Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wedding Checklist I and the Budget

Making a list and checking it countless times...

Santa Claus isn't the only one who makes lists. Brides, their families, wedding planners and MOH's all do this. It seems to me that making several wedding checklists, each assigning tasks and "to-be-done-by" dates is essential to getting through the months leading up to the wedding as well as on the day itself.

The initial wedding checklists need to include:

1 )What is your budget?

2) What can you do to make your day more economical?

3) What kind of wedding do you want to have?

4) What is your wedding date?

5) Have you “booked” the church, synagogue, mosque or other venue for the ceremony?

6) How many guests are you inviting?

7)What sort of invitation and invitation language are you having? When should you order or buy them?

8)Where do you want to have the reception?

9)What kind o f reception do you want to have?

10) Are you having a theme wedding?

11)Do you need a caterer? Wait staff?

12)What sort of wedding dress are you going to need? When are you ordering it?

13)What will the groom and his attendants wear?

14)How many bridesmaids? What will they wear? When will you shop with them for their dresses?

15)Who is your photographer? Can you lock him into the date?

16)Are you having music? What sort? If a band, can you book them onto your date?

These questions are an excellent starting point and as we progress through this process, we will be adding more questions, more wedding checklists and more ideas.

Let’s take a look at the wedding budget. This is the actual starting point for all planning. You need to know how much money you are going to need for your day. (More importantly, who the heck is going to pay for it?!)

Traditionally, and this stems from the olden days of dowry and other payment plans , the bride’s family pays for the wedding. The groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner and liquor and beverages.

Bridesmaids pay for their dresses, Groomsmen for their tuxes and so on, but the bulk of the money comes from the bride’s family.

In these days, there are other permutations of paying...Brides and grooms split the amount with their parents, both sets of parents may help or the couple pays themselves.

When my cousin got married, he and his fiancée both had good jobs, so they paid for the reception venue, the liquor, bar tab, food. Her parents bought her dress and the flowers, paid the minister and hosted a day-after brunch for out of town guests. His parents paid for the rehearsal dinner. This way they all contributed and no one was unduly stressed over finances.

Next time, we are going to talk about some more about the budget in relation to the other questions in our wedding checklist and figure out the best, most economical ways to address them.

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