January Focus – Event Planning Masterclass – 3. Budgeting

January Focus – Event Planning Masterclass – 3. Budgeting

The third instalment of our January bite-size event planning tips for you aspiring event planners.

Budgeting skills are a life necessity full stop, but an absolute necessity when preparing for and planning your client’s events.  It will be your job to make sure you keep a check on all the little (and big) expenses and make sure there are enough funds to cover them.

The client’s will always have an idea of what their budget is but may not have considered all the aspects that need to go into the day and associated costs.  This is where you add your value.

A budget will determine how many guests can be invited, what type of food can be served etc. You are there to guide your client and set realistic expectations on what they can afford.


How to determine the budget?

If we had our way there would be NO budget and we’d plan our events without a financial care in the world.  However, this very rarely happens and there is always a budget even if it is in the millions!

The easiest method to setup your budget is to create a spreadsheet with formulas.  This will then automatically calculate your budget values will allow you to make changes without the need to manually recalculate.  Trust me, this is going to be very handy throughout the process as things can change a lot from your starting position.

Start by taking your client’s ballpark figure and place that at the top of the worksheet. Make it bold so that it stands out. Next create a line for each category of the wedding with columns for the category, percentage and amount. The amount field should be a calculated field that will take the percentage and multiply it by the total budget.


All about portions

Next you should give a portion of the total budget to each category, for example Ceremony 3%, Attire 2% etc. Make sure it always adds up to 100%.

But, I hear you ask, how will you know how much to allocate to each category? If you are a newbie at this then do a little research and get the rough costs of items such as venues and caterers. If you’ve already had a bit of experience with planning then look at your past events and work out how much was paid for each category in relation to the total budget and take an average, this will be a good indicator of where the money is likely to be spent.

If you still feel unsure and don’t have an idea you can use the following as a starting point (thank me later!):

1. Ceremony 3%
2. Attire 7%
3 Stationary 4%
4. Photography/Videography 8%
5. Reception 47%
6. Music 4%
7. Flowers 8%
8. Cake 2%
9. Transportation 2%
10. Dècor 3%
11. Gifts 2%
12. Rings 2%
13. Honeymoon 6%
14. Miscellaneous 8%

Things to remember

  1. Every item can, and should be tweaked as you progress through the event planning
  2. Always inform your clients when you are estimating costs
  3. Always inform your clients when you are confirming costs
  4. Update your budget at least weekly if you are unable to daily
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