Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Budget Woes

A "wedding budget" is the biggest oxymoron I know.
It's bigger than "jumbo shrimp" or even an "accurate estimate."
But that's mostly because monetarily speaking, it just keeps getting bigger.

We began our budget by asking our families flat out how much they felt they are able to contribute.  We graciously accepted however much their wallets allotted and threw in some ourselves.
We used The Knot's planning tool to enter the entire amount and then it spit out the breakdown for us.  We figured some areas might cost more or less and it will all even out.
You will always be over budget.

As our day-of planner said (which, as I write this, I realized I have yet to write about her!) if we remain within budget we will be the first couple to ever do so.

Of course, we came across extra expenses we neglected to budget:
-Day After Brunch (for out-of-town guests)
-Postage for Save the Dates and invites (although you could argue that the "stationary" line item covers this, but then we need to come down $100 to include the postage)
-Welcome Bags (for hotel staying out-of-town guests)
-Tips/Gratuity (assuming the wait-staff, photographer, etc. meet standards)
-Guest Book & pens
-Videographer (ok, we did budget for this, but seriously low-balled this one)

So that budget we worked so hard to create? tweaked to make the numbers more realistic? scraped and cut out items?

Well, I opened the window, smelled the fresh air of reality and then?
I threw it.
I threw the budget out the window.

I mean, yes, sure we still do have our basic working frame-work.
We still are aiming for a relative amount.
I'm thanking my lucky stars my retro-active paycheck will cover most overflow.
But still, how about that chocloate fountain?
What's another $500?
Optimistic Pessimism?
There - that's another oxymoron right there.

How do you stay on budget in life? when planning for a wedding?

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  1. We went over budget too.....by $2000 , our planner kept us pretty much as close as possible tho :)

  2. I think its very hard to stay on the budget...Its your one special day...right?
    Hugs and kisses,sweetie

  3. I'm an accounant and a hitler type of one as well and we're paying the wedding ourselves so there will be no modification of the budget LOL. I figured out what we could afford and am sticking to that- that being said we are $5,000 under but have not factored in the honeymoon, since we have to postpone that (sister's getting married the next saturday).

    How much are you spending on a videographer if you don't mine me asking? or what do you think is a realistic price? We didn't want to do it, but we wanted a professional to do the webcast and they'll only do it if you get the video so webcast is $400, video is $900 and I'm cringing.

    My tough thing is Matt wants to give me anything I want.. Sounds great right? but i really want someone to help me not buy everything in sight (especially monogrammed napkin holders!) ahhh the fun! Good luck! And remember some budgets are elastic!

  4. I fear a wedding budget. Day to day budget I'm pretty good with - I pay for almost everything in cash, so if I don't have the money I don't get it. Problem solved. But a wedding budget makes me nervous.
    I think it's because I watch wedding shows and see these couples that have what seems to me as a really reasonable budget - and then at the end they are SEVRAL thousand dollars over. How did that happen? You had seemingly SO MUCH money to work with.
    It scares me. I'm sure you're doing wonderfully - my only tip (from my daily budgeting woes) would be asking yourself what the most important parts are - spending there, and for all the little things asking yourself, if you really need it, or if there is another way of getting what you want.
    Good luck!

  5. Yeah - we really roughed out our budget, because I figured we'd go over anyways. It's a special day, why not? I found myself rather irritated at how pricey the postage got. Boo.

  6. I am totally type-A. I have a spreadsheet that tallies every single cent we've spend so far. We are slightly over budget on most things, but not a crazy amount.

    However, we are basically paying about $200/person, when you factor ceremony, flowers, food, booze, etc. into the reception. We budgeted for 100. We currently have 131 on our invite list, and more and more people are calling to tell me they made airline reservations--people I did NOT think would ever come. Therefore, I have about 2 meltdowns per week at this point (we are 3.5 months out). Our invites go out in about 6 weeks, and I think every time I open my mailbox I will have heart palpitations..here's hoping at least 20 people RSVP no!

  7. Oh budget is an ugly word lol

    By the way I am sooooo sorry but I just got around to sending out the books to you that you wond from my giveway.

    I had gotten so busy and I just had them laying around so sorry dear. I hope you enjoy them!

  8. I completely agree, most everyone goes over budget! That's why we specifically included an $1800 "misc" line item, to cover anything that might come up later, or things we didn't think about when we made our initial budget.

    Good luck with prioritizing your overflow!

  9. Yikes! I got married in my early 20s many (many) moons ago. I think it is smart that you actually asked your folks about what they could contribute and even have a budget. My parents paid for my wedding, with not a lot of assets. We had no set budget and every major cost made me cringe.

    Advice from an old married woman... the day will be awesome with out without the chocolate fountain. We'll celebrate our 25th anniversary in June. I can't even remember what food we served but I do remember who was there and feeling special.

    Stopping by from SITS.

  10. Ha ha, that's why I didn't create a budget! I just tried to find the cheapest way to do everything and was quite proud of myself when I did. Actually, I'm still not sure how much we ended up paying for it all in the end. It's better that way! (and much less stressful)

  11. Umm... I'm with thetwentiesroar - I am terrified of what a wedding will cost. I have dreams. And then there is reality. And I will need to make a lot more money to come anywhere close to dreams.

    My girlfriend Tracy struggled with that quite a bit while planning. Her mom said they had money, they booked a place on the beach and were so excited, but then she said she didn't have money so it was canceled (deposit lost), and finally she's found a place in Orlando that is local and cute and affordable,... and at this point she would get married at the court house just so long as she was able to get it done and over with.

    Either way - this is freakin' scary stuff. *fingers crossed Daddy has been savin'*

  12. oh my gosh.. i know exactly what you mean! we were way out of budget... way way out.. but then we're glad we still had the best wedding we could ever have! it's such a blessing... =) there were some things I wished i did or i wish i didnt do but overall, it was great...

    Visit my wedding blog:


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