Spring has arrived here in the Hudson Valley and we are loving all of the new spring energy. As the state starts to relax its regulations (slowly but surely), more and more couples are starting to feel confident and excited to plan their weddings again. Today, we are going to walk you through a wedding budget breakdown and talk a little bit about the differences between hiring a full-service wedding planner and an event designer.
If you are starting to plan your wedding in Hudson Valley, Catskills, or the Berkshire region, you are in the right place. In case we haven’t (virtually) met yet, I’m Angela – owner and creative director here at Elite Wedding and Event Planning. We love to plan and design weddings in rustic barns, lush vineyards, private estates, and more interesting wedding locations for couples just like you. To read more about our services and working with our team, head here.
The Biggest Wedding Budget Mistakes
When you are excited to jump right into wedding planning, nobody wants to stop and think about their budget. You’re likely excited to start looking at wedding venues, sampling 4-course dinners and trying on wedding dresses. After planning and designing hundreds of events over the past eight years, we get it. And that’s why we are glad you are here.
Often, couples jump to book a venue – even before they hire us to help them plan their wedding! This is one of the biggest wedding budget mistakes we see couples make, and we talked about it here. We hate to throw a blanket figure on “how much your wedding venue should cost” because the truth is, so much of where you spend your budget depends on your priorities. We certainly don’t plan our couples’ weddings based on a percentage calculator.
Because we tend to work in unique wedding venues, we recommend your venue fee be between 5-10%. If you choose more of a traditional venue where you won’t have to rent everything separately, you might be able to allocate a higher percentage of your budget. Most of the couples we work with for full wedding planning and design end up wanting to completely customize the wedding decor and details anyway, so choosing a venue that “includes everything” is less of a priority.
Setting Your Total Wedding Budget and Wedding Decor Budget
It’s okay if the thought of two separate budgets makes you sweat. As Hudson Valley wedding planners, we tend to work with busy couples who don’t have time to “juggle it all”. They want someone to take their vision, make it cohesive, and then figure out the logistics. We are always up to the challenge – so for our full-service wedding planning and design clients, we combine their wedding decor budget into their overall budget so they have an easy way to track what is spent (and what is still due).
Wedding Design Budget
If you don’t have room in your budget for full wedding planning, you may want to consider having two separate budgets. Depending on the design, there can be an abundance of line items – here are a few to give you an idea:
- Florals (floral installations, centerpieces, statement pieces, petals)
- Wedding day signage (ceremony welcome sign, unplugged ceremony sign, seating charts etc)
- Place cards
- Table numbers
- Escort cards
- The list could go on and on!! You may also want to add in-line items to track the expense of hiring an event designer, and of course, the set up/take down crew if you plan to do a lot of the heavy lifting yourself (by now you can see how much work that is).
When you look at what really goes into your wedding design, you can start to see how inaccurate those online budget calculators really are. How much you spend on the design elements of your wedding day should reflect you and your fiance’s unique priorities. When planning your wedding design, don’t forget that there are five senses to consider. In order to plan a memorable event that your guests will be talking about for years to come, you need to think outside the Pinterest box.
Total Wedding Budget Breakdown
Outside of the above list for your wedding design, your total wedding budget needs to include “everything else”. Typically, your venue and caterer/bar will eat up a majority of your wedding budget. We always recommend deciding on your top three priorities before hiring any vendors. If a lively experience is what you have in mind, we can help you find a lively band, great lighting, and a fun dance floor. If you are dreaming of a more intimate or romantic ambiance, we can set aside a larger budget for florals and candles.
Hiring a wedding planner and/or wedding designer
Does this all sound like a lot of work? It is. But if you are reading this, we can only guess that you are in the early stages of wedding planning, which means you have the chance to hire help! The earlier on in the process you hire a wedding planner and/or wedding designer, the more helpful we can be. Although we do know a few tricks of the trade to get the most out of your wedding design budget, don’t wait until you overspent on your wedding venue to hire support. For more information about our services here at Elite Wedding and Events, check out our services here. If you are already feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, head here to book a complimentary consultation so we can walk you through the process.