With the wedding in less than a year (eekk) Steve and I have been checking things off the to-do list left and right and enjoying most of our date nights at home planning with a bottle of wine (or two). So when Layer3 TV approached us about trying their service (it recently launched in Chicago!), we were super excited. We also aren’t huge fans of our current cable and were hoping that we’d finally found a good replacement since we’re quite the movie buff and spoiler alert: we did!
Layer3 is the first new cable company in more than a decade and offers a personalized home entertainment experiences. Basically, it curates everything for you – cable TV, premium channels, online video content, social media and smart home devices. If only it handled wedding planning too;)
We just tried the basic level of service, and it’s really all you need. With basic service, you get higher-quality HD than any other provider, 24/7 customer service (you can even text them – they’re based in the U.S.), a set-top box designed by BMW so it looks nice in your living room, and the ability to store up to 400 hours of HD content. That’s definitely my favorite part because like I said, Steve and I have been so busy lately that we can’t always watch shows live. So we record a lot of shows so we can watch them later when we’re together. As a bonus, Layer3 is founded by a Chicago native, and if you know me by now you know how much I love supporting locally-grown businesses.
With that being said, this week marks another week which means another day closer to the big day! I mean next June will be here before we know it, right? Or at least that’s what everyone keeps telling me…and I secretly hope they are right;)
After 9 months of being engaged, I have just about every vendor booked, detail planned and piece of advice written down but the one thing I never was given advice on or you could say “warned” about was how to budget for a wedding. And well let’s just say that’s about 50% of the planning because for many of you who know weddings are not cheap. Repeat with me, “WEDDINGS ARE NOT CHEAP”…at all.
In the past 10 years, the national average wedding cost has increased by $5,000 alone and that doesn’t even include the number of parties, showers and gifts for everybody and their brother that has increased too. And don’t be fooled, I’m definitely not complaining. I mean come on now, I love any reason to throw a party and a wedding party is a whole new level for me so you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m going to go ALL out but while staying within budget of course;)
So for everyone out there planning a wedding of their own, here are the few tips and tricks for budgeting that I have learned so far and wish I would have known before.
6 Tips for Wedding Budgeting
Remember to enjoy every second of it. First and foremost, enjoy the journey. The time will fly by so quickly and whether you’re engaged for 6 months or almost 2 years, be sure to make time and a budget to enjoy the planning stage with each other. For Steve and I, we are big date night people and sometimes a break from wedding planning for a date night in with popcorn and endless on demand with Layer3 TV is exactly what we need. If you’re interested in learning more about Layer3 TV, visit www.layer3.com or a location near you.
Pick your budget and what it includes. First and foremost, pick your budget. Who will be paying for it? How much are you/they willing to spend? What is the combined total of this budget and what does it include? For Steve and I, we made a list of everything that has a cost tied to it for the wedding including everything from the weddings bands to the wedding cake and then put down how much we want to spend and how much our parents generously offered. We then broke it into columns of who will be paying for what and the total budget for those items.
Allocate your budget. Now that you have your preferred budget, allocate an amount to each item so that the grand total equals out to your budget. For me I created an excel doc (I love a good, organized excel sheet!) and had each item listed in a row with an “estimated” column next to it. The sum of the “estimated” column equalled out my grand total budget. This has been my lifesaver through the planning stage as I am then able to plug in the actual cost in a new column to know if I am under or over my estimated column so I can then subtract or add to another estimated cost.
Pick your top two splurges. I hate to burst your bubble but you’re not going to be able to stay in budget for every single thing so my best advice is pick your top two items and know that if they are a little more than you wanted but are exactly what you want then it’s ok to splurge a little on them. For Steve and I our top one was the music and bar because nobody is leaving our wedding without busting a move or two on that dance floor!
Find a common ground and be flexible. Remember nothing is set in stone until you sign on the dotted line so work with your vendors to find a common ground on the price and be flexible. If you have to only do two passed appetizers instead of four to meet your budget, do it because to be honest nobody is even going to notice nor care but it could say you a couple hundred dollars in the long run which may be an hour extra you can add to your photobooth now.
Setup a payment plan. Depending upon how long your engagement is you may have the option to setup a payment plan with your vendors. I know most vendors require a hefty down deposit and then nothing until the day before the wedding and the last thing you want before heading off on your honeymoon is to find out you owe a massive lump sum of money. If your vendor lets you, I suggest setting up a payment plan with them so you can pay them off a little here and there or you can do this on your own by setting aside a certain amount of money each month to put towards final costs.
Planning a wedding? What’s your best piece of advice you’ve been given so far?
This post was sponsored by Layer3 but all opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the partnerships that keep Blog Appétit up and running!