ll give you all the details on how we began our venue search and how we picked our venue.  Hint:  Not me!