Planning a Wedding on a Budget
Planning a Wedding On a Budget Every woman wants to have the wedding of their dreams. Weddings can be very expensive. An average wedding in Bennington County, Vermont costs between $18,364 and $30,606 for a guest count of 112-126 people, and the majority of woman however do not possess the means to have such a lavish event. But there are other ways to have your dream wedding without spending much money. If you budget and shop around you can have your dream wedding. The idea of a wedding is to carry you into a happy marriage.
So how do you throw an experience that you and your guests will remember for years to come, while staying within the confines of a budget? Do the math. In order to stay within your boundaries, you actually have to set a budget. Your first priority may be flowers, but you’re off to the wrong start. If you allocate money to buy them without first determining how much you can spend on the occasion, including engagement ring, honeymoon and everything in between. Once you’ve put a cap on spending, evaluate your priorities.
Many couples make the mistake of not creating a buffer of about ten percent of the overall budget in case unexpected expenses occur. Traditionally the brides’ family pays for the wedding ceremony and the reception. The grooms’ family is typically responsible for the rehearsal dinner. In today’s society more and more couples are paying for their own wedding. Others split all costs, designating specific duties to each part of the family. Establish with the families who will pay for what. Find out how much they are willing to spend, to adjust your budget properly.
The first thing you should do is make out your guest list. This will be a key factor in several aspects of planning the wedding. One guest could change the overall cost of a wedding by an average of $206. When making out a guest list, keep in mind that only about two-thirds of the invited guest will attend the ceremony or reception even less will attend both. The number of guest you invite will determine the costs involved with the invitations, venue of both the ceremony and reception (some charge extra for additional people over a certain number), the favors, food, and whether or not you will have an open bar.
Keep in mind that the amount of guests on your list can be modified at anytime in order to stay within the confines of your budget. After you decide how many guest you are going to invite, it is time to pick a date. You should have a few dates in mind incase the venue you want isn’t available on the exact date you want. If you do not have your heart set on a specific venue, you can choose a specific date and have a few more choices on where you want to be married. The time of year you choose to get married will also impact your budget. Peak season for weddings is during the summer, prices are typically higher this time of year.
Most places will give discounts for planning the event during the winter months. The average cost of the venue, catering and rentals is between $5,491 and $9,151. If you are looking for the best of everything the cost could go as high as $14,642. Changing a few things could cut your cost to be as low as $1,500 – $2,500. When looking at churches or a Bed and Breakfast for the ceremony, be sure there is adequate seating for the number of guests you are inviting, as well as, sufficient parking and bathrooms that will efficiently accommodate the amount of attending guests. Also find out any rules or stipulations the venue may have.
At some churches they require you to take marriage classes; this will allow the priest or minister to determine if you are fit to be married. If you have the ceremony in a church, you will need a separate venue for the reception. This is an extra cost. Most venues will require a down payment of at least 25 percent of their total cost. Planning on having a toast of Champaign at the reception? Check with the venue, to make sure they have a liquor license. To avoid all hassle you can always ask family members or friends that have a large yard to have the wedding at their house.
Offer the person, in which you use their land, some money for the amount of electricity you will use. If you are having an outside wedding do you need tables, chairs and tents, someplace to cook the food? Get your tables and chairs from a local firehouse or church, donate $25 to $100 for the use of the furniture. As for a bathroom, rent portable bathrooms which will cost around $100 per unit. Who will cook the food? If you decide to hire a caterer, meet with him/her. Ask yourself questions, does he/she look like someone I would trust enough to eat their food? Are they clean? Ask for a tasting.
Reputable caterers will set up a time to cook samples for you. Be sure they will cook the type of food you want. Find out if they have a portfolio of events they have catered. Call their references. Want to save money on the catering? Ask your family to each cook a dish from your menu to have a large buffet style dinner. Pay for the food that everyone will be cooking, which the cost will depend on the amount of guests that RSVP. The rehearsal dinner is meant for the wedding party and parents of the bride and groom, to celebrate the upcoming day. The type of dinner is up to the bride and groom.
Choosing something simple such as pizza or a homemade dinner is a great way to save a little money. But some people would rather celebrate in style by going out to a reputable restaurant. Either way you choose, it is a great way to enjoy family, have some laughs, and de-stress before the big day. By now you would have chosen either a church for the ceremony or an outside wedding. With a church wedding you will have chosen that place knowing who the priest or minister is that will be marrying you. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, you have the option to choose a member of the Justice of the Peace, a Judge or Rabbi.
All members charge differently. I personally paid $75 to an old friend of my husbands family (who was a member of the Justice of the Peace) to marry us. We were able to be married by someone we knew and trusted. Now that you have decided on when, where and how many guests you are going to invite, its time to pick out your invitations. The invitations you choose is what is going to represent the overall look of your wedding. Online has many options when choosing a theme. The cost can range from $382 to $636, unless you want designer invitations then it can range anywhere from $764 to $1,018.