I was going to write this post about our adventures finding a venue but what I realized is, before we went and SAW all our venue options, we had to nail down our budget. ick.
Tradition says that the bride’s family pays for the wedding and the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner. Tradition also assumes a lot of other things cough like the reason you wear white cough…So I am not all that stuck on traditions. After all…I am blogging about my wedding….where was that 20 + years ago??
So yah, some people still have their parents pay for the wedding, some have their parents assist, and some just cover the wedding themselves. It doesn’t matter which route you take, it is your wedding! Shai and I went from the perspective that we are going to plan an entire wedding within OUR budget and that anything our parents give us will be a welcome gift to ease the pain.
What I would recommend asking yourself first is, do you want to have any debt the day after your wedding? We definitely did not want that. (Some people don’t mind, and that is OK too). Now, if you don’t have 8 months to save like we do, that may not be your reality. Based on knowing what we could afford, and what seems to be the standard of weddings in todays age (thanks to many of our friends being married or getting married soon), we were able to set our budget.
The next thing I learned is that the budget you want, and what you want in the wedding, are going to need more flex more than you thought. Luckily we low-balled what we originally thought we would pay and so when we found what we really wanted, we were still able to flex and afford (after gagging a bit).
So think about what you want — what is most important to you? For us, it was open bar, photography, and videography. Ironically those are three of the most expensive parts of a wedding.
Before you look for your venues, make a list of everything you want – on the essential side and excessive side
– upscale linens
– cocktail hour (some places include this like a 1 hour cocktail hour and 3 hour reception. We wanted a full cocktail hour and a 4 hour reception)
– arch or chuppah
– cotton candy machine (like I said, even if it is on the excessive side)
Decide what you think these things will cost and what you are willing to pay – then you will know what you can afford for the venue and perhaps you will even find a venue that has packages including these things!
I know this is not as exciting as decision making posts but I promise the venue one is next! (hint…we picked our venue!)