Your first step in any event planning should be to set the budget. This will allow a much smoother process moving forward as you book vendors and make purchases. It can feel a little overwhelming at first to pin down exactly how much to spend and what to make major allowances on while laying out your vision. With a clear budget in mind, planning your event will become a much simpler task!
Where to begin? We like to stick to the main points: the who, what, where type questions. What is the type of event you are planning? How many people will be on the guest list? Where is the venue for your event? These three key points will determine the bulk of your budget.
What is your event? The money needed to create an amazing birthday party is far less than a grand wedding. This may seem like an obvious answer, but take it a step further and determine what kind of event. Are you aiming for an upscale retirement party? A modern wedding? A boho-chic birthday bash?
How many attendees? Your guest list total will create the logistics of catering, seating, and how much space you need. The next questions following will have a lot to do with how many people you will be accommodating. 20 people versus 200 makes a big difference on where to allot your spending.
What is your venue? Securing a location should always be one of the first steps in your event planning process. Your other vendors will need to charge travel and services accordingly. Often, your venue may want to take over certain aspects of the event as well, such as food, alcohol, or seating rentals, which will tie into how much you set aside to pay them.
After you hit these three main points, the remainder of your budget will cover the details. Hiring an event planner will help you parse out the particulars, such as a photographer, DJ, florals, decor, and any other services that are essential to bring your specific event into a reality. Our first meeting always touches on the budget as a whole. Our next step is to determine exactly what your vision is so we can provide suggestions and guidance from our knowledge of trusted vendor we have worked with on a price-point that sticks within those dollar amounts.
How To Calculate A Budget?
Break down each item you know you’ll have to include for your event. Making sure everything is separate will allow a pinpointed estimate on the total cost. The best way to do this is with an spreadsheet so you have an item, description, estimated cost, and actual cost.
For example: Food, alcohol, venue, rentals (seating), bakery (cakes), entertainment, photography, misc. decor, lighting, florist, travel, lodging, etc. These would all be separate line items that would compose your total. You should have a grand total set in mind with tangible money you have saved for the occasion. Next, prioritize each line item and begin seeking estimates to determine actual costs. Your event planner can always make recommendations or point you in the direction of budget-friendly vendors if you’re not sure where to begin looking!