Creating a Beach Wedding Budget

Creating a list, checking it twice! The best plan starts with creating a list and taking the necessary steps to ensure you are allocating money in all the right areas. The term “realistic budget” is an oxymoron in the wedding business. Its almost impossible to have a realistic budget without first knowing approximately what things cost in the area and Beach Location you are getting married.
Hire professionals & do your research: Invest your time (email, phone calls, appointments) with the experts – people who have been in the business for 10+ years and specialize in the specific type of Wedding Ceremony you are interested. In short order, you will not only have a list of all the top vendors in the area, but average costs associated. We’ve all heard ‘time is money’ – even more so when it comes to your big day!
Two important reminders:
1. Talking with parents to see if they will are willing to help offset some of the costs for the wedding. More and more, parents are handling the ‘over the budget’ items but couples are taking the reigns on the actual cost of the ceremony. All couples are budget minded, so no matter how small or large – it’s a matter of getting what you really want!
2. Prioritize: The majority of your budget (almost 75%) will be spent on the items most important to you (Ceremony, Catering, Wedding Dress, Photography, etc.)! If you focus on the ‘Big Rocks’ essential to your perfect day – the rest (small rocks) falls into place. Being budget minded doesn’t mean you are cheap, it means that you are correctly spending money on the aspects of your wedding which are most important!
Saving Money?
Great idea! Spring and Fall weddings on Florida’s West Coast are considered ‘High-Season’ with the March-May months appropriately labeled “Wedding Season!” These dates are preferred for favorable Weather Conditions. Pay attention to the average forecast: rainfall, temperatures, and hurricane probability. Although Spring is the most popular – I would argue the weather in October and November are the driest with more consistent weather patterns. Consider a mid-week wedding: although the same price, the privacy, availability of vendors & reception locations make these days ideal – you will also have the beaches all to yourself! In addition, hotel stays, airplane fares, rental car rates, etc. are all more inexpensive during the week…take advantage!
What can I splurge on?
Reception Venue + Pictures: Since you are having the ceremony on the beach, don’t buy expensive heels for the ceremony. In fact, you’ll look like a Penguin walking down the aisle! Catering/Food, DJ, Alcohol/Drinks are very standard pricing – and therefore, you often get what you pay for (consult the professionals). Estimate about 1-hour total for the ceremony including sunset pictures, then, off to the party! Since you are spending the next 3-4 hours at the Reception Venue (The majority of the night) – I recommend any additional funds go here! Photographers are another key to it all…hire the right photographer and you will feel more comfortable in front of the camera, resulting in once-in-a-lifetime photos!

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