I wish I could stress the importance of an event budget, but unfortunately some people just won’t get it. Just imagine being a planner and asking your client, “What is your budget?” and their response being “I haven’t thought of one yet” or answering the question with a question saying “What amount do you think you could work with?” and lets not forget the infamous statement, “The cheapest amount of money I can spend!…”
Starting my business has been filled with ups and downs so far, but I am learning new things everyday. Currently, I am planning a few events and am struggling with obtaining and maintaining budgets which is what led me to this post today. What most don’t understand is that cheaper is not always better and DIY projects can be more time consuming when you can actually negotiate pricing with a decor company which also delivers and picks up (because in all honestly, what are you going to do with those centerpieces you made after your event?- I can answer that for you, most likely throw them away or encourage guests to take them home at the the end of the party). Also understanding that just because you see it, you don’t have to buy it – which often leads to couples being in debt after their wedding.
I can go on and on for days about how important budgeting and finances are for planning an event, but here are just a few things to factor in:
- Invitations – There are so many apps, websites and graphic artists that can create invites and fliers now that this should not be a huge dent in your pocket. This is probably the only thing I would say you could go the “cheap” route on.
- Venue – depending on the capacity and amount of attendees can vary for different events. Some venues can hold less guests for a seated ceremony than a standing room party due to space. Also consider hosting events in your spacious home and/or backyard.
- Catering – also depends on the amount of guests, whether you will be serving hors d’oeuvres or providing a buffet. Don’t forget about seated dinners which also include 3 course (sometimes 4 course) meals. What you serve is likely to increase or decrease, for example serving chicken versus steak. Dessert can also vary depending on if you would like a dessert table or one cake for your wedding or event. Seated dinners however are different due to the dessert being served and every portion is the same size.
- Liquor, Beer & Wine – some venues do not allow outside liquor which often leads to the host having to buy out the bar, services and etc. If you would like to cut costs, some things to consider are serving only beer and wine or creating a specialty cocktail.
- Photography/Videography – Packages vary. But I would recommend finding a photographer that offers packages that include engagement photos and ceremony and reception videos and photography. One of my friends had an outside wedding ceremony and used a drone! (not sure how much that costs)
- Decor – i.e. tables, linens, centerpieces, flowers, seating, plate ware, glassware, silverware, napkins, special props can sound overwhelming but that is why Decor companies are so lucrative. Remember that all real flowers are not expensive! (and I’m not just saying that because I hate fake flowers lol)
- Entertainment – I have seen bands, orchestra’s and DJ’s flown in from cities such as New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles for events and wondered how much that could possibly cost? Hosts spend big money on entertainment because they want to see their guests having a good time. Guests will always remember the memories made during an event!
I hope this helps somehow…