Setting a Wedding Budget – What you need to know, by Constance Curtis – Southern California Wedding Planner

Categories: Destination Wedding, Southern California Wedding planner

Yay, you’re engaged!!! But now what? One of the first issues I have to help a couple with is their wedding budget. Some people have thought a lot about it, some have left out important items and others haven’t thought at all about it by the time they are meeting with the Constance Curtis team. We are here to make sure you think about everything and don’t have to worry about anything.

When a couple begins the wedding planning process, the very first thing they should do is set their wedding budget. As a destination-wedding region, getting married in Southern California can be very expensive and it is important to understand the cost of typical wedding wants and must haves. It is also important to know how to spend your money wisely. Whether you are on a strict budget or have an unlimited budget, every couple wants to know they are spending their money responsibly. While you are focused on one wedding, we have years of wedding planning experience that will enable us to advise you on reasonable vs. unreasonable costs.

It is important to know that when we refer to the budget of a wedding, we are referring to the cost of the entire wedding from the bride’s dress to food, venue, photographer, flowers, invitations, etc. Brace yourself for this next fact… The cost of a well-planned memorable wedding in Southern California can start around $300 per person. Wait, that is nothing. We have planned weddings that cost up to $1,200.00 per person. The two major factors to consider when setting your budget is wedding guest count and venue rental costs. This article will discuss these issues in more detail below.

We understand you have a lot of friends and your fiancé’s family is huge, however, you are going to have to quickly decide how much you love/like all of these great people. Such an unfair choosing of who to invite vs. who not to invite is critical because it is unrealistic to think you can plan a 200-person well-planned wedding for $30,000.00 in Southern California. If you would like to invite 200 guests, it would be reasonable to assume that you likely won’t spend less than $60,000.00 for your wedding. For this reason, you should focus on an agreeable guest count in the initial planning stage of your beautiful day. If you are on a strict budget, I will give you some hints in a future article.

As we mentioned above, the second most important factor to consider when setting your budget is the venue rental cost. There is a reason we are a wedding destination hotspot – there are so many beautiful venues to choose from in sunny Southern California. We’re surrounded by gorgeous venues all along the coast, in the hills and everywhere in between. Many of these venues however, are very expensive. In other articles, we will discuss the nuances of beach weddings vs. weddings right next to the beach, urban venues and resort type venues.

With some exceptions, most venues have what they call “minimums” for food and beverage purchases. This “minimum” is always before tax and service charge. These minimums are exactly what they sound like – the least amount that you MUST spend if you are going to use their space to get married. Importantly, these minimums are always contracted for and you are agreeing to be legally bound to pay these costs. Part of the services we offer is to be right there with you when making decisions prior to signing on the ‘dotted line’.

While there are many ways to look at a budget, we like to suggest a general rule of thumb concerning venue pricing – that is to say that the venue costs never exceed 50% your entire budget. For instance, if you have a wedding budget of $80,000.00 and the venue has a minimum of $30,000.00, we would recommend that the proposed venue is a wise choice. Such a selection will give you room to spend money on other necessities such as your photographer, florist and a professional wedding planner.

Although there are many other things to consider, we hope this article has provided you some points to ponder. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you, so you don’t have to worry about every little detail that goes into a beautiful Constance Curtis event.