I consider myself a pretty financially savvy person, and while my fiancé and I make excellent money and we could very well afford a lavish wedding, it’s the principle of the matter that I don’t think any event deserves spending such an outrageous amount of money.
I track every penny I spend, I forecast cash flow projections for my personal accounts, and when we go on a vacation, I can tell you how much we spent on food (broken down by breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks/drinks), how much money we spend on gas (including gas mileage), and what are average per day spending was. Some people think this is ridiculous or a waste of time, but it is something I actually enjoy doing, so for me, it’s fun! I know where every penny goes. I don’t have a conventional “budget” for myself broken down by categories. I just call it “expense tracking.” And once I start to approach a certain amount of spending for the month, I know it’s time to slow down.
I will do the same for the wedding. For a wedding, however, I figured it was quite important to set a budget instead of just tracking our expenses. So I went onto Wedding Wire, entered $15,000 as a total budget, and voila, Wedding Wire broke down our $15,000 budget into various categories. It looked like this:
At first glance, I’m like, “Um, wow, this doesn’t buy much. At second glance, I think, why, WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD is catering so expensive!”
Then I used the export function on Wedding Wire to export the data to a spreadsheet. Talk about useless. It didn’t have any formulas or anything, so if I changed a value in one of the cells, it didn’t change my overall budget figure. After some tinkering, I developed a formula-friendly wedding budget spreadsheet and it’s now in my and my fiancé’s Google Docs account.
We’re not having any flowers, but will probably spend more on regular decor. No attendants = no gifts for attendants. We’re willing to spend more on a good photographer, so that figure went up. A few other changes here and there, and before I know it, I can see how weddings can get so expensive. I will be tracking every wedding-related penny and sharing it with you all.
I think the thing that scares me the most is just the big unknown about the budget. I always hear about catering horror stories about how they nickel and dime you for added expenses after you’ve signed the contract. Or alterations adding more than $500 to a wedding dress.
I’ve been developing some other worksheets to help us estimate our projected expenses in the best way possible.
Did you go over your wedding budget? By how much?