Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Crunching the Numbers

One of these days I'll talk in depth about how we created our wedding budget... but today is not that day.

Instead, we're talking more about the never-ending venue search.  When M and I first started planning this wedding, we didn't realize how hard this would be.  Even after we wrote and revised our wedding goals, and came up with a budget, we thought it would be as simple as "This place is pretty and fits our budget - let's do it!"  How silly we were.

Maybe for some couples it really is that easy - and maybe we'll still stumble across a gorgeous location that is airport accessible, runs a free shuttle to hotels, and is a little under our budget.  But probably not.  I think one of the reasons for this is that our "budget" isn't as straight forward as we thought it was.  We've been basing our estimates off the big ticket items - site rental fees and catering.  Our spreadsheet has things like flowers, my dress, his tux, centerpeices, hotel rooms, etc factored in, but wedding sites are complicated - sometimes they include hotel rooms, sometimes they include linens, sometimes you have to pay extra for a tent.  Trying to keep all that in your head will drive you crazy.

Not me, but close

So I've started copying out my wedding budget onto multiple tabs and filling in each promising looking venue.  That way I can see what the end cost of site A over site B will be and take into account all those multiple factors. 

My other organization tip, is that is you haven't already, keep all your wedding emails in one place!  I have a label called "wedding" in gmail that I use to file every single contact with venues.  That was all that information is saved and easy to find.  It also helps to email yourself a description of why you're ruling them out if they don't fit into your budget or they don't have the amenities you need.  That way you don't waste time trying to remember if you've contacted a venue and tracking down their information all over again.

What are your tried and true methods for keeping track of wedding information?  Have you gone into data-overload mode yet?


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