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Budget

I've totally lost track of where I am in my budget. I have receipts coming out my ears. It's this part of the planning process I hate.

Are you / were you on track with your budget?

Did you use any of those wedding budget calculators? Were they helpful?

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Re: Budget

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    Define "budget".

    If you mean are we on track with the number we set a year and a half ago?  No.

    But if you mean are we on track with the adjusted number (and it's been adjusted A LOT) then we're about 1.5k under budget and looking good right now.
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    I stayed within my budget for my parts that I paid for, but I have no idea about DH. I think towards the end we started just throwing money at things to make them go away! But I was under budget, so the things like hair/make-up, cake servers and extra ice, etc. were just added at the last minute for convenience.
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    I keep an Excel spreadsheet of vendors, contact info, payments made and payments due. Then I have a binder where I keep contracts and receipts. We're pretty close to our original "budget" but the problem we are having is that some things have cost us way less than we thought and some things way more, but we haven't really adjusted anything for that. We're just hoping it evens out in the end, lol!

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    I loved me some excell spreadsheet hardcore.

    We did everything that way and worked backwards from a number so it wasn't that big of a deal.
    It was also an easy to track what other people were paying for so we could let them know when vendors expected checks.

    The harder part was getting Mike to understand how much weddings cost in the first place and then it was much easy to make a budget from there.
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    So far I'm on track with budget.  We also had receipts every where and when I plugged them into our spreadsheet I was glad to see they were falling in line.

    We did not use the budget calculators though.  After doing some research and getting averages we came up with our budget.
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    Yeah, we're going to be 2.5k over our original budget, but we're okay with that.

    I use the knot budgeter and kind of adjusted it myself. I know in my head how much we want to spend on various things, though. So if you say "limo!" I'll have a number in my head right away. Same with flowers, etc.

    I also have an accordion file with receipts, ideas and contracts in it.
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    I established my budget early, wrote it all down, and tried to stay way under the entire time. My parts to pay for were things I could buy slowly and well in advance. His were more of the day of things like sound, bus, tent, officiant, etc. so I really don't know how he went about it. I paid deposits for a few of those things and he paid the balances. I think it worked out quite favorably for me! :)
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    We had a checking account with so much money in it.  After we booked the important things (photographer, reception, etc.)  We used what was left for the fun stuff, like the lighting, booze and late night snacks.
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    The only thing I'm keeping track of budget-wise are the major things like ceremony/reception/photographer ect. With those we're under budget. If you add in all the little things I've bought over the last year and a half, who knows what I've spent!
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    We have been planning since august/september and now the wedding is 80 days away. Fi just said last night "We need to make a budget for the wedding" , haha.
    He is paying for the reception, I am paying for details like decor, flowers, cake, attire, and have just been careful to find good deals. Our parents each contributed what they could.
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    I thought the wedding budget calculators were helpful to get an understanding of just how much of a budget goes where, but as for the real numbers we had to call around to a few places to get estimates and then we went from there writing out a budget. 

    We kept excel spreadsheets, and updated them frequently.

    We stayed within budget, very early on we both got together and decided that we had no other choice but to stay in our budget.  Not because we couldn't afford to go over, but we felt it was a good test for the two of us to work together towards a goal and stick to the original plan.  It was a really good way to open up communication lines regarding money and how we both viewed it and spent it. 


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    I am one of those idiots who didn't make any sort of budget.  I suppose I had an idea in my mind of what I was willing to pay for specific things, but other than that I've just been reasonable (well my version of reasonable) with purchases/vendors.  So besides vendors, I've pretty much lost track of what I've spent.  Ooops.
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    I made s spreadsheet with estimated costs and said "hey, this is how much this shindig is going to run.  Where can we cut".  After we agreed on the number, I just made sure to stay under the estimated figures.  If I came under in some areas I didn't move the money around.

    But towards the end, we just threw $$ at stuff to make them go away.  That is where we went over the estimated figures.
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    I used one of the budgeting tools to get a basic idea of how much different aspects of the wedding would cost.  I've found that what I've spent or am planning on spending on various areas of the weddings varies a lot from the budget calculator. 

    For instance, we've hired a band for the reception, so are spending a lot more than what the budget tool says we should be for reception music.  But then in other areas, like the dress and flowers, I'm planning on spending a fair amount less than the allotted amount.
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    I plugged out final budget amount into the Knots calculator.  It told me to spend $45 on the hotel, $75 on my BMs bouquet (I had one) and $35 on mine.  It also said we could afford to spend $28 on each wedding band.

    Uhm, no.
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    I found the budget guidelines helpful in the beginning, and then I made a few different budgets of my own (with varying degrees of specificity).  I have been tracking everything I've spent (and I mean everything, even a stamp to send in a deposit), and adjusting the numbers between categories as actual numbers come in.  Overall, I'm currently estimating ending up about 10% under budget.
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    We had a budget...  then we realized how much things cost (like the dress - OMG)...  then we adjusted the budget.  But we had quite the collection of Excel worksheets and reviewed/updated them every couple weeks. 
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    I used The Knot budget tool as a starting point, but I set up our real budget tracking in Excel. 

    We were under budget, but only because 40% of our invited guests RSVPed regrets.  The main problem was that we had an unrealistic photography budget.  When we realized that what we wanted was going to be at least $1,000 more than what we had budgeted, it's like we spent the next year playing catch up by cutting everything else, but we never quite got there.
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    I am one of those idiots who didn't make any sort of budget.  I suppose I had an idea in my mind of what I was willing to pay for specific things, but other than that I've just been reasonable (well my version of reasonable) with purchases/vendors.  So besides vendors, I've pretty much lost track of what I've spent.  Ooops.

    Yeah, this is me too.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_budget?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:64ad99b7-aac9-41eb-8544-517ed6eb57a2Post:c4b3fde0-f4c7-4099-9b49-b83a2139555a">Re: Budget</a>:
    [QUOTE]Define "budget". If you mean are we on track with the number we set a year and a half ago?  No. But if you mean are we on track with the adjusted number (and it's been adjusted A LOT) then we're about 1.5k under budget and looking good right now.
    Posted by NuggetBrain[/QUOTE]

    Pretty much this.... We went WAY over the original budget we set when we started planning but adjusted it along the way as we realized how much things would actually cost. So our "budget" was more just a total of what everything cost to get what we wanted. so yes, we stayed at that :)
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    We had a budget.  I used the knot budgeter at first, just to get an idea, but now, I no longer have a budget, I just have to know that every penny we spend is more than was budgeted for. 
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    I am keeping very exact track of what I am spending, and cutting corners everywhere I can (my sample dress cost $500 including dress, cleaning, and alterations!), but somehow I am already over my budget. You girls who managed so well, any specific hints (other than cut the guest list. We have 120 people in our family if you only count immediate fam to first cousins). We are expecting about 90-100 to RSVP yes, so that's out of our hands at this point. I'm trying so hard to stay under budget. I know it's incredibly rude to ask (so please don't all yell at me:) but if you don't mind answering, those who stayed under, would you mind giving a ballpark (under $10,000, under 20$, etc) of what your budgets were? I just don't know if the issue is that I am being unrealistic, or if I just have to hope that we are super unpopular and noone shows up (obviously, I hope that's not it). Sorry to poach on your post, BTW. 
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    we are just about $2000 under budget, however we ended up not getting a videographer which was in the budget orignailly so we would probably be a bit over if we had gone with that.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_budget?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:64ad99b7-aac9-41eb-8544-517ed6eb57a2Post:3bd0e0b9-9d84-4a93-b4bf-69da37926b6c">Re: Budget</a>:
    [QUOTE]I plugged out final budget amount into the Knots calculator.  It told me to spend $45 on the hotel, $75 on my BMs bouquet (I had one) and $35 on mine.  It also said we could afford to spend $28 on each wedding band. Uhm, no.
    Posted by aMrsin09[/QUOTE]

    Our was the opposite.  The Knot told me to spend $700 on invitations.  <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-surprised.gif" border="0" alt="Surprised" title="Surprised" />

    We've paid a bunch of deposits and now we're just putting aside a lot of money every month.  We have enough to pay for all the big stuff (just about).  So a lot of decisions will be made in the next few months when I take a look at what our "budget" really is.
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    I'm setting up my own spreadsheet.  Since we're doing a DW, travel expenses for us, the WP and a few vendors that I'm bringing with are eating up a huge chunk of the budget.  So all the suggested calculators are way out of sync for us.

    As far as actually being on budget or not, we'll find out when we get there.  At this point, the wedding is going to happen there no matter what, so I have a feeling we'll just be throwing money at it to make it all happen decently when we get to that point.  FI will always say we're over budget, but that's because he thinks everything should cost half of what it does, despite all the research I do.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_budget?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:64ad99b7-aac9-41eb-8544-517ed6eb57a2Post:3bd0e0b9-9d84-4a93-b4bf-69da37926b6c">Re: Budget</a>:
    [QUOTE]I plugged out final budget amount into the Knots calculator.  It told me to spend $45 on the hotel, $75 on my BMs bouquet (I had one) and $35 on mine.  It also said we could afford to spend $28 on each wedding band. Uhm, no.
    Posted by aMrsin09[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I had this too and promptly discounted the Knot calculator from my life. </div><div>
    </div><div>I remember FI and I were having lunch out just at the start of the wedding planning process and we went through things and wrote down what the wedding would cost which came and I about freaked out as we're paying for this ourselves. We've managed to get it down considerably so I'm happy about that. Prices are what they are, so long as you haggle and get a good rate where possible I can't see what more you can do!</div><div>
    </div><div>xjcx 

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    I like WeddingWire's budgeter.  I have pretty much thrown the original budget out the window though.  I dont know if my original thoughts on pricing were unrealistic because of where I live or because of my taste (probably a combo of both!) but FI keeps telling me to stop stressing about money so I will.  Or at least I'll try.
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    The budgeter is useful because you can access it anywhere, but you definitely have to look at it carefully and adjust where needed.  I think it wanted me to spend some ridiculous amount of money on my dress and accessories, and little money on music.  My dress cost $700 and my music for ceremony and reception will be over $3000.  It just depends on what's important to you!
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