Vendor Spotlight

Vendor Spotlight | Inspired Events by Mari

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It’s been a while since I did a vendor spotlight, so I thought it was time for another on this #WeddingWednesday! I’ve been working some with my friend Mari from Inspired Events by Mari, so I asked her to write a post about planning your wedding and staying on budget. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us, Mari!

Congratulations!!! You're engaged!!! What an amazing moment! 

Did you know the average wedding costs $35,000? I know, unreal?! We all say to ourselves, "I'll never spend that!!!" or "that's outrageous." Truth is, it is very easy for a wedding to reach that amount. Here are some good ways to stay on budget.

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Determine your budget

What's your overall budget? How many guests are you inviting? Where are you getting married?

These are the first three things to determine when planning a wedding. Where you live and the number of guests will have an effect on your wedding's bottom line. If you live in a city and are inviting 200 guests, be prepared to pay heavily for that versus a country wedding with 50 guests. A reasonable budget is $15-$18k with between 100 to 200 guests for the Champaign-Urbana area. 

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Hire a wedding coordinator/planner

Don't leave wedding planning to a friend or a family member. Go the extra mile and hire a professional that eats, sleeps, and breathes wedding planning. A wedding planner will help you stay on budget, serve as payment reminder to you and your vendors, and be an advocate for you in your vision of the big day. Let them micro-manage the day, while you enjoy with family and friends.

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Have a realistic planning timeline

This is very important. Planning a wedding not only takes time but also takes $$$. There are deposits, installments, and final payments due within the month of your wedding. A wedding is an investment of time and money. I always recommend that if you can spare it, allow 6 to 9 months to plan your wedding. A year or more is even better.

Stay on budget

Do not exceed your budget. For any wedding, your top vendors will be a venue, caterer, cake, photographer, officiant, flowers, attire, and DJ. Everything beyond that is extra. Before you start planning, start building a wedding fund. Have the conversation with your parents to determine where they stand on contributing to the wedding. Never assume though.

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Do your research

Most vendors have websites outlining their costs and answering basic questions. I always encourage that clients take their time when researching. Have a question? Email your wedding planner to get the answer. Most vendors enjoy working with others in their area, and may run a special if you book them and another vendor they work with on a regular.

Where should I put most of my money?

Expect to spend at least 25% of your budget on food and drink. If you book a venue that has their own caterer, this is so much easier as rental fees are typically rolled into the overall cost for catering an event. Make sure you check that they carry linens and chair covers, otherwise that’ll be an extra expense. The best way to not go overboard on food and drink is to keep your wedding count small. If that’s not possible, then expect to pay more. 

Planning a wedding is about a union between a couple. As vendors in the industry, we strive to highlight all the details of you and your spouse's relationship. If you want to plan a wedding quickly, prepare yourself as best as possible financially. If you have time, take the time. There's no wrong way to plan a wedding. 

For wedding planning services and day-of coordination, please visit Inspired Events by Mari on the web!