Speaking of a wedding budget, we sat down last night and hashed out an exact amount. To give ourselves some perspective, we used two resources:
1. The Knot has a budgeting tool. It asks for a total amount and number of guests, then distributes the money accordingly. The one thing I don't like about this tool is that it doesn't explain the distributions and some of them seem really unrealistic:
I really don't know if my 6'4" fiance can even rent a tux for $66.
2. We looked at what people are paying on CostHelper.com. This lists average prices for products and services gathered from various associations (like The Bridal Association of America or The National Association of Catering Executives).
We jotted down the distributions from The Knot and compared them to the averages from Cost Helper, determining our own averages (while being mindful of where our comfort levels were). We then added up the totals for each area (reception, ceremony, music, attire, transportation, accommodation, gifts, etc.) and came up with a budget.
Having seen a few venues already (and really enjoying one in particular), we found ourselves manipulating totals to accommodate our choice, which may cause more harm than good. The whole point of having a budget is to determine whether you can afford a product or service. I want to be able to tell a vendor how much their service or product exceeds the budget (if it does), in hopes that it might initiate some negotiation. On the other hand, if you determine that you want a venue despite its cost, you can then alter the other areas of your budget accordingly.
I'm hoping that once our venue is locked in, I can relax a little.
The next things on my list include:
1. Picking a location for "Ladies' R&R" (in lieu of a Bachelorette party) - I'm thinking a spacious house, some wine tasting and spa treatment (maybe in-house massages, manis and pedis - I think I've seen that advertised)
2. Choosing a Save-the-Date and Invite template
3. Finding AMAZING "Carrie Bradshaw" shoes (Maybe that should be #1 on my list - what's more relaxing than shopping?)