Wedding Budget Advice

Today, we're tackling budgets. Do you know "Mo Money Mo Problems" is one of my favorite songs? I digress...

While this isn't the most glamorous part of wedding planning, it's certainly one of the most important. I received this email from a friend recently:

"I'm trying to come up with a budget... I looked quickly at some venues but those prices vary A LOT from place to place. I know there's food / drink costs involved. The dress. The photographer. Arghh! That's when i started to panic because I really have no idea where to start..."

Here are some of my top tips.



1) Prioritize and be flexible: When you begin the budgeting process, all couples (no matter how big or small your budget) should sit down together and place the following list into three categories: "Very Important," "Negotiable," and "Not Important At All." By laying this out on the table, you can agree ahead of time that you won't mind spending more on important items if it means cutting back on others.


  • Venue
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Live music
  • DJ
  • Other guest entertainment
  • Wedding gown
  • Bride’s accessories
  • Hair and makeup
  • Groom’s attire
  • Groom’s accessories
  • Bridal party flowers (bouquet, boutonnieres)
  • Flowers / centerpieces
  • Ceremony decorations
  • Reception decorations
  • Lighting (lanterns, candles, monograms)
  • Cake / Dessert
  • Stationery (invitations, table signs, programs)
  • Transportation
  • Favors


2) Venue Shopping: Your venue is going to be one of the biggest contributing factors to the look and feel of your wedding. Coincidentally, it is going to be one of your biggest costs. Start shopping and doing price comparisons early. Consider location, amenities and complimentary benefits. If you are set on getting married at a winery but have a limited budget, consider Livermore instead of Napa. If you want a ballroom wedding, look for hotels that include a honeymoon suite in the wedding package.

The Palace Hotel, San Francisco


3) Keep an Eye on the Guest List: Keep in mind that some costs are fixed (your photographer and dress will cost the same no matter how many people you invite) and others are charged "per guest" like food and beverage (F&B). When it comes to "per guest" costs, a growing guest list can really put you over budget.

For example, say I have $10,000 to spend on F&B. I invite 100 guests and sign a contract for a catering package at $100 per person. If my guest list grows by only 10 people, I'm already $1,000 over budget!

While it can be difficult, it's important to be strict with your guest list!

Courtesy of Martha Stewart
4) Budget for "hidden" costs: Many couples forget to include sales tax, delivery charges, and service charges in their budget estimates, which can be automatically added to your bill. With 8.5% sales tax in San Francisco and 20% service charge, that's almost 30% more than the original price tag!

We hope you find this helpful, honeys! Feel free to ask questions in the comments section.

Happy planning!
- H x

Simple Centerpiece Tutorial

Hellloooo and Happy Tuesday! 

We recently added Diana & Jon's wedding photos to our website gallery, and wanted to share with you how their centerpieces were made. We had such a great time working with them and coming up with ideas to fit their needs and style! 

The centerpieces needed to be low and small enough so that they could be placed on lazy-susans without getting in the way of the delicious banquet. We took cues from Diana's pinterest to create these simple gray flower boxes filled with white hydrangea.




Since the couple didn't have a budget for florals, we created their bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces with silk flowers. To save on labor costs, Diana enlisted the help of her wonderful family, so we made a very simple tutorial for them of how to assemble the flower boxes:



Once the box was assembled, we added a yellow ribbon for the finishing touch. The table numbers, concepted by Honey & Twine and designed by the wonderful Karyssa Magann, were named after SF locations that held special meaning to the couple.

Here's the cost breakdown for their simple and elegant centerpiece:
Hydrangea from Michaels: $21.54 for 6 (we got them on sale – yay for Michaels' 40% off sales!)
Dusty Miller from Michaels: $5.99 per bunch. Each box uses 1/3 of a bunch, so add $2 per box
Wooden Boxes Rented from Honey & Twine: $6
Approximate Total Cost Per Centerpiece: $29.54

Depending on your priorities, there are always creative ways to be cost effective. We can't wait to share more ideas with you in the posts to come!

Stay Sweet,
Tria 
xoxo