The Budget

CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement & the start of your life together! Let's have a Wedding.

Fairy tale weddings do come true if you work closely on the planning, preparation of that memorable celebration. Most women envision themselves exchanging vows with their prince charming in a beautiful & romantic island or beach wedding ceremony. How about put all this imagination and daydreaming into a reality? There are numerous things that you need to give your attention to like:  Venue, budget, decorations, guests, invitations, programs and on and on. To achieve all your great wedding ideas, BUDGET is going to be your key ingredient. The main thing to remember is that you have to make what money you have cover all the costs. First of all there are expenses that you have no control over that are fixed costs: license, space rental & Taxes.  But, there are other costs that you can fully control: wedding dress, decorations, caterers & guest list. The number of guests you want to have will drive up the prices you pay for caterers, beverages, table d├ęcor and size of the rental space. Therefore you need a Guest List.

The reception is the most costly unit of a great wedding  and the Food & Music is the most important! If you have bad food and terrible music you & your guests will not enjoy the party and you will have deep regrets. That is why a strict guest list has so much importance in the planning.  Yes. . Your wedding gown is very important and you will find that it is much easier to make your selection, once you have your finances in order. Here is a list to assist in your budget preparations:

1. Make a strict Guest List (Average # 180 guests)
2. Reception Costs ( Venue; Catering)
3. Bridal Gown & Groom's Attire
4. Wedding Rings & Honeymoon costs
5. Beverages (Bar) & Gratuities
6. Photography & Music (DJ or Band)
7. Ceremony (License, Clergy)
8. Flowers (Bouquets & Table Decor)
9. Transportation, Invitations & Programs
10. Travel costs for Destination Weddings.

As a guideline, the national averages for certain wedding costs are:
Bridal Gown  = $1,200.00
Groom's Attire - $250.00
Wedding Rings - $5,200.00
Floral Arrangements = $1,980.00
Venue Rental & Catering = $12,700.00
Entertainment = $1,400.00
Cake = $466.00
This is only a guide, please do your own calculations!

Other Factors to Consider:
Safety First - If kids are at the reception, you cannot afford to choose a spot that is not safe for children.
Second - The venue should come within your affordable range. Do not overextend yourself.
Third - The decor and atmosphere should be in harmony with your wedding Theme.
Fourth - There should be adequate bathrooms.
Fifth - The space must have a Liquor License if you want to serve those beverages.
Last - The spot must be accessible for your guests. Transportation should not be costly.
Note: Certain vendors like the Photographer, Clergy, DJ & Band have to be fed and you are responsible for their meals, so you have to include them in your Catering budget.

Note ii: Save costs on Gratuities serve a Hot Buffet (you have to tip the servers to serve a four course meal). If the food is delicious your guests will not mind sampling all you have to offer.

Note iii: Save transportation costs by having the Ceremony & Reception at the same location. You will need a large facility but it will save you time & money in the long run.

Note iv: Before you get overwhelmed, get a reputable Wedding Planner or Bridal Consultant to work within your budget. They can get discounts from vendors that they have a relationship with.  Most hotels have a Free coordinator so, make good use of their services.  Get a Free Budget Planner Here.
A Good Budget makes for a Joyful Wedding!

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