Hello ladies, please pay close attention to this one! This is probably the biggest mistake we see couples make, and it haunts them throughout the remainder of the planning process! Okay, let's paint the picture first...you have just gotten engaged. You are COMPLETELY over the moon and so excited that you are ready to initiate wedding plans with a sense of urgency that would rival most champion race horses. In your mind, the first task at hand (after setting the date of course), is to locate a venue where your fabulous day can unfold. It makes sense, right? After selecting the venue, it is all downhill from there, right? Unfortunately, putting a deposit down at a stunning venue at this junction is a really bad idea!
About now you are probably thinking...what are you talking about? That is crazy! Of course, that is what you do next!
Please allow us to explain. Often times, couples will fall in love with a venue that does not match up to their budget (remember the old saying - champagne wishes on a beer budget). More times than not, the couple goes into this SEVERELY underestimating the cost of executing a fabulous affair, and end up with an entire speadsheet of things on their wish list that they are unable to attain.
Ladies, the most important step in the planning process (after saying yes and setting the date, of course) is to come up with a definite budget.
In order to lay the groundwork for your budget, it is best to think of your individual vendor costs in terms of percentages. Below is an example:
Let's say for instance, your wedding will be held in Boerne in the spring. You are expecting 150 guests and will have a plated dinner. You would like well experienced professionals that are qualified, easy to work with and moderately priced. You would like to have pretty decor (not necessarily over the top), including fresh flowers and background lighting to set the romantic mood.
The average cost of a wedding in Kendall county (Boerne) is $32,450. For simplicity purposes, we will set our budget number at $33,000, max. So, to have the wedding described above, your venue cost should not exceed 15-20% of your total budget ($4950-$6600). Please keep in mind, that this number is simply for the use of the venue. It does not include any food, drink, service fees, or wedding cake. To further illustrate this point...if you have a $20,000 budget, you really should not have a $10,000 venue (food and drink not included) and expect to have the wedding of your dreams.
Now you are probably thinking $4950 - $6600...that is a TON of money to spend on a venue, we will be fine!
Unfortunately, in Kendall county, most of the well known, sought after hill country venues start in the $7000 range and go up from there.
Believe it or not, we have had many brides come to us completely befuddled because they spent 60% of their budget on a venue (that doesn't include any of the catering cost) and don't know what to do. After catering, they have little or no money left to get all of those fabulous things they see on Pinterest. They are scared to death that their decorations are going to consist of a couple of candle holders and hand cut confetti because that is all they can afford now.
Hmm....it looks like Mom and Dad were right. It is important to have a budget (or at least that's what they told us when we got our allowance)!
Now, before you pull the plug on the whole thing and opt for eloping, hang on a second. You can overcome the hand cut confetti scenario by accomplishing one simple task. Take a deep breath, slow down a minute, and sit down and figure out that budget!