Sunday, October 31, 2010

Budget Review: Overview

I still enjoy thinking back over the course of our two year relationship and realizing that we only knew one another for three months before we began talking about marriage and six months before we made that official. Like they say, when you know, you know, right? And I knew. But we also realized that a long engagement would be good - both financially, stress wise and for the health of our relationship. I can't say that planning was always a breeze with Big Spoon, but he made it better and we did a few things right that I would recommend to anyone planning a wedding.

First, our budget was set before we were officially engaged. I shot high, he shot low and we met in the middle at $8,000. I spent $500 of that before we set up our wedding checking and savings account. Big Spoon contributed $4000 and I contributed $3500 initially. I later added another $500 to cover the cost of our coordinator, but we did not end up needing it all. More on that later.

Secondly, we set our priorities early on because it was obvious that we valued different aspects of the wedding. We bargained, we grumbled, we compromised. It was a VERY IMPORTANT step. 

I've really patted myself on the back for those above two things - budget and priorities. Everything else fell into place once we had those things in place. Big Spoon and I learned a lot from planning our wedding together - about each other, about our families and friends - but especially about the wedding industry, some of which we'll be sharing as we do budget and vendor reviews. We will start with budget and move on to the vendors later, because that is where you will learn all the things we did wrong. And yes, we did some things wrong.

What I won't do is give you a "to the cent" breakdown. I don't have time and I don't want to go back through a mound of receipts and do math. I hate math. What I will do is tell you what we budgeted and a really close, sometimes rounded up estimate of what we actually spent. 

I will be covering the following categories: 

Catering (Food & Cake)
Attire & Accessories
Gifts & Favors
Wedding Rings
Beauty (Hair & Makeup)
Decorations & Miscellany (linens, rentals, licenses, hotel)

Again, I'm very hesitant to start anything - vendor reviews, budget breakdowns or wedding day overviews until we get our pictures. I really, really want to include pictures as we do the reviews. We've been married three weeks today, so I expect them any day now!

Happy Halloween!

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