Creating A Sound Event Budget
Your event budget is one of the most important things to pay close attention to when planning your wedding or event. This is the thing that will keep you fully aware of how much money you are spending and when you need to consider compromise.
The issue with you creating a event budget is determining what really needs to be placed on your event budget. Did you forget to put something on the budget? Did you value one particular item too high causing you to leave off another? Your event budget can be a nightmare if you are not experienced.
Fear not because you do not have to be afraid of keeping a budget balanced
If you need help with creating your wedding or event budget, keep reading because I want you to master your budget and not be fearful of it.
#1 – What is an Event Budget and Why is it Important to you?
Your event budget is what shows you where money comes and goes. Consider the same principle when balancing your check book or company accounts at the end of each month. You always want to have more money coming in than going out. If you have more money going out, you need to figure out how to get out of the red and back into the black.
Your event budget should
- Give you an overall view of expenses and allow you to determine what you can afford
- Guides you when making spending decisions or requires you to make compromise
- Allows you to determine if you really need to have a large wedding or event vs a smaller one
- Helps you come up with strategies when projected costs are higher than what's actual
I get that most if not all of your decisions are based on how much things costs. I also understand that most of your decisions are based on what you believe to be true. Having a event budget helps you to see so many possibilities that you never thought was there. You may want this really amazing catering company, but you know they are pricey. However, you also expected the decor to be more than what is really is which means you can actually get the catering company you want. You'd never know this without a budget.
#2 - What is your Event or Wedding Budget Requirements?
Using this step allows you to really focus on how much and when money from your event budget needs to be paid. Example, are you required to put down a large deposit to secure your venue? Would this place your budget in the red until you can get more cash flow? These things you need to know before signing contracts and vendors start asking you for their deposits.
Before you sign any contract or agree to a fee consider these steps:
- Understand your objectives and prioritize your wants.
- Yes we know that you could have every type of service provider you want, but when it comes to your overall budget, which of these providers do you really need that fits within your budget?
- Identify where your money is coming from.
- Do you have family members giving you money? Maybe you have sponsors helping to fund your event. You may also solely rely on ticket sales. You need to figure those things out first.
- Look at the overall budget and make sure that you have identified everything you need and have not added what you do not.
- Your budget should always have a contingency
- I love watching HGTV because it really does teach you a lot. Time and time again I've seen how homeowners who are renovating their homes find mold, asbestos, and other hidden things, were saved by their contingency fund. Same applies to your event.
- Get a grip on your cash flow
- Review all contract terms to see when you will have to pay your vendors. This lets you know how often they are to be paid (if not paid in full) and how much money you are spending each month. You want to avoid terms where you may not have enough money resulting in late fees or cancellations.
TIP: Make sure your event budget is always available to review. When you get cash flow in and when you pay expenses, you should check your budget.
Side note: I know there are a lot of Wedding Pros and Event Pros out there that feel they are left on the back burner when they should be considered with the key things. Certainly they should, but you need to set your priorities and hire pros when and if you can. If you really want to hire someone see where you can cut back. Do you really need to have flowers that are only available in Taiwan? Or can you get something local and hire that Videographer?
Know that some corners cannot be cut from your budget.
#3 - Making informed Event Budget Estimates
I talk about how important it is to have a plan in place before moving forward in planning your event. You can download our blueprint here to see what I mean.
If you are unsure of how much a Washington, DC venue costs, feel free to ask. A lot of vendors have starting prices for their services right on their website. You should never go into planning your event budget without knowing projected costs.
#4 - Don't Make These Mistakes
- Focus solely on the event/wedding and not see what your expenses are after the event is over.
- Not sharing your budget with all key people involved
- Having too detailed of an event budget
- Making it too difficult to understand
- Using what someone else did with their event or wedding and making it yours
- Not tracking budget changes (quotes, new expenditures)
#5 - Find ways to cut down your event budget
There are far too many ways for you to cut down your budget. It's up to you to decide if it's worth the effort. Here are some ways:
- Get sponsorship dollars to cover expenses
- Ask your close friends or network for favors and discounts
- Choose less popular event or wedding dates
- Be open to compromise and take advice from your Event Planner
Creating a budget should be part of your planning process before you higher anyone including me. The event budget process can be scary, but when you master it and are set on sticking to it, you will find that your decision making process really becomes easier to make.
Do you have a tip that we should add to this post? Place it in the comments for us to read.