Our best and most successful budgeting tip? Set a realistic amount first and use a spreadsheet! Boring right? But no. A spreadsheet will help you anticipate & budget for every detail of your event. You’ll have (almost) stress-free planning, accomplish your goals, and enjoy a fun filled party when budget and stick to it!
Spreadsheets too last century for you? There’s an app for that. Some of the highest rated apps are Mint, YNAB(You need a budget), Simple Budget Planner, and Wedding Planner by Wedbox.
Step 1: Choose the amount you’re comfortable spending. Be realistic by considering what you actually want to spend and/or can only afford to spend. Often this is a later step in many a bride’s planning after she has fallen in love with a one-of a kind gown or the perfect venue that would break most of our budgets.
Step 2: Make a spreadsheet or use an app with these 5 columns or categories: Item, quantity needed, anticipated cost, actual cost, notes
Step 3: Start by filling in the spreadsheet or app with the major expenses. If it’s a wedding, consider: ceremony, reception, entertainment, flowers, video & photography, travel, lodging, hair & make-up, apparel, gifts/favors, & the post-wedding trip.
Step 4: Do your research using online resources, bridal or entertaining publications, as well as ideas from friends and relatives, to begin itemizing in each category. For example, under flowers: table arrangements, bridal party bouquets, boutonnieres for the men in the party, corsages for family members, arrangements for a ceremony space, etc
Step 5: Start getting estimates from vendors, visiting venues, calling florists, etc to get prices to see how these fit into your overall budget and each category. This gives you an opportunity to scale up or back each category. For example, if you want a 5 hour open bar at the reception but find the cost is prohibitive, opt for two signature cocktails, beer and wine or find a venue that allows you to bring in your own libations.
Step 6: Finalize each item with vendors and get firm price commitments in writing. Keep all receipts, copies of emails, etc. in a folder with your spreadsheet or app. Organization is the key to staying on track!
Setting a realistic budget and sticking to it is a critical step in planning the perfect event. Of course, GERSKY‘S is here for all your event planning from beginning to end and we will help you every step of the way.