The first step of your wedding should be making the wedding budget. This is exceedingly important particularly as weddings today can be very costly and most people really have no idea what they can cost. Most couples will tend to under budget if this is the first wedding they have been a part of.
You first step should be finding a location and the venue, as the venue will have a lot of influence over the cost. When looking at venues you need to also compare what is offered with them. Some will provide furnishings and other extras as no additional cost. Depending on the type of wedding you are planning to have the venue can range from having a few friends and family over for a backyard wedding, jet setting to Paris with your family or renting out a huge banquet hall for all of your friends and family to attend. If you are having a home wedding then there might be renovation or costs associated with sprucing up the property and home, such as having gardeners come in or professionals to cut the lawn. You also may decide to have some long awaited improvements before the wedding so be sure to take all of this into account.
After successfully finding a venue the next thing to consider is the food. You should choose a caterer that is experienced and comes with good references. Alcohol will also add a large cost to your bill, but you can cut down on this cost by having a cash bar and serving table wine only. Your food and alcohol will be calculated on a per head or per plate basis. So determine your food costs based on the number of guests as well as they type of meal you will be serving. Getting a number of quotes from different caterers will allow you to make a better decision. Once your initial budget is complete you can come back to this and tailor the amount and types of food to adjust costs if needed.
Other items which can be costly and should be considered are the celebrant, photographer and DJ or band. You can always save a little here by doing your own music using mp3s or cds if needed but you really don’t want to skimp on the photographer as your wedding pictures are critical memories of your big day. Again look at several photographers. Look at some of their previous work and negotiate a package that suits you. One thing you can do is hire the photographer only for the ceremony and have disposable cameras on each table at the reception. People will use them to take candid photos throughout the night and can provide some unique reception photos cheaply.
Finally some of the other costs to incorporate in the wedding budget will include décor, flowers, clothing, jewellery, invitations, transportation, and accommodation. No matter your budget it is possible to plan a wedding. If you get a little creative you can still have a fantastic wedding even if you have a tight budget.
Ok so now you have some basic idea of what it could cost to have your wedding. Now is the time to decide what you can afford and go back and change things to be sure they are affordable for you. When coming up with a budget, you should also add in some padding to give yourself some “wiggle room”. This is a smart idea, as hidden costs will arise. Additionally many couples may not be aware of all of the costs associated with a wedding and can deplete the budget without having enough money for all the things necessary for a complete wedding.
Good luck with your planning and your big day!