Yay! You said yes! Now where to begin the planning process?
Before setting a date, before deciding on a venue, and before booking anything a budget needs to be established. But before you create a budget a priority list needs to be made to help create the actual wedding budget. Do you know how almost every wedding budget template goes by percentages for each vendor item? When I was planning my own wedding this was so frustrating to me because it just didn’t seem to match actual numbers. Once you know how much you want your whole wedding to cost there are ways to get a much more accurate estimate of what each vendor will cost.
A great place to start is to research the average costs of each item. The average wedding today is above $30,000 and it is good to research what the average wedding costs in your specific area because it could be very different from that number. Then, when you have your total budget created you can make a priority list starting with items that are most important to you and your celebration.
If there is a vendor or venue that you absolutely must have then that is a great place to start when creating your budget. For example, the average wedding photographer in Ohio costs $2,500, but if there is an artist that you have your heart set on it is best to reach out to them first because they can be well above that average and actually set your entire budget.
For my own wedding, I had my heart set on the reception venue, but really valued photography and wanted a specific photographer as well. I actually used to work weddings at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and just always imagined our reception there since it was so close to my heart. Working at weddings there, I also had the unique opportunity to work with many different wedding photographers and while their style of work was very important to me, their personality was my top priority for booking someone. Greg and I had both worked with our Wedding Photographer on multiple occasions and always looked forward to working with her and her genuine personality.
With those two items setting my budget, I had a much better idea of how to budget the rest of the items. When I had to cut costs, it was pretty easy to take a look at my priority list and cut the lower set items – like the cost of favors – to keep from going over budget.
Also, I knew with an experienced photographer, they would be able to make a budget wedding look very high-end. I still love looking back at my wedding photos today and how the images bring back so many great memories and emotions. Creating a budget can be a very overwhelming experience and I am always happy to help if you ever need any ideas on how to stay on budget. One thing is for sure though, it is going to be a beautiful day filled with joyful moments where you get to marry your best friend. You got this.
Do you cherish life moments and wish you could preserve that memory to relive forever? Photography is so much more than just an image in your phone to me. They are moments created into artwork that make all those feelings come rushing back to your memory. Fill your home with joy and artwork of the most important people in your life. Let's create magic and beautifully capture your life story.