101 Event Planning Series: Budget, Budget, Budget

Photography: Pixel Punk Pictures

The one word that can send shivers down your spine, divide households and test marriages before you have even said I do. It seems to be the one thing that couples feel can make or break their big day.

More often than not I hear from brides and grooms, corporate clients and party goers. Our party will suck because we only have a limited budget. In all reality though, yes okay maybe you won’t have sky writers and fire twirling acrobats on elephants – but it absolutely does not mean your event has to suck.

It just means we have to get a little more creative, and sometimes a little more hands on with our approach and research.

There’s a few simple things though that you can be doing straight away to keep your budget in mind.

Venue Inclusions

What bang for your buck are you getting at your venue? Some places offer absolutely nothing, whilst some offer trestle tables, cutlery, basic linen and some cutlery. This is usually already included in your price, and is a great budget saving trick! Tables + chairs alone can often end up in the thousands depending on how many guests you have. That’s before you have even thought about styling for the tables.

They may not be exactly what you are looking for, but the cost you will save in delivery fees and hire fees, can be allocated to your styling budget to make your event tables pop. You will be surprised by how much some flowers and décor can help bring your event to life.

Image Credit: Pacific Cleveland

Dry Hire

Another option to consider for your big day is to dry hire things. When you hire from a décor and styling company, you have the option for them to come and style it all on the day for you, to put together a package after seeing the venue and alternatively, you can simply pick and choose what you would like yourself and style it yourself.

This can save hundreds in delivery and styling fees from the vendors you are using. You need to think long and hard about taking this option though, as it will mean that you need to set it up on the day or organise family and friends to.

Another work around is to hire a wedding planner who can do it all for you form their existing package options, or alternatively customise one specifically for your needs and budget. This means you are only paying one person to setup rather than multiple, and can avoid the delivery fees if you’re able to drop off an pickup yourself.

Image Credit: Pinterest


You would be surprised the number of options out there to suit every taste and budget when it comes to weddings. I don’t just mean as well swapping caviar for pepper corns or anything like that.

I mean the same or very similar items for a cheaper price from different suppliers. The wedding industry is like any industry, you can pay $100 for something, or $1000 and get the same thing depending on who and where you buy it from.

The wedding space is no different. Just recently I was putting together a quote for a client who was looking for a rustic Christmas party. They were wanting barrel bars and palette furniture. I got 2 prices, one came in at $2500 and the other at $1700. Both had the exact same product, in the same quantities and both delivered to and picked up from the same location.

You would be surprised how much you can save by just looking around and price matching! Make sure you chat to vendors as well, I can promise they’re not monsters. Sometimes you really click with a specific vendor and want to work with them, but maybe they’re $500 more than the next team. Let them know! I’m sure they’ll work with you to make something happen.

Leeway Budget

Like everything in life that has a budget and a schedule, they get blown very easily! We understand why, as it’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glam and before you know it you have a 5 car parade for arrival and Beyonce is singing at the reception. We know it happens. Maybe not the Beyonce part, but the rest of it yes.

Make sure you leave a little spare in the bank for incidentals. We’re not just talking the incidental of falling in love with something well over your budget. We’re also talking about the extra fee, because your vendors have to come back later and pack up that night instead of the next morning.

Or the ridiculously express postage fee because you forgot to order the stationary early enough for it to be there in time. Or even the alteration cost because you’ve been stressed so much in the lead up to your big day that your dress doesn’t fit anymore.

They can all so easily happen and very quickly put you over budget whilst can spell disaster for some couples.

Image Credit: Anna Wang

Wedding Planner

Finally, your wedding planner can be your best asset when it comes to budget. We are your wedding financial planners for your big day, checking in with you on the progress of the event and where we are tracking for costings.

Don’t forget about our client discount that we get through our vendors, and can then pass on to you as well, as we talked about in our ‘To Planner or Not To Planner’ blog post.

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