The B Word: Budget

Photography by: Kendal + Kevin

Photography by: Kendal + Kevin

A wedding is a time to celebrate - to laugh with friends and family, to learn and grow with your soon to be husband/wife, to share private Pinterest boards with your besties (and planners!)...

...but it is also a time to remember your grade six 'Intro to Excel' class - because let us tell you - remembering how to do Excel formulas is going to seriously come in handy  (I mean, who has time to exit Instagram to get to the calculator function on your phone, right?). 

Here at Paper Doll, one of us likes Excel more than the other (what's wrong with a good table in Word?!).  But both of us agree on one thing, everyone needs a spreadsheet entitled 'UGH' or "What a B" or, if you're going to be all adult about it, just "Budget."  

....And not only do you need the spreadsheet, but you have to update it (we know, those numbers aren't always so pretty). 

So, at the risk of being a total downer this Wednesday, today's blog is on everyone's least favorite topic - the budget. Here are some of our top five tips to staying within your budget.

    We love organization (Steph literally spent last Saturday night organizing her closet, live texted it and loved every minute of it), so we might have a skewed view on this, but doing up a draft budget let's you stay organized and in control. Include all wedding expenses (ceremony, attire, reception, food, beverage, decor, entertainment, florals, photography, stationary, etc.) and be realistic in your numbers. Include both a 'projected expense' tab and an 'actual expense' tab and track your costs as you go along.

    Allocate funds in a way that best represents you as a couple. If you love a good dance party (and who doesn't), but think wedding favors are a little passe, well that's A-OK (we'll stop now, before we break into a really bad rap). When drafting your budget, make sure you know what your priorities are and allot funds accordingly - don't feel like you have to spend funds on 'traditional' aspects of weddings that aren't necessarily representative of you.

    Sure, your food costs might be $4,000 and your beverage costs might be $5,000. So your total food and beverage bill is $9,000 - right? Not quite, don't forget to include GST, So-CAN fees, and, if you're hosting in a full-service venue, gratuity will also be included on top of the final spend (usually 18%-20%). We also recommend having a contingency budget (usually 5 - 10%) of your overall budget - this way you can cover any of those not-so-great surprises (and if there are none - score! - you're that much richer).

    Lil' John is really pro shots (shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, everybody!), but your budget sure isn't. The number one way a budget gets away from you is due to a large alcohol bill. If you're worried about your costs blowing up, the easiest way to combat this is to offer drink tickets. That way, your guests can have a few drinks on the happy couple and you'll remain a happy couple when you get your final invoice.

    We love decor. We also love logistics. And when those two things are combined - well that's just a match made in heaven. Logistical elements are required for your wedding (where will people sit, what is the flow of the reception, etc). Instead of viewing those elements as purely functional, consider them as decor opportunities too. What elements of your ceremony and reception space can act as double duty for decor? Trees, exposed beams and large windows can all become decor with a little imagination. You can cross off logistical necessities and decor with one stone!

Happy spreadsheeting!

XO - L+S