Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Budget Spreadsheet

Hello hello!  I don't have anything super creative and fun to share this week on Wedding Wednesday, so I decided to share my budget template.  I know you are all bursting with excitement! But with the sudden onset of engagements that I've noticed on my facebook homepage (seriously, I've had 5 facebook friends get engaged this week, and even more are recently engaged or about to be engaged... 'tis the season evidently haha), I thought that sharing my budget template was be a nice idea.

Now I know that there are about a gazillion books and websites that give sample budgets... but if you look closely, you'll notice that they stink - at least the ones I found.  They forget important expenditures like postage and newspaper announcements and designate one row for ceremony costs.  Let's get real here - ceremonies have many costs like pastor fees, location fees, musician fees, decorations, and guestbooks to name a few... one row doesn't really lead to a detailed and effective budget.  The more detailed you are in a budget, the better you'll be able to stick to it.  That way, when you walk into Michaels to buy a cake topper (or whatever) you'll already know how much you have to spend on it.  If you go under budget, that is even better!  But you won't have to worry about going over if you budget wisely.

Because I couldn't find an adequate budget example, I created my own by compiling many budgets into one.  I also updated it when my bride friends complained about finding hidden costs.  Then, I created cushion money for both the reception and the ceremony - because we all know that there are always hidden fees.  The best part is, I can add new sections or delete unnecessary ones.  For example, Parker and I are not having alcohol at the reception, so that gets $0 on the budget.  We might have things that you won't have (i.e. a minister of music fee), so you can manipulate the budget to fit your needs.  Think of it as a starting point.  :)

I uploaded the template to Google Docs (I love Google Docs) and you can access it here.  It looks like this:

It's not so scary, see?  You can save it and use it by clicking File > Download as... Excel.  There is a section for low and high estimates in case you have a ranging budget (i.e. you want to spend between $10,000 and $15,000) - and a section for goals in case you have an exact budget.  There is also a place to put quotes from vendors (on the far right), before you make a decision.  I insert comments as we make payments, for example we made a $200 deposit on the reception location on January 16 (or something like that).  Record it so if there is ever any question, you can go back and see in one document when/how/if you made a payment.  I added a few comments to the sample like "include tip" for the pastor, or "remember alterations" for the dress, etc. just for you to keep in mind as you decide on a budget.  Anyways, I hope this helps you soon-to-be brides!

If you use the template, would you let me know?  Thanks!  Also,if you sweet married/almost married ladies have suggestions/additions let me know!  I am sure I forgot something!  :)

Here you go!

Happy budgeting!
laura ann

1 comment:

Georgina said...

Ok, so here are some extra hidden costs I have found. I looked at your budget, it was great! Wish I had it 5 months ago! Don't forget about hair and make-up for the bridal portrait sitting. Also, tips are important to prepare for. AND in addition to gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen, some choose to do gifts for the flower girl, ring bearer, program and registry attendants, musicians, etc. I hope these little things can help others!!!

The postage is a HUGE thing as well! Don't think JUST wedding invitations. Think about the rehearsal dinner invites (if you choose to do them) and thank you card postage. I've spent more on postage for thank you cards than for invitations!! Happy Planning! I'm almost finished!!

I got a new email! ;-) Georgina