Today we talk about the wedding budget and specifically those expenses to which it’s good to pay attention or which have the greatest impact.
Unless you are already married, it’s normal not to know how to estimate the costs of the various vendors, or what are the most expensive items, or the hidden but insidious ones. It’s also difficult to define a priori how much to allocate to the organization of your wedding.
Often, the ideas that the couple has, are far from what they would like to spend. A conscious and realistic approach to what you can do with the budget at your disposal is certainly the best way to go.
The biggest expense: the reception
One of the items that has a great impact on the wedding budget is the reception, strictly connected to the expected number of guests. What do I mean by the reception and what does this item include?
The reception is the part of the wedding day that follows the ceremony and its cost includes: cost for lunch or dinner, costs for any extras to be considered for after lunch/after dinner (such as the open bar), rental costs for the aperitif or for the mise en place.
Making an average of the weddings that I managed, the expenses for the reception is about 40/50% of the whole wedding budget, excluding the rental fee of the venue.
What details to pay attention to in the reception’s quotation:
- if the costs are VAT included or excluded
- if extra costs are not clearly expressed such as travel costs for catering, costs for setting up a kitchen area, rental costs for chairs/tables/etc
- how many waiters are present and how much it costs to increase them (pay attention to the venue spaces and the distance from the kitchen)
- what is the minimum number of guests to guarantee and if the price varies if it should decrease
Wedding budget: “hidden” costs
In a wedding budget, there are many items that compose the whole event: there are “immediate” items such as the floral design, the photographer, the wedding stationery, and there are items that you don’t immediately think of, such as lighting, or animation for children.
There are also hidden costs for any items, that most couples do not consider immediately, ending up affecting the budget. Here are the most common ones:
- travel expenses: when you contact any vendor, immediately ask if there are travel expenses (travel, accommodation, and meals) and how much they would amount
- cleaning staff, car valet, security: these items are often extras not indicated in the villa/banqueting prices but are then indicated on the contract as mandatory requests. Ask immediately if they have an extra price, and which one
- extra time: define a timing with all the vendors, and check for any extra time costs
Every wedding is a different project and, as such, each expense item can vary a lot. There are weddings in which the floral arrangement plays a leading role and has a great importance also on the budget, and weddings in which music and entertainment have a great economic impact.
What do I do with couples who contact me? During the first appointment or the first call, I try to understand if they have a budget idea and check with them if it’s a realistic budget or if it’s necessary to change it. Then, when we start working together, I share with the couple an estimated cost for each item of the budget, which is then defined during the realization of the creative project and the confirmation of the various vendors. With the utmost transparency, we build their project together.
Talking about the wedding budget can be boring and not very dreamy, but necessary. If you feel in difficulty, contact me and let’s consider together where to start for the planning of your wedding.