WTW: 3 Months and a Budget

I’m getting married in about three months. THREE! Gaaah! The crazy dreams have started. Tuesday night is was my dress getting lost and me wearing a black slip dress down the aisle and a Welding Convention happening at our reception venue. At least it was on a beach? Last week it was the guys showing up late, they were wearing Carhartts and it was SNOWING. Oh lordy.

In the next three months we have to: make the favours, make the table number holders, buy stuff for centerpieces, get my gown fitted (which still hasn’t arrived!), get the guys measured up for the their tuxes, pick the rest of the music, buy the marriage license …. I’ m pretty sure this list could go on forever!

Now, onto the budget. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to display how we worked everything out. Really, we didn’t have a set budget. There was a bit on the news the other days that said that average cost for a wedding in Canada was about $25,000! Luckily, our total thus far is was under that – about $11,000! Not too shabby, right?

We’ve been using Microsoft Excel to keep track of everything:

Wedding Spreadsheet

Basically what we did was list everything that we needed and tried to figure out how much we wanted to spend on it. There were fixed costs, such as the marriage commissioner and license, that we have no control over, but everything else was somewhat flexible and under our control. From there, it was all estimates.

We budgeted high for everything, hoping that we’ll come under budget on most things, especially the liquor and decorations. And another important thing was making sure we included what we’ve already put money towards and how much we still owe on things, such as my dress, photography and the DJ.

Really, I’m horrible with budgeting and numbers, but having everything laid out in front of me like this really helps me remember where we are and what still has to be taken care of. Please, if you have ANY questions – ask! I’ll be more than happy to share any details on how we budgeted without budgeting. (Like the limo? Totally wasn’t on our list originally but we’ll be oh-so-gangsta! lol)

How do YOU budget for events?

WTW: The Budget

For today’s Wedding-Talk Wednesday post, I figured I’d talk about the budget.

To be honest, we didn’t really set a budget. Sounds like a bad idea right? Well, not so much. We have a MASSIVE spreadsheet breaking down our costs, how much we’ve spent, how much we still have to spend, and who’s contributing what.

We also have a “We don’t want to spend more than $x on _____” system. For example, I didn’t want to spend more that $1,200 on photography, $1,200 on my dress (which my Mom is paying half for, Thanks Mom!), or $800 on the DJ. I got all of those UNDER my limit – Woo! We also didn’t really want to spend more than $20/person for dinner at the reception, which we got under out limit. (Roast beef buffet with all the trimmings by a FAB caterer!) We’re also going to be “classy” and have a “Toonie” bar (That’s $2 for you Americans, lol). We buy the booze and all beer and highballs are $2 each. Much cheaper than having an open bar, and easier on our guest’s wallets.

Our ceremony and reception venues are also relatively inexpensive. The ceremony location is owned by the local heritage society and the reception location is a City-owned community hall. We chose the community hall because we could have whoever we wanted to cater, and we could avoid the high-liquor costs for our guests. (Kyle and I attended a wedding where drinks were $6-$8 because the venue provided the liquor!)

How do you budget a big event? (Such as a vacation or wedding)