Welcome to Our Wedding Planning Blog!
Only Tips on Wedding Planning and Savings. Period.
Only Tips on Wedding Planning and Savings. Period.
In Step 1 of this series we got the “big picture” view of a typical wedding budget and the breakdown of that budget into the usual categories of spending.
Then in Step 2 we realized that two categories of spending, the reception and the wedding attire, account for almost half of the wedding budget. We went over how to save on both of those categories in great detail.
In step 3, we trimmed or eliminated many of the small budget items that just aren’t necessary with good planning.
And now we are ready to get to the specifics of your budget. Numbers and all!
Finalize Your Wedding Budget And Planning (In Detail)
The previous 3 Steps in this “How to Plan A Wedding” series were undoubtedly educational and certainly necessary in order to understand the entire wedding planning process, but surely you’re left wondering “Where do I start?” and “How do I keep track of all of this stuff?”. Well, this section is for you.
First, download our Complete Wedding Planner and Checklist. (We’ll wait a minute right here)
In the download you’ll receive two files: a PDF and an Excel file. Please open the Excel file first. Here you will see two tabs: the Timeline and the Complete Planner.
The Timeline schedule is exactly as it sounds. It’s a 12 month, step-by-step guideline for what plans should be made when so you don’t have to stress with multiple to-do lists, it’s all in one place, in chronological order. The instructions are in column Q (for Questions) and they’re fairly simple:
Again, the Timeline is your very first step every day to see what tasks you should be working on and which tasks you can comfortably not think about till further down the line.
2) Complete Planner
As much as the Timeline is the indispensable first step in organization, the Complete Planner is where everything else happens. And we mean everything!
Set Your Budget
Yup, it’s that time. To actually write down your starting wedding budget. We say starting because we are sure this number will change, either up or down, but it will change. In the real world nothing ever comes in on budget, weddings are no exception. So input your total wedding budget on the very top box next to “TOTAL WEDDING BUDGET” label.
Keep Track of Each Budget Sub-Category
Now after you enter your total budget, a little excel magic happens, and what you’ll see below is that each wedding budget section is listed with “typical” percentages of the total budget and then a total dollar value of how much they’ll cost you. So if you enter in $30,000 for your total budget, you’ll see that the Reception is traditionally 35% of the total cost so your reception budget is $10,500.
Note that the budget sections are organized from highest to lowest percentage of budget cost, so the Reception, at 35% of total budget, is first and then Transportation,at 2% (or 0 if you followed Step 3!) is last. We ordered it in this fashion so you could prioritize where to save and what to book first. Again, the Reception is the most important and the other things fall in line depending on that decision.
Keep Track of Vendors and Item Costs
So as the timeline gives you “to do” items, go to the appropriate category on the Complete Planner sheet and each category, browse our LA Wedding Vendor Directory, write down all vendors you’re considering and track your communication with them right here on the Complete Planner. There are convenient columns for contact person you spoke with, price quoted and follow up items as well as the date you agreed to follow up, so nothing slips through the cracks.
Every item and vendor you need for the wedding should be listed in the items column. If it isn’t, add new items in the “Other” section. Also, when you’re completely done booking a service or buying and item just check the “Done?” box on the far left so you can easily keep track of what’s completed and what’s next.
So now we have all of the following information organized in one place thanks to TheGoodWedding Complete Wedding Planner:
Please note that a summary of these instructions is also in column Q (for questions).
3) Wedding Binder
Now open up the PDF file that came in your download packet and print it. What you’ll see is a simple table of contents and section dividers that cover all of the budget categories we listed in the Complete Planner. No, this isn’t a coincidence, it just so happens that as much as we’d like to try you simply cant eliminate all paper from the wedding planning process. So please hole punch these sheets and put in a new 3 ring binder.
In addition to keeping track of vendor information and contact history on the Complete Planner, you can also find the vendor in our LA Wedding Vendor Directory, and click the “Print” button. This will print a full sheet for your binder with all the information you need for that vendor: their listing summary as well as a grid for contact history and a lot of space for your hand written notes. This is a backup for those times you’re not near your computer but have an idea or talk to the vendor, just jot down your thoughts right here and nothing will get lost or forgotten.
Also, the binder and its convenient categories will come in useful for many other things like ripped out magazine articles you liked, the initial price quotes from multiple vendors and eventually the final contracts you signed with each vendor.
Wedding Planning Summary
There you have it, our signature 3 step wedding planning tool kit:
So if you haven’t yet, download our Complete Wedding Planner and Checklist! You have nothing to lose and only time and money to save.
If you like our Wedding Planner Download, please tell your friends and don’t forget to mention it to our listed vendors. They love to know that we’re helping make your experience with them even better!