WeddingWire Newlywed Report Exposes Some Harsh Truths About Planning

I was just glancing through the 2017 WeddingWire Newlywed Report – a market research report where recently-wed couples are polled for data. A couple of items really stood out to me:

  • 40% of couples underestimate their wedding budget. This means almost half of people planning a wedding have a picture in their head of their wedding, but an incorrect estimation of what it will cost. To me, this is a recipe for heartache and stress, and could be easily solved if instead of picking a venue or a design vision first, couples first took their budget and evaluated it line by line to find exactly how each item should be allocated. (This is something we do in our very first meeting with clients.)
  • 50% of weddings occur on just 22 dates of the year which are all Saturdays. This means that, for example, if you take the approximately 16,000 weddings that occur in Oregon each year, about 8,000 of them are vying for venues on the same 22 Saturdays. It seems like it would help to have an organized planner on your side to help you find the perfect location. (We have venue sourcing services that range in price from no cost, to a small portion of your wedding planning contract, so get in touch!) 

Wedding-wire-market-research

 

Hope you find the report as interesting as I did, and that it helps you in your planning!  – Emee

Budgeting for your wedding

A harsh reality of planning a wedding is creating a budget. It may not be the most romantic aspect of your nuptials, but it’s crucial, in order to reduce stress and not overspend. Here are some helpful ways to plan your budget:

  1. Talk to all the contributors. Maybe the couple is paying for the entire wedding themselves, maybe one family is footing the bill, or maybe it is being split between many parties. Whatever your situation is, make it clear from the beginning how much (and on what aspects of the wedding) each group is willing to spend.
  2. Decide what your big items are. For some, this is the venue, for others they want to allot a large percentage on food. Deciding on these big-ticket items early on will allow you to budget for the others.
  3. Remember what is important. It can be easy to get focused on getting the vendors their checks, and picking the right DJ that fits your budget. Remember at the end of the day, you’ll be celebrating with your partner and guests, and that will be the most important part.

How-to-set-your-wedding-budgetImage by Mark Sebastian on Flickr licensed by Creative Commons

Finally, the actual numbers. There are a number of budget spreadsheets available online, but my favorite way to get the rough numbers is to ask:

"Picture the meal and setting that you would have for your reception and try to match it to a restaurant you know. Now – what does this meal cost if you were to go out on any regular evening?"

Take that meal cost and multiply it by two to four times, and you have a range of per person cost for your reception. Mutliply THAT by your number of guests and you have a good estimate of a reception budget.

For example, if you like the atmosphere and food at Portland restaurant Ned Ludd, take your per person cost for dinner there (including apps and drinks), let's say that's $85 per person. Multiply that times 2 or 4 to get the range. Your per-person wedding budget range is $170 – 340 per person. If you expect 100 guests, you should budget $17-34K for the wedding reception.

Keep in mind that, the lower the meal cost goes, the less accurate this may be, since you may have venue costs or rental costs for a private venue that far outstrip the cost of a casual meal for 100. Also, while this is a great way to estimate per-person costs, it doesn't address big-ticket budget items that aren't used by guests such as the wedding clothes, honeymoon, or rings. Sometimes the only way to do it is line-by-line.

What method are you using to estimate your budget? Please leave us a comment with your thoughts!

– Malia Exo-Robinson and Emee Pumarega contributed to this blog post.

Where wedding websites fall short

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Photo credit: Madeline Ball, licensed by Creative Commons

Newly engaged? If you've started planning, that likely means heading to the computer. What you’ll come across are many websites that provide some of the same things a coordinator does: a to-do list, a list of vendors, and hundreds of articles about anything and everything wedding related. If you're not sure if wedding coordinator is in your budget, or you want to take on the planning yourself, these websites are amazing resources. However, there are several things a website can’t do:

  1. Tailor a plan unique to you and your partner. A coordinator can sit with you and your partner—and your families if they are involved—and go over each individual detail of what you would (and really wouldn’t) like to see on your big day.
  2. Give you advice from years of experience. A wedding coordinator that has been at this for a while has seen a lot of weddings, and this means they can pass all of this knowledge along to you as a bride or groom.
  3. Provide day-of coordination. This is one thing that couples often forget. While some feel they can handle the preparation ahead of time, it’s easy to overlook how many things need managing on the big day. Hiring a coordinator means someone is assigned to this, and you and your family and friends can focus on enjoying yourselves.

If you have experience with planning your wedding over wedding websites, good or bad, let us know in the comments! 

— Malia Robinson-Exo and Emee Pumarega, May 18, 2016

 

 

 

 

{ Local Love } Deals & Discounts on Portland Wedding Venues

If you are looking for some great ways to save money during the wedding planning process, look no further.  Here are a couple of deals from some of our favorite local vendors.

Vibrant Table is offering two deals to new bookings.  If you decide to use Vibrant Table as your caterer they will include a complimentary champagne toast or they will provide their Loft on Belmont for the rehearsal dinner.

Thumbs_classic-wines-winemaker-dinner-03-05-10-loft-icoz-127Loft on Belmont – Vibrant Table

One of our favorite Lake Oswego venues, The Foundry at Oswego Pointe, is currently offering a 20% discount for all remaining 2014 dates! Here’s a photo from a wedding ceremony we did recently there:

JOS-photographers-Kiran-and-Siddharth-Indian-Wedding-09The Foundry at Oswego Pointe

If you haven’t decided on your venue or caterer yet, make sure to keep these deals in mind! We’re always finding out about more of these for our wedding clients, so bookmark us and check back soon; or contact us at info@ejpevents.com.

2013 Global Wedding Study from Splendid Insights

Think-splendid-logo"Splendid Insights will be releasing the 2013 Global Wedding Study during first quarter 2014. In order to represent each segment as best as possible, we'd love it if you shared the survey with your clients, readers and friends! The diversity in responses helps us take a better look at the realities behind the global wedding market. As always, Splendid Insights has no financial bias hinging on the study results, so we're able to share an unfiltered look at the wedding industry…"

via www.thinksplendid.com

The lovely folks at Think Splendid are doing their part to educate us about why we make the choices that we do for weddings. If you got married in 2013, won't you please take a moment to take their research survey?  http://wedn.gs/wed13

{ Portland Wedding Planning } What is a “kick-off” consultation?

Sometimes the terms that are bounced around in the wedding planning process can be confusing.

In our {Wedding Planning Definitions} series, I’ll examine some different terms and products that come up often in discussions of wedding planning.

Today’s definition is:

“kick-off consult”.

Wedding-planner-portland-oregon

This is a program for clients who would like assistance from a wedding planner in the early stages of their engagement, but perhaps have not committed fully to using a planner for full services. The “kick-off consult” usually includes a design component, where the planner talks with you about your overall vision for the wedding in everything from colors and sounds to the food and drink, all the way to what the attendants will be wearing.  You can ask questions about the pros and cons of different sites, and also get ideas for sites you may not have thought of on your own.  Budget will be discussed, and vendor matches will be suggested. You should also get a wedding planning checklist with a list of to-do items for wedding planning and the dates the tasks should be completed.

The bride and groom-to-be leave this meeting armed with a great deal of information to make sound, educated decisions for the initial wedding planning process.  Time involvement varies from planner to planner, and is usually around 90 minutes to 2 hours, often with an email follow-up included. There is usually a flat or hourly fee for this meeting.

If you are having a hard time getting your wedding planning process off the ground (perhaps you are stuck without a date or venue and getting stressed), a one-time, “kick-off” consult could be just the thing you need.

A version of this blog post appeared on The Portland Wedding Coordinator on May 9, 2009.

Photo: Oliver M. P. Miller