Lauralou's blog entry earlier today reminded me that I haven't shared with you all my budget yet either. So here it is.
When Mr. T and I were first talking about marriage and engagements I was initially worried about the money we would be spending. He had just quit his well paying job to move up to Minnesota to take a "job" as a graduate assistant earning a "stipend" every month. (aka we're about to be broke!)
But that lasted about a day, and then I realized, and not to sound spoiled or anything, my parents love me, my dad does well for himself. I'm sure he would loooove to fork out a bunch of money for my wedding =] Of course I put it a little more eloquently than that when we first talked about it. I think it went something along the lines of, "Well ya see Dad...." and he totally knew what was coming next. I don't think I ever really had to ask him about it. My wonderful parents offered to pay for our wedding. All of it!
When we first started the planning process there wasn't a set budget. We did the whole bridal show thing, and started to get an idea of how much things would cost. I made a preliminary guess at how much we would have to spend for the major things like flowers, photography, DJ, etc etc. My dad talked to some guys at work that had already married off their daughters, he took at look at my estimates, and he "calculated" a number. He sat my mom and I down and told us that we weren't allowed to spend more than $18,000. My guess is he knows we'll probably go over and will eventually land right around 20k. But of course if he told us $20,000 then we probably would manage to go over that too. I mentioned they love me right?! I'm so lucky, and Mr. T and I are so grateful that we won't have to go into debt for our wedding.
At first that seemed like a lot of money to me, but now that I've basically worked my way through it for a wedding of 300 people, I'm not sure where it's all going or how it got allocated so quickly.
So here's how it looks broken down. So far anyways.
Venue: As I mentioned before, our venue is free. We don't have to pay a room rental fee, cake cutting fee, or any other silly fees. The tables and all of the linens are included. They provide the gorgeous, highly coveted chivari chairs that everyone wants. So really, this part doesn't factor into the budget.
Food: Right now we're looking at a plated dinner that will cost $20 a person, with the option of a $7 kids meal. So if all 300 people showed up, we're looking at about $5600 or 31% of the budget.
Appetizers: We're having a cocktail hour, and nothing goes better with drinks than hors d'oeuvres. $550 or 3% is going towards that.
Drinks: Here's the kicker. We've all agreed, and by all I mean Mr. T, myself, and our fathers, that we're not having a cash bar. We also don't want to go the per person route, because that was only offered for 4 hours, and some people may or may not take advantage of it. So we're going to pay by consumption, the alcohol served throughout the night. My dad was pretty adamant about this, and wants to spend about $5000 for the bar. That may come under, or fall short, but at the moment it accounts for 28%.
I haven't talked about this yet, but we signed with Admit One DJs following a bridal show, so we got a pretty decent deal. $1,395 will get us 6 hours of music. That's almost 8% if you're keeping track.
Another area I have told you nothing about, but we decided to go with a local florist who is charging us $1000 for 6 bouquets, 14 bouts, corsages, 15 centerpieces, altar arrangements, etc. I forget what all was agreed upon in the contract. 5.5%
Our photo contract includes our engagement pictures and 10 hours of coverage the day of the wedding. We also get all of our touched up proofs on a disc following the wedding. This was a point of worry for a few days, because going this way would put us slightly over the budget, but I really had my heart set. So I had a little talk with my father, and he gave me the green light. Like I said, I'm thinking the "real" budget is a little closer to $20,000.
My Maggie Sottero accounts for 7% of the budget. I ordered her, sorry...it for $1275.55 and it won't need any alterations, etc.
I only plan on spending about 2.5% on all of my paper related crafts. $450 is going towards save the dates, invitations and postage, programs, table numbers, place cards, etc. So far I'm coming in under budget!
I'm still keeping this one a surprise, but it's not going to cost anymore than $450, another 2.5%
I actually have no clue how much my cake is going to cost. Right now it's sitting in Excel with ??'s in it's cell. I haven't even tried to guess how much it would cost because I have no idea. My mom's good friend/amazing cake lady is making it for us. She's also going to make a little something for Mr. T but that's a surprise as well. So this will definitely put us over the intended goal of $18,000 but my dad doesn't seem concerned about it, so I'm not worrying about it either.
Then there are a few little extras here and there and that pretty much rounds out the budget. I still can't believe we managed to make our way through it all so quickly, but I know that it's the food and alcohol that make up over 60% of it.
Mr. T's parents have offered to cover the rehearsal dinner, his dad is actually really excited about it! But that's another story for another time.