The Politics of weddings | Budget Edition
Karma’s advice on “The Budget”
So the budget is essentially the most important aspect of your wedding and truly the one that likes to be avoided all costs (haha). I am going to give you some information and hopefully some advice on how to navigate the waters of your wedding budget. A hot topic that can test the strength of any relationship.
There was a time in the not so distance past that the bride’s family did feel the obligation to pay for the majority, if not all of the wedding expenses. And there are some traditionists, shall we call them, that still feel this is the case. I am here to tell you – It’s not!
The national average cost of a wedding day in 2016 shot up to $35,329, according to a survey by The Knot. That’s a jump by $2,688 from the 2015 average of $32,641. Now some of you are thinking WOW that’s a lot & there are some of you thinking WOW that’s it? I am here to tell you from my perspective that is a very low average at least if you are planning in a major city. Not to scare anyone off but as a company, we are seeing averages between 75,000 – 100,000 over the last few years. Now, if this is the case with us, it’s certainly the case with others. And is the bride’s family really expected to pay for all of that, NO!
WHAT DOES THE BRIDE & her FAMILY PAY FOR, TRADITIONALLY?
Traditionally, the bride and her family are responsible for paying for all wedding planning expenses, the bride’s attire, all decor, transportation on the wedding day, photo and video fees, and all the expenses of the reception. The bride personally pays for the wedding flowers and gifts for her attendants, the groom’s ring, and a present for him.
WHAT DOES THE GROOM & his FAMILY PAY FOR, TRADITIONALLY?
The groom’s family is responsible for the costs of the rehearsal dinner. The groom is traditionally expected to pay for the marriage license and officiant’s fees, her engagement and wedding rings and a gift. The honeymoon expenses generally fall into his lap to plan and pay for.
Fast Forward – Modern Times
When you add together today’s couple + today’s expectations of a wedding, there is so much pressure to be original, to create an event where the guests are left wanting more. So with that said, it adds so much to an overall budget.
Here is our recommendation on what is realistic when it comes to budgeting for your wedding. Sit down with all parties involved in paying for the wedding, decide what a realistic budget is given your particular market & divide by the number of parties involved. This way everyone knows up front what the expectation is and it doesn’t become a sensitive subject everytime you want to add something to the event. Now, bear in mind that most weddings do run over budget about 20% so perhaps being a forward thinker, factor in that 20% already to limit any future arguments.
40 % Venue(s)/Catering: The biggest part of your budget goes towards your venue, food, and beverage.
10% Photography: a good photographer books out a year in advance so we recommend booking them as soon as you find the right one
10% Videography: This is truly one of the vendors that you get what you pay for. There is a distinct quality difference between the different cost categories and why we allow a full 10% for this.
10% Music: Music is the life blood of your event. Chose someone that represents who you are as a couple but who also can entertain a variety of personalities.
10% Flowers & Decor: This includes your flowers lighting, draping, rentals that are not included in your catering package.
10% Wedding Planner: Do yourself a favor and hire a planner. They are the only vendor whose main function is to save you money. The cost will be worth its weight in gold by the time you reach your wedding day.
10% Miscellaneous: This includes hair and makeup, invitations, officiant, transportation and fun vendors you want to personalize your event.
At the end of the day when all the planning is done and you look back on your wedding, all you will see is the beauty that surrounded you and how happy you are. You will not be thinking of the money spent, this I can promise you.
So enjoy the process, it goes by in a flash.