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Often, we meet couples who have an extremely low budget planned for the wedding.  The unfortunate issue is that the mainstream media does not filter the statistics for each metropolitan area or region, so brides and grooms reference to information that may apply in the Midwest, say, but not here.

Here are some tips to get you started with a realistic budget:

1. Determine Your Venue – Space Only vs. All Inclusive: Your budget will be different based on your venue.  While you have more control with a venue where you can ‘bring everything in,’ such as rentals (tables, chairs, glassware, etc), the costs can pile up exorbitantly.  Some spaces require generators, lots of lighting, etc.  A thorough examination of all that is needed is essential.  Your caterer, DJ, and other vendors will also need to weigh in to make sure everything you need is covered, from stoves to spoons to water pitchers.

2.  Examine Your Design Needs Carefully:  The sky’s the limit – or, at least, your pocketbook, when it comes to design.  You could fill the smallest of rooms with thousands of dollars of flowers, or reduce your flower costs in a huge ballroom by investing more in lighting.  Having a consult with a florist and discussing your options and what budget is realistic is key in determining how much you need to spend to get the look you want.  Letting the florist know you are still researching is a courtesy to observe if you are on a fact finding mission, as opposed to being ready to book right away.

3.  Hire a Consultant. A good wedding consultant, with a wide spectrum of experience and knowhow, from hotel ballroom weddings to out-of-the-box loft/estate events, can advise on everything from power, lighting, and restrooms to florals and linens.  We have up to the minute pricing info and outstanding relationships, and we an advise on last minute expenses and ‘hidden’ fees and costs.  Many consultants offer “a la carte” budget services if you cannot afford a full wedding planning package; this service can save you significant money, and at the least, allow you to feel you’ve done your due diligence and will avoid cost overruns or surprise expenses.

Happy planning!