Budget – the dreaded but oh-so-important aspect of your wedding. Whether you’re a guru with numbers or avoid the calculator altogether, we have you covered! The experts over at Elsie Event Co. are here to help with their top tips on how to budget your wedding, plus give some extra insight on why wedding planners are so important. Keep scrolling to read these simple and easy-to-follow tips from Camille Ross for successfully budgeting your wedding!
Photo // Micahla Vaughn Photography
What are your tips for sticking to a budget?
Budget is one of the first things we discuss when we sit down and begin planning! We take a client’s overall budget and breakdown each category – adding in a buffer in some areas. We then make adjustments to that budget based on areas of a wedding that may be more important to the couple, as needed. If a couple would rather focus on florals over a band, funding can be shifted to reflect appropriate costs. From there, we connect them to the best vendors in their price range, and typically suggest pulling 2-3 quotes for comparison. The goal is always to come in under budget in each category, leaving an additional buffer when RSVPs come in and final decisions are made.
What are the top 3 vendors you’d suggest every couple invest in?
Photography, catering and weather-proofing. You are going to want to have nice photos to look back on (said every bride and planner ever!). I have never had a couple regret spending more for photography, but I have experienced the disappointment when they do not. Not feeding people properly can lead to overly-inebriated guests. One of the biggest complaints I have heard working as a planner and in a hotel were from guests who didn’t feel well-fed. And then, there’s the weather. Guests always remember if they were too hot or too cold at a wedding. With the great outdoors being popular for weddings in Austin and the surrounding areas, it’s always important to remember the weather when making plans!
Where is the biggest portion of the budget likely to go?
Food and beverage! It’s one of the larger overall expenses that is hardest to cut back on. There are many elements that can be “left out” of a wedding, but feeding people is something that is challenging to leave out if inviting guests to a wedding reception.
What logistical details are couples likely to overlook on their own?
Just how much goes into set-up, break-down and managing the “activities” during the reception on wedding day! Coordinating not only the set-up and break-down, but also the ceremony pro and recessionals, along with the reception coordination is quite a bit of work. When it comes time to wrangle the emcee, photographer and the couple and their families for things like cake cutting, speeches and the bouquet toss, it can be more work than people realize! Transportation is also a big one that can be a challenge logistically, along with moving bridal parties from one venue to another if there are multiple locations. Add day-of logistics plus all the planning logistics that go into those decisions, it’s no wonder event planners exist! It can be a lot to manage, especially for someone who is planning their first event!
Why should a couple hire a wedding planner?
Wedding planners bring an un-biased set of eyes throughout the entire planning process. We are here to help from the first moment with sticking to a client’s vision, budget, connecting them with vendors in their price range, and saving them time! A lot of my clients also appreciate having someone that they can be honest with about their vision and how their plans are developing. We are advocates for our clients who, at times, don’t always feel comfortable speaking up if they don’t like something or need a support system to help shape their ideas. Just recently, a client of mine felt bad delivering some feedback to a vendor. It was easy for our team to interject for her and help guide the message she was trying to convey. On the wedding day, that same planner who you have cultivated a relationship with is then there for you to execute each piece of the event that you carefully curated together!
What’s one piece of advice you always give to your couples?
Try to enjoy the day as much as you can with the people you hold dearest! Even a four-hour reception can fly by, and most of my couples cannot believe the night has already ended. Part of that enjoyment is also eating so you don’t fade quickly and not drinking too much so you soak up as much as possible! Another way to maximize enjoyment is surrounding yourself with people you care the most about! It can be challenging being stopped at a reception by a multitude of guests you do not know and then realizing you lost an hour on the dance floor with your best pals. Making a reception navigation plan ahead of time with one’s parents and each other is often a great way to manage expectations, while making your guests feel welcomed and loved. A lot of laughter and dancing definitely help too!