Friday, 21 May 2010

spreadsheet wizardry

So as step one of my 'actually doing stuff' movement, I've made a spreadsheet.

I know that sentence is probably the worst opener to a blog post, ever.

But it's serious: if we're going to keep the cost down to something approaching a 'budget' (though how you can ever use that word in conjunction with a wedding is madness. 'Budget' options are still insanely expensive when viewed through the lens of normal life) then we have to do this.

Every year, we have a big Christmas party for all our friends. And every year, we grossly underestimate the amount we spend. But we tell ourselves: it's just once a year, it will be miserable January soon and we'll be eating lentils all month anyway. So sod it, it's only money, get that bottle of rum.

It's always a damned good party. But it always costs more than we think it will.

So I want to try and at least know what's going to come up: what we might be spending our money on. So far, I have the following categories:

BF's suit
BF's shoes
Invitations, RSVP, Information Card, Addressing and Postage

It's that last one that scares me. Miscellaneous. I have a feeling this could spiral because there are things I haven't thought of.

So what have I missed off? And what might be a reasonable budget for those things not included?


  1. The only other things that I have on mine are wedding rings, bridesmaids outfits, hair and make-up, venue decor, gifts, best man/ushers kilts, hotel stays. We've included hen and stag nights on ours for now, but they'll be taken out if things get tight.

    Misc also scared me, so I've tried to break it down into as many individual lines as possible. We've also included a target cost, then an actual cost so that we can see where we've made savings as we go along (although I seem to see cost savings as an invitation to spend more somewhere else).

    Also, google docs have some really good wedding planning spreadsheet templates. I'm a fan of the spreadsheet.

  2. Don't forget gifts for the bridal party and both sets of parents if you are going to do that, jewellery and your veil.
    I actually posted our budget up on my blog in the hope that it would help other brides out. I'm not sure where you are but if you check it out just note that all of our costs are in Australian dollars.

  3. I would also add what glasgow bride said and a few others:

    photographer/videographer; rings; bridesmaids/best man/ushers outfits; hair & make-up; gifts; jewellery; veil; tiara/hair accessory; other stationery; guest book; honeymoon; underwear; perfume; band; favours; wedding insurance

    Thats all I can think of just now but there will always be extra things! Also little things like plasters/pins/tissues etc. The week before my wedding I was buying umbrella's & wellies cause the weather was so rubbish!

  4. We started off with a random list of things we needed and what the budget was then attempted to then fill in what it actually cost.

    Note I didnt do that and we just ended up choosing who/what we wanted without really going back to the budget!

    I am at some point going to add it all up properly including all the random things and see what it did cost - although im going to not include the honeymoon! ha ha!

    Then although I might not post the figure I may look at the % i spend on each thing instead.

  5. Hmm. I have definitely left a few things off - namely rings! What a drip - just about one of the most important things about a wedding!

    Some of the other things I'm hoping to save money on by simply not having. I was thinking I could do without...

    - bridesmaids. Instead, there'll be a loose group of lovely ladies who can wear what they like. They can have a flower each for their hair
    - tiara. I'm probably going to stick another flower in my hair instead
    - best man's suit. He will almost certainly have a suitable suit. No one will remember his suit anyway!
    - hair and make up. I just can't bring myself to spend money on having someone do these things.
    - gifts - small and discretionary if at all

    Favours I'm undecided on. I'm thinking instead that everyone gets to take home a little bag containing sweets, water and alka seltzer but even that will cost a fair bit. Would people miss favours if they weren't there?

    We're lucky to have a friend offer to do photos - a very good amateur photographer. He won't charge half as much as a regular photographer, though we still need to add it into the budget.

    Wedding insurance is a VERY good call.

    Thanks for all these, ladies!

  6. we have a spreadsheet, my bery organised bridesmaid set it up for me, we have a bugdet column, and then a column for me, james, and mum and dad so that we can see who spent what. I can't think of any more than whats already been added, although I would suggest (if you havn't already) that you break each point down as far as possible,so that you can see why 'flowers' for instance, cost so friggin much!

  7. Yeah lots of things you dont need if you dont want.

    No one would miss favours at all; we just did chocolate eggs in boxes since it was easter the day after; they still cost about £1 each though.

    One thing I would say is that I so thought it was worth spending money on the hair & make-up as in the morning I was so nervous and I could never have done it myself! Too much else to worry about!

  8. p.s I agree with Rebecca about the flowers too; they cost a lot, as each little bit adds up.

    The flower women at our church did the ceremony flowers for so much cheaper than the bouquets & table centres were; although I did LOVE what my florist did.

  9. Oh I just thought of something else {sorry for all the comments!}

    The cost of the marriage license too. Think ours was £65.

  10. Of course, marriage license! I'm guessing that is not just the cost of the register office?

    Since discussing the budget with bf, we've decided to slice off another load of cash by probably switching to a smaller room at the register office (saving: £35) and thus negating the need to transport 40 people there (saving £250 approx). We might also try to get the guest list down to 90 or so, thus saving a little more. I think it can be done fairly easily. And if we aim for 90 guests, we might get 100, rather than aiming for 100 and getting 110.

  11. Sounds a good plan to cut some stuff if it will help your budget.

    Yeah I think the actual license is separate; not sure though, up here in scotland its a defined fee then you either pay a registrar to marry you or the church like did.

    Remember also that not everyone you invite will come, we invited 116 to the day but only 92 could come.

    p.s I left you a blog award -