Congratulations On Your Engagement!! Now the work begins…
The first item on your to-do list is to develop a realistic budget. This is a priority and very serious. We would highly suggest that you query your parents and significant other to determine whether there has been a fund created for this special day. We also suggest that you make certain that you have a fiscally responsible person to assist you in developing this budget, which may also create a line item for an expense. Note to self: Wedding planners are good for these types of things.
This is really an important foundation leading up to your special day and should not cause you any more stress than necessary, and won’t if you are realistic. Too often that “dream wedding” may only be a dream if you are not fiscally prepared to manage your life—before, during and after your wedding.
There are far too many horror stories of engaged couples and their families not agreeing over the fees and large ticket line items. Try To Be Realistic. This is really a basic step—knowing exactly how much money you and your family have to work with from the very beginning.
The second step is to create a personal budget (if you don’t have one already) to know what you are currently spending on your daily expenses and how much disposable money do you have to work with; how much money will parents or relatives support or if there are any sources of money or investments that you have created just for this special occasion.
We have put together a sample budget for you. The entire weekend will have some type of expense. When you think in terms of big picture then you won’t miss the tiny details that might come back to haunt you later!
One big deal line item is the food/beverage; these numbers have a direct correlation to your guest list that you and your families must develop together and be realistic. If you are paying for the wedding, but can’t afford 20 of your parents’ college friends that you have never met—then perhaps your family will ante up the per person rate.
You really need to think about the type of wedding: large, midsize, and small; each size has a different price tag as it relates to venues, wedding gifts, and food/beverage. Of course, if money is no object be as creative as you wish.
There is a national average of about $30,000 for a wedding of 125 guests. However, depending on the region where you host your wedding this can dictate the fees. If you have your wedding in a lovely suburban college town vs. downtown Manhattan, your fees will be representative of that area. Either way, the time of day and the day of the week are all factors for rentals.
Please keep in mind, after a year or more of planning your wedding, cocktail hour, reception, and dancing—all of which will last maybe four to six hours max… ask yourself, after this lovely affair, will you have managed your realistic budget so that you begin your life in sheer bliss or deep in debt.
Marsha Jews is the Editor-At-Large(USA) for World Bride Magazine and the founder of Marsha Jews & Company a full service marketing, business development, Wedding/Events/ Conference planning & management; and communications company. Marsha Jews is the Founder/CEO of WKIMRadioNetwork.com.
and the former Founder/Curator of the Herbert Bearman Art Gallery & Director of Events & Weddings at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum.
Marsha was Project Director on two community technology development grants: Harlem Renaissance 2K1 and NY-OneNet at the Institute of Learning Technologies and the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Columbia University, New York.
As President/COO/Associate Publisher at Career Communications Group Marsha managed Black Engineer/Hispanic and Information Technology Magazines; the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference and was Co-Founder of the Women of Color Technology Awards Conference; Black Family and LaFamilia Technology Awareness Week(s).
The former Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Foundation of Maryland; presenting Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Ailey II and AileyCamp and Director of Advertising for the 125-year-old Afro-American Newspaper, Inc.
Marsha was Vice President of Operations for the Marine Corps League Exhibit Company, and was the first black woman to produce the Modern Day Marine Force in Readiness Military Exposition and Awards Gala a program of the United States Marine Corps, Capitol Marines and the Marine Corps League, while simultaneously the Director of Advertising for the Amphibious Warfare Review Magazine.
Marsha is active in the community; former board member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and was the first Black Trustee to chair their Annual Gala; Commissioner- Maryland Public Television Commission; Founding board member of the Maryland Association for Nonprofit Organizations; former trustee for the College of Notre Dame and the Maryland Institute College of Art; Trustee at the Enoch Pratt Library, and has won numerous awards; Co‐Author in Incredible Business and is an avid volunteer and speaker.