Budgeting – everyone is familiar with it.
And even those who don’t fully understand the concept of a budget at least know that they need to draw one as part of preparation for the big day – even those who haven’t yet found their significant other. Most of us already have a fair idea of how much we want to spend on our wedding in future. Of course, the longer we wait, the higher our costs go.
Let’s do a small exercise – try to remember the last time you went shopping. You have a list of things you intend to buy. Based on your list, you estimate an amount of money you would need for the purchases. To avoid being stranded, you add a few notes to your estimate. Then you leave for the market – or the mall – dependent on what you’re getting.
Now, at your shopping place (for today, you’re at the mall), as you’re on your way to get some milk for the corn flakes in your shopping cart, you pass the sugar. And that’s when you remember that the sugar at home is almost finished. It wasn’t planned for but what’s the deal – it’s less than 2 cedis. On the next aisle, you pick up a bigger bag of detergent than planned – it’s value for money. But it doesn’t end there. By the time you get to the check-out counter, you’ve taken eggs, soap, cupcakes, a toothbrush, fruit punch, candy, shoe polish and a pack of biscuits – none of which was on the original list of items. They’re not much as far as the price is concerned, but the cashier tells you your total and you gape in shock.
That’s how it is with weddings and other events. For some reason, we sometimes forget to factor some things in our budget. Perhaps, it’s because they aren’t as big and expensive as the gown or the food or the décor. But they do add up to the cost, and it can be a pretty huge addition!
We can’t list them all, but we can try. Here are some things you should remember to include in your wedding budget.
#1: Gifts for your wedding party and your family
And we’re not talking about the matching heels you bought for your bridal team so they would be a cute team as they usher you into the chapel. If you want to accessorize them to match, that’s another budget item. But that aside, it would be nice to give them a thank-you present for their effort – probably a branded keychain. Also, you should consider getting your parents a gift – they’re a major reason you’re marriage material now. Some couples also choose to give small parcels to other family members, especially those who stay over as guests and help with the organisation of the wedding. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you factor it into your plans from scratch, so that the expense doesn’t hit you at the last minute.
#2: Alterations/Preservation of gown/dresses
Obviously, you put some money aside for the sewing or purchase of your gown – and probably your bridal team’s attires. Given the time you start taking measurements for it, there’s the possibility that you’ll lose weight or gain some over the period. Some bridal stores include the cost of alterations in their package, but some of them don’t. Remember to put something aside in case there’s the need for alterations.
Also, post-wedding, you might want to keep your gown as a souvenir. There’ll be the need to allocate money for laundry and preservation of the gown. In fact, it’s advised that you book in advance – you just might get a discount from your bridal retailer.
#3: Vendor meals
It’s very easy to overlook those who’ll be providing services on your wedding day – members of the live band, the photographer, the videographer, the wedding planner, the choir et al – when doing your headcount for food and drinks. But they should all be included. Typically, you, or whoever is handling affairs on that day, would remember on the day of the wedding. In some unfortunate cases, they might be forgotten till the very end, after everything is finished. Thankfully, in some cases, you might remember in time and they’ll have to be included in the wedding food. It doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, you might voluntarily add them to your guests for your wedding food. Alternatively, you can talk to your caterer to get them presentable packs of food that are not expensive as the guest meals.
#4: Overtime Costs
A lot of vendors charge by the hour for services. And we know for a fact that there’s always the tendency to go outside the allotted time, either because the event started later than anticipated or it took longer than expected. Whatever the case, you should be well-cushioned so that in the case of any movement outside the contracted time, whatever overtime charges that are incurred can be paid.
#5: Including yourselves in the final count
It may sound funny, but it happens a lot. So much emphasis is placed on the guests that when you’re dealing with the numbers for the services, especially food, you mostly forget that you and your new spouse are actually going to be present at the wedding too. It would be great if your caterer gives you a free meal as a wedding gift. But for now, you don’t know that for sure so you’re better off preparing for yourselves too.
#6: Backup plans
In order to play safe, you might have made arrangements to serve as backups in case certain things came up. You probably have a tent rental company on speed dial in case of rain or a generator set linked to your mains for uninterrupted power supply. And knowing the way your mother is popular in your hometown, you made arrangements for an extra hundred people. Of course, you may not have to use all these contingencies, but you should be prepared anyway. Try to estimate how much you’ll spend in each of the scenarios – it’s much safer than putting down a lump sum for everything. So, if for some strange reason, at your wedding, it rains heavily, causing a power outage and you see an MMT bus full of people you don’t know, you can still concentrate on enjoying your day.
#7: The “Other”
Now, right from the beginning, we admitted that we can’t list them all. There isn’t enough experience in the entire world to cover all the things one can possibly forget to prepare for during the wedding – new things come up every day. Knowing that, after making provisions for all the above, you would want to play even safer by setting aside about 10 percent of the total budget for all those things that you haven’t been able to anticipate yet – the “other”. The eleventh-hour arrangements you had to make with a local florist because your supplier bailed out on you at the last minute. The extra five people in the MMT bus because you made provisions for only an extra hundred. The express laundry you had to contact the night before your wedding because your 5-year-old nephew poured ketchup all over your wedding dress – who left the jar on the table anyway? The possibilities are numerous, but when you prepare for them ahead of time, you won’t be searching every nook and cranny at the last minute trying to find every cedi you can.
Another great way to make sure you don’t forget anything is to use the Ayefro Inc app – we have such a wide range of vendors and services that you just can’t help but notice that you nearly forgot something!