The Obligatory Wedding Wire Budget Post

by Melissa on November 22, 2010

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?

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