#SMPWedding101 - Setting Up The Wedding Budget
April 22, 2016
Oh the joys of wedding planning! Picking out your bouquet, your dress, the food tastings and more! But oh, who's that Debbie Downer knocking on the door? The oh so unpleasant budget. But fret not my friends, because Marisa Nicole of Marisa Nicole Events is here to help us sort through that stress, so that you can focus on those flowers instead of the dreaded finances.

Step 1: Determine Your Total Wedding Budget

You’re engaged, congrats! After the champagne has been poured and the well wishes have been bestowed, before you make a single plan for your day, you need to connect with the people who will be helping you throw this shin-dig to find out how much money you have to work with. It is super important that you have a firm idea of what your total budget is for this celebration prior to creating your guest list, determining your venue, or booking any vendors.


Step 2: Create a Working Budget Utilizing our Marisa Nicole Events Percentage System

You have a number (or at least a range) of how much you and/or your families are able to contribute to your wedding. Huzzah! But once again, hold off on booking anything just yet! Take your overall budget and apply the guide below to your finances to determine how much you should plan to spend in each area. You will notice that we are giving you percentage ranges, not hard numbers, so this guide can be applied to any sum amount. (In our system, our base numbers do equal 100%).

Hair + Makeup: 2-3%
Transportation: 2-3%
Cake/Dessert: 2-3%
Lighting + Sound: 4-5%
Dress + Accessories: 5-7%
Tipping: 5-7%
Venue Rental: 5-10%
Entertainment: 5-10%
Video + Photo: 8-12%
Stationery Suite + Signage + Paper Goods: 5-10%
Flowers, Linens, Decor: 10-15%
Planning, Design, Coordination: 10-15%
Food, Beverage, + Functional Rentals: 40-50%
Extra Cushion: 2-3%


Step 3: Pick a Venue That Fits Your Budget

To pick a venue that fits within your budget, we encourage you to combine the total costs of the venue location fee with your potential food, beverages, and rentals cost (if the venues you're considering provide those items). If your estimate for all these items amount to less than or equal to about 50% of your budget, then having a wedding at the location are you considering is a viable option for your budget. It is really important that before you book, you get a solid understanding of what these items are likely to cost based on what your venue does and does not provide so that you can determine if this venue is in or out of your budget. Once you have selected a venue and evaluated these costs, you will be ready to create a more detailed, line-item budget for the rest of your wedding pieces.


Step 4: Choosing Vendors that Fit Your Budget

Once you have your venue, you can get into the business of determining the rest of your vendors. As you go through the process of choosing your vendors, it is extremely important to keep each price point within the percentages you have already laid out. We suggest not even flirting with companies that are outside of your budget for that vendor type. It only takes spending more than planned in a few areas to throw your whole wedding costs off-course in a way that will be difficult to recover from.


Step 5: Moving Percentages

With that being said, we know that every couple is distinct and will choose to value certain sections of their wedding more than others. It is for this reason that we have kept our breakdown fluid, so that you can choose to spend more or less in an area depending on where that section lands in your hierarchy of wedding priorities. If you have decided that music is the most important to you, then feel free to splurge on that live band that you just had to have. But, realize that by doing so, you will have to take a portion of a percentage away from another area in order to stay in budget.
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We're excited to share that Shine invitations is currently offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $500 (US orders only) as well as a free sample kit featuring the invitation of your choice, color charts, paper samples, and an example Save the Date! Don't miss out!


For our California Brides… Discounts from The Ranch at Laguna Beach and Weddings by Susan Dunne

For our Tri-state Brides... Discount from Femina Photo + Design and don't miss Grace Loves Lace's Concierge Events (April 19 - 25) going on now!

For our Destination Brides... Discount from Hitch'd Weddings & Events and promotion from Round Hill!

For our Southeast Brides... Discount from Cassidy Carson Photography

For our Southwest Brides.... Don't miss Grace Loves Lace's Concierge Events (April 29 - May 2)!


Congratulations to our WED School winner Juliana and our twobirds Bridesmaid winner Nicole Gumpel!
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