Wedding Planning Timeline

Congratulations! You're engaged!

He asked! You said yes! It is such an incredible time right now and I so hope you enjoy every second of it!!! 

Erin Elizabeth Lifestyle Photography

Erin Elizabeth Lifestyle Photography

But now what? How do you get started? You've probably never been married before so how are you supposed to know what to do now. 

First, you announce :) Yes! Not just through Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat, but directly to your friends and family. They kind of deserve to give you a real hug and not just a virtual one. Enjoy this moment. Savor it!

Second, make a plan (or hire a wedding planner)! Wedding planning can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Set deadlines for yourself and keep them. Your plan should generally start at least a year out (give yourself some time :) 

Wedding Planning Timeline

Because we recommend planning for at least a year, this general outline is based on a 12-month schedule. 

  • 12 months out:
    • Set a date & set your budget (We already have a blog dedicated to budgets, but we'll be updating it and posting a new one soon!)
    • Scout venues and vendors thinking about why you like them and how they'll help make your day reflective of you.
    • If you haven't already, hire a wedding planner or go buy a binder and prepare to get more organized than you have ever been in your life ;) 
    • Set deadlines and mark them in a calendar for when you need the rest of the timeline items completed.
    • Choose your wedding party and ask them to be in your wedding. (We'll post a blog on this topic too!)
    • Start thinking about and defining your wedding day and how you want it to feel for you and your guests. This is your vision. It's your day. Own it!! 
  • 10 months out: 
    • All vendors should be booked! Yup, book them! You don't want to miss out on the vendors you really want because you waited. So get booking :)
    • Start dress shopping for you and your ladies. This is definitely a part of the planning process you do not want to rush!
    • Start a running list of guests you might want to invite (Another future blog post!)
    • Create your website and start posting general information regarding your big day
    • Start scouting locations for guest accommodations. Most hotels have a deadline of when guests need to book so you'll want to get this going and share it with guests!
  • 9 months out:
    • You've got your vendors booked. Yay! Now use that photographer you booked to do some engagement photos. This is the perfect time to get to know your photographer and for them to start to get to know you!
      • You can use these photos for save-the-dates! 
    • Your venues are booked. Now to start thinking about estimates on rentals and decor you might need. 
  • 6 months out:
    • Save-the-dates should be out! Yes, get them out so your guests can mark their calendars. If it's a destination wedding, you'll want to think about sending these even earlier. (If you're doing save the dates, your guest list will need to be finalized.)
    • Start thinking about and talking to your planner about the estimated timeline. You'll need this to plan the transportation for your day. I do not recommend setting exact times for transportation until the timeline is more defined. You do not want to end up with a limo arriving at 3pm but you won't be ready until 5pm. 
    • Wrap up dress shopping for both you and your ladies. 
    • Wrap up your "vision" for you day. At this point you don't want to start all over with how you want your day to look and feel. It could cost you more money. 
    • Based on your budget and your venue, clean up that guest list! You're getting ready to do invitations!
    • Book rehearsal dinner venue. 
  • 3 - 6 months out:
    • Tastings and vendor consults should be happening and wrapping up. 
    • Invitation drafted, reviewed and prepped (That means you might want to hire a calligrapher at the 6month marker so she can start working on invites at about the 3month marker.) 
    • Wrap up your guest list. It defines how many invitations you are sending out. 
    • Dress your groom and groomsmen! That's right, it's time to get them into the right outfit to keep that vision intact ;) 
    • Now is the time to get in some more time with your photographer. Do some bridals so you can have a trial run with your hair and make-up! I highly recommend this!
    • Buy your wedding bands.
  • 3 months out:
    • Address those invitations!
    • Remind guests about the hotel block. 
    • Finalize your menu and update your vendors of the estimated guest count.
    • Finalize plans for rehearsal dinner. 
  • 2 months out:
    • Invitations are mailed! You're getting married!
    • Work with your vendors to start finalizing the timeline. (We'll post a whole blog on timelines.)
    • Start your vows and ceremony outline with your officiant. 
  • 1 month out: 
    • Paper products should be done (that includes your programs and such).
    • Welcome bags should be planned for and ready to organize.
    • Timeline should be finalized.
    • Touch base with all of your vendors to confirm and review the contract to ensure your timeline reflects everything required of them and yourself. 
    • Finalize favors.
    • Wrap up that seating chart. You don't want to rush to update it the week of :) 
  • The week of your wedding:
    • Deliver welcome bags to hotels.
    • Pack for your honeymoon. 
    • Pack for the weekend. 
    • Welcome your guests and try to start relaxing.

You're getting married!! 

This is not an all inclusive wedding planning timeline. There are so many details in between each of those lines. My biggest recommendation is to start early and to plan, plan, plan. You want to be finished planning by the month of, so at that point it is just a matter of re-checking everything. If you are still planning at that point, you're not enjoying your guests or that special moment and I so want you to enjoy it!! Contact us if you need some help. 


Day of Coordination

Or is it really just manual labor with a feminine touch you're looking for as a bride? 
Many wedding coordinators are struggling with the term "Day of Coordination." What does that mean? To the coordinator it might mean one thing, but to the everyday bride it might mean something completely different. What does your "day of" package consist of? Is it truly just the day of the event? If so, how are you able to be the main contact for the event? Is there no consulting or questions? How does one know the details and other vendors? Is the client putting all that information together? It hurts my head just thinking about it.

It can't be just a "day of" coordination. 

It can't be if you want someone to truly take things off your hands and ensure your day runs as you want it to and your vendors are all in sync. My friend Kat at Dear Sweetheart Events puts it perfectly: 

"While you and your mama may be so organized and be able to plan your hearts out for the entire planning process, for you to be able to coordinate ALL the moving parts beforehand AND execute it the day of (while also getting ready, taking pictures and RELAXING to ENJOY the moments!) would be IMPOSSIBLE!! Think about ALL that’s going to go into it!! Hiring a planner who will COORDINATE AND EXECUTE your day is vital!!"

I used to be okay with calling my base options the "day of" option; however, after hearing (for several years now) brides and moms wonder what that means, I think it's time to change the name. 

When we (and I do mean most wedding planners) say "day of" we are really talking about 4-6 weeks of planning and coordination to gather your vision and details regarding logistics before your day so on the day of we have a well laid out timeline we can manage. Those details and that information you shared with us during the 4-6 weeks leading up to your wedding allow us to troubleshoot if there is an issue that might not have been mentioned before. This time allows us to review contracts to see if you might have missed something that we know to look out for. It allows us to talk to vendors and create a well laid out and logistically possible timeline. 

I'm not saying you can't put together your own timeline, but we do this for a living. Timelines and logistics are our business so we may know a little something about timing and logistics that you might not know. 

Let's go through some of the items it truly takes to successfully manage your wedding day:
  • knowledge about you, your wedding party, and your vision
    • how do you want things to flow? 
    • what's your ideal day and how can we come close to making that happen? 
    • what logistics are involved? have you thought about them? 
    • who is important?
    • what is most important? 
  • knowledge about your vendors
    • what are they providing? 
    • how are they providing it? 
    • who is their contact person?
    • how long does it take to set up? 
    • what do they need from you? 
So first and foremost you can see it's all about you. We need to get to know you and what you want. And if any coordinator says they can do a "day of" coordination without asking questions or getting to know you, I would definitely get clarification on what goes into their definition of the term. Maybe they're offering just a "labor" package for the DIY bride? They will drop your homemade items and ensure they are placed where you want them and carry second line umbrellas and bags and deliver gifts and be your errand person for the day and that is about it. Right? 

Am I wrong?  Do you want just manual labor? Tell me what you think a "day of" coordination consists of. Should we offer such a package? Maybe something called the "Wedding Day Assistant" plan? We want to know!

Happy planning!
Erin & Team

Stop stressing on your wedding day

People ask me all the time what I tell my friends getting married. How do I help them? The best advice I can give to anyone getting married is to hire a wedding planner, trust your vendors, and STOP STRESSING AND LET IT GO. 

YES, I think wedding planners are THE best resource when it comes to allowing a bride or mother of the bride or even the in-laws to let go and truly enjoy the day. I may be a little biased since I am a coordinator, but I was also a bride once and I have several years of experience to back that up. Not everyone hires a coordinator though, or when they have one, they don't always trust them (not sure why you'd hire any vendor if you didn't trust them, just saying). With or without a coordinator, you have to trust your vendors and you have to let go so you can enjoy your day! So if you're not going to hire a planner or you're not going to trust them or other vendors, I've got some tips to help get through your wedding day. 

1.  key elements to preventing stress on your wedding day:
Review & Understand Contracts, Clearly define the Logistics, & Communicate with Vendors

You have to communicate with your vendors.You need to define logistics for vendors - from the time you wake up to the time you and your fiance are back in the hotel room and even after. And you have to review your contracts diligently. 

Oh, and if you have a coordinator, it is imperative that you give him/her copies - how else will they do their job? 

What if your contract is for chairs to be "delivered", but not set up? How is a bride, let alone one from out of town, supposed to know what "drop" versus "deliver" or "setup" even meant? Who is going to set them up? 

For one wedding we did it. We set up over 200 chairs in prep for the ceremony. It had to get done, but we also had to invoice the client for manual labor that wasn't included in the original contract. Without us, our client would have had family setting everything up. Do you really want them sweating on your wedding day? 

How do you know you are telling your vendors what you really want? Do you know what "dropping" means? How about the difference between a cabaret table and a highboy? Or how do you know you're getting what you wanted on your wedding day? How do you know if you missed something or a vendor missed something? 

Hiring vendors you trust with great reputations 
is a HUGE step to preventing stress on your wedding day. 
You know they will make it happen no matter what.

But you still have to review and have on-hand your contracts. 

I love flowers. Just love them, but when you have a contract there are a specific number of flowers, and if you're not careful, you can miss something. For example, during one wedding as I was pinning boutonnieres on the groomsmen, I realized two boutonnieres were missing. My client had been really busy and hadn't shared many, if any, contracts with me. I have next to no clue how many boutonnieres you wanted. After calling the florist, I learned they weren't on the contract, I quietly spoke with the groom about the missing items and got approval to request the items. I'd pay the florist and the couple would be invoiced later. Yes, the florist's team was back within the hour with the needed items. 

I've even seen where a band began to wrap up an event at a certain time but they weren't supposed to wrap until an hour later. You can bet having the contract on hand helped, but the damage was already done. It took 15 minutes to discuss the contract. The break interrupted the flow of the reception and guests were already leaving. How are they supposed to know the band wasn't wrapping up at the right time? 

Make sure what you want is in the contract. 
Then confirm several times (especially the month of). 

But having your contracts and reviewing them is not all of it, you have to read in between the lines and you have to think about the logistics behind those contracts. 

Logistically speaking, a blank canvas is not always an easy wedding. I love a blank canvas as much as the next planner, but do you know what it takes to fill in the canvas? A great example of a blank canvas several years back was the New Orleans Opera Guild (it's now managed by Pigeon and they'll handle a lot of these logistics). 

It is truly a gorgeous setting and exemplifies the traditional New Orleans uptown historical home! Inside provides all the charm needed for a cocktail hour or dessert break while the outside yard provides the perfect backdrop for your ceremony and reception. But it is a home. And there are a lot of logistics that go into having a wedding at the Opera Guild. Logistics require coordination. What if it rains? Where does the caterer cook? Where will the band go? Are there enough plugs? What about dancing? Where do people park? What is allowed where when decorating? It can be a lot! So you plan....a lot!

For a wedding that will take place in any outdoor setting, I would always plan for rain.


Just do it. Put the tent on hold the minute you book it. 

It's so important to review your contracts and match up what you have or want with what is actually on the contract. If you are not going to review them or you're not able to communicate as much as you'd like with your coordinator, you should definitely expect the unexpected. Not that a missing boutonniere was going to ruin your day, but the escort or father or reader without it may feel a little slighted. We don't want that do we? Do you really want to pull out contracts on your wedding day? Or have your parents do that? You're supposed to be enjoying this day, so hire a planner and make sure he/she has all of your contracts and you've reviewed them multiple times. 

You know that saying, what you don't know can't hurt you? 
Well what you don't know can hurt...and it can cost money.

2. You have to be detailed....very detailed, &
You have to Communicate....a lot 

If you have a vision, you should definitely go for it! If it's an elegant garden wedding with a sit down dinner, cocktail hour and then reception with dancing under the stars, I'm all about making that happen. It's just a matter of pulling it together and making sure everyone else knows what you want. 

Assigning seats? Yes, it is going to take time and being very detailed. This means your guests will need to first tell you if they're coming, and second, what they want to eat. You need to have every person accounted for in your guest list. You have to match every person with a meal and a seat. You need a well-developed floor-plan. Every table will need a number and you need a method to share with your guests where they are sitting - place cards. And then you need to share this information with your caterer.  

How is the caterer going to know where to drop food if all of these details are not worked out? 

Sharing contracts or going through all the checklists or even making checklists, 
won't make a difference if you can't accept that you cannot control everything.  

The most important thing to preventing stress 
(with or without a wedding planner) : 

3. Stuff happens and either you're going to let it ruin your day or you are going to let it go happens. Reiterating what I said before, if your day has any portion happening outdoors, place a hold on a tent immediately. Seriously. Then as you approach the wedding day it's time to consider the weather more and more. And even if the rain comes and goes during the week or weekend or even day of, there could still remnants left over. 

Unless your dance floor is under a tent, it will get wet if it rains. Is it going to stop you from having your first dance? 

Or maybe you're getting married in a courtyard and you really want the ceremony outside and it's not raining 20 minutes before the ceremony? Been there. Yes, it does rain in courtyards too. This is south Louisiana which means it will be be HUMID after the rain. Sometimes you can even see the steam rise from the ground. Don't be afraid to use your plan B. Head to the ballroom where there are decorations and dry chairs and air conditioning. It will be beautiful and all that matters is you marry the love of your life.  

Okay, so it's not raining on the day of the wedding, but it rained during the week? You've planned out your first look perfectly. It's going to be at this gorgeous plantation with lush grounds and beautiful flowers, what if it rains? Do you really want to walk on the grounds because your heels will sink and your dress could get really dirty. Best to use plan B. 

I understand. You planned this day and have thought about it for a year or more. You picked your venue for a reason. You really want to see the green of the golf course & have the open breeze & dance under the stars. It's gorgeous! But if your decorator & your coordinator are both shivering under the exposed tent, then you may want to start thinking about a way to keep guests warm.  

If you consider several factors, plan B is sometimes best: 
hair & makeup, wedding party, guests & vendors

Buy some Heaters and put the walls on the tent. 

I could go on and on, but I won't bore you or anyone else with that many stories. I'm sure you get the point. 

4. You can let it go - trust me

You've hired vendors and you have reviewed and understood your contracts or better still you have a coordinator who has all of that done, it's time to LET GO. 

Do you know what you see in these last few photos? You see happy couples. You see couples who planned and wanted a certain vision and day, but on that day they had to adjust. They let it go. They allowed me and all of their other vendors to do our job, and they were able to just enjoy every minute of their weddings. Things may not have gone as originally planned, but it didn't stop any of them from enjoying every second of their day. 

It is your day. 
Try to let go of the details. 
Try to smile.

Trust your vendors. You have one chance to enjoy it. Don't pass it up because something changed. 

If you're planning your wedding and would like some help, we'd love to be on your team and make your day all that you want it to be! Give us a call or shoot us an email! We cover everything from Baton Rouge to Grand Isle and can start at the beginning or help at the end or even just a consult in between. It's your day! We are there for you!

New Orleans Second Line

New Orleans Second Line

History and Tradition - Having a second line during your wedding wasn't always the "traditional" second line. Don't get me wrong, the Second Line is a New Orleans tradition in every way, shape, and form,  but it hasn't always been associated with weddings.

Long before the second line became a New Orleans wedding tradition, it was associated with funerals. It was a celebration of life at the moment of death. The earliest second lines date back to slavery when african americans brought their funeral traditions here to South Louisiana. The "main line" or "first line" is made up of the family and the brass band while guests and others followed in the "second line." Much like this scene from Treme, you'd see the band and a hearse and mourners making their way to the cemetery while the tunes of a dirge play in the background. The music is slow and reflective of the event like "Closer Walk to Thee." Then later, after the deceased is interred, the procession leaves the cemetery to a more lively and celebratory feel (as seen on Treme -  The music will pick up to reflect celebrating the deceased life and the band will play songs like "When the Saints Go Marching In."

Just like the people of New Orleans, the second line mixed and mingled with other cultures and traditions and developed into so much more. Eventually it became noted for the New Orleans' famous Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs and Benevolent Societies, which were largely founded as community-based health and funeral insurance co-ops. And then people began to hire second line bands for entertainment as in another scene from Treme. It was so entertaining eventually people wanted it for their weddings, and so became the tradition of the wedding second line.

At a wedding the second line signifies the start of a new beginning of life for the bride and groom. It is truly a celebration! The second line band leads the bridal party and the guests from the church to the reception venue or it may take place at the reception itself. And while your northern guests will probably not know what a second line is or what to do when it starts, they will most definitely remember being a part of one for the rest of their lives!

It is no wonder your guests will love this naturally NOLA tradition, you are literally the main attraction without feeling like you are in the spotlight. At first, they may feel a bit weird or strange, but it is weirdly amazing and crazy awesome! It's a time to relax and be free and listen to the music and dance in the streets with your closest friends and fam and you feel kind of like a rock star! If you're having a destination wedding to New Orleans, it's an absolute must have!

What's that they're carrying? Is that a tissue? And what is with the umbrella? Those date back to the funerals as well. It's hot in New Orleans and the sun is beating down on you. Of course you're going to have an umbrella (or at least that is what common sense tells me and other articles on the internet). It was also a part of fashion at the time to carry an umbrella or "parasol." Today, Second Line Umbrellas reflect the bride and groom's personal style or their favorite school or professional team as they twirl and spin as if to say “laissez les bons temps rouler”! a hankie and start walking and bouncing and twirling and having fun. Today any paper or cloth napkin has been used to wave in the air to allow you to join in and be part of the fun.

The second line is great for transitioning guests to and from the reception site and from the moment it starts it all looks and feels (as it should) like the party has shown up just for you and your guests, however it’s not all hankies, parasols and sweet, sweet dance moves. But, a second line, takes time and planning and even a bit of money. 

Making your Second Line Happen - Are you having a second line? If so, will your DJ play the music as y'all parade around the reception hall or will your band provide a musician or two to guide y'all in the venue or even lead you outside for your exit? How much extra does that cost? Is your second line between the ceremony and reception or is it after the reception or both? Will it be in the street or will it only be on the sidewalks? That's a lot of information and yes you have to know it all when planning for your second line. 

Let's start at the beginning - are you having a second line? If not, no worries, your wedding will still rock. If so, let's keep going :) 

First you will need to think about when and where you will do the second line (and think of a rain plan while you're at it.). Will the second line be inside the reception or outside? If it is outside, will it be in the street or stay on the sidewalks? A second line in the streets of the French Quarter (or really anywhere in the city) requires a permit and a police escort (you really don't want your guests getting hit by any cars).

Check out the City of New Orleans One Stop Permit shop to get the form and instructions on completing it. While they have a lot of improvements regarding the permitting process, the second line permit is still not one you can submit online. You'll have to make your way to the 7th floor of City Hall and talk with Ms. Claire. The parade or second line permit is $50.25 (by cashier check or money order) and you'll also need to eventually pay for a police escort (normally on the day of the event). The city really appreciates it if you schedule this earlier rather than later AND doing so is a huge check off on your to-do list. The cost associated with police escorts varies based on the length of the route and size of party but expect to pay $100.00 per officer (groups over fifty usually require three or more officers).

Okay, are you going to use some of your reception band or will you have a brass band? And even though they may all share the same name "brass band" they can vary greatly between their styles and their prices.  Depending on the length of your parade and the duration of your second line, the cost of a brass band can range from $500-$1,500.00. And, if you want them to play for some of your cocktail hour, you'll have to take that into consideration too.

So you're ready for your second line. Do you have your hankies and umbrellas and other miscellaneous items you might want? These are not necessities but they certainly add to the atmosphere and are a little something your guests can take home with them.

All of these items can be personalized who you are and the wedding date and your colors etc. Really, the sky is the limit. You can have everything personalized with monograms, wedding colors, feathers and glitter. It's just a matter of what is your style and what you want to spend :) 

Prices for all of these personalized items varies greatly based on how many and the details you are adding to them. A second line umbrella can start at $25 and then end up being $400 or more depending on what materials are used and how much time it takes. Of course, you already know this, custom designs will definitely be more expensive. Handkerchiefs run anywhere from $10-$40 a dozen, depending on how they are printed or embroidered and which colors are used. If you don't want to spend the money on an umbrella, gather your ladies for a fun night and buy umbrellas and decorate them! And as for the hankies, go ahead and ask your venue if they have cocktail napkins you can use or buy a cheap package. Nobody will mind....they're in a second line! 

Now you're almost there, but let's not forget about the people who cannot or do not want to go for that nice leisurely stroll through the city. You may want to have some pedicabs on standby at the start just in case they're needed. That way, those guests do not feel left out and can still enjoy the second line by following behind in the pedicab. 

And so you're set. It's really not that bad, but if you need some help or want someone else to do it for you, It's Your Time Events is offering to do the permitting process for you - $300. This includes our time, planning the route with you, and the permit. Police escorts will be done separate as they are paid separately. Give us a call or shoot us an email and we're happy to work with you on this! No stressing! It's your wedding remember :) 

And PS - your dog can come on the second line too! Check out K9 Second Line! They're great!

Wedding Planning: Setting the Budget

Setting your wedding budget. 

Wait a minute, you're looking at venues you can't afford huh? I know it's hard but you have to stick to a have to know what you can and cannot afford.

We have hit on this before, but since we're slowly moving through the planning process, I figured we should hit on it again and update a bit. You've got your preferred choices for a venue, but do they fit into the budget? Hmmm....tough question.

NOBODY and I do mean nobody likes talking about the budget...not even your parents. Setting the budget, while not the fun part of planning a wedding, does not have to be painful. Setting the budget determines many of the questions addressed in the next blog post (Planning Your Wedding). 

And while you you may think with your budget, you cannot afford an event planner, an event planner can help you stay on that budget and achieve your goals. Having your budget in place can help the rest of the process be more efficient and go much smoother.

Wedding budget key concepts:

  • Is there a set limit? Yes, there is most definitely a limit. Everyone has one, that know...where they freak out. I'm pretty sure your fiance has one and even your parents or grandparents. It's important to know what it is so you can keep things in perspective and work within that number (you don't want your heart set on one thing only to have someone say (whether it's your parents or your fiance) you cannot do it because you've hit their number).
  • Know, up front, who is paying for what items. For corporate events it's much clearer as to who is paying. Just make sure your contracts reflect
  • Traditionally in a wedding the bride's side pays for the following: 
    • church costs, 
    • reception/venue, 
    • transportation, and 
    • wedding dress.
    • Traditionally the groom's side pays for the following: 
      • honeymoon, 
      • liquor, 
      • marriage license, 
      • officiant fee/gratuity, and 
      • rehearsal dinner. 

You can always go completely non-traditional because of course it is your day, but whatever way you go, KNOW what is included in the budget and what is not included in the budget and if you really want something make it a priority or make sure you can help pay for it (if someone else is paying).

Know Your Wedding Budget Priorities

If your reception venue is number one keep that in mind. What is the overall budget and how many items need to be included? Define what you want. What is most important to you for this event? Set those as your highest priorities. Then set percentages to represent them. Finally divide your budget to represent those percentages. If you do not have enough, think about what you do not need. For example, there are four key areas: venue, decor, entertainment and catering. Rank them. Now, for number one decide how much of your budget you will need for it. Once you've determined your first priority and what you can and/or want to spend, you can continue moving through your list. If your venue is most important, is it really a deal breaker to have chicken instead of steak for catering? Knowing your priorities and how much you can spend on each one will help when it's time for vendors to submit proposals. You don't want to try on a dress or see event decor if you cannot afford it. 

I know, you're probably thinking "OMG, I have to do all kinds of math with that?!?!?" But really it's okay. Use a spreadsheet :)

Once you know what you do want, a very easy way to manage your budget and break it down is a budget calculator. A budget calculator will provide appropriate expenses for each portion of the wedding...from venue and catering to attire and clothing. You can find many budget calculators online (just Google it). Here is a sample one I've drawn up for my wedding clients that calculates as we go.

You'll want that bottom line number then you can pretty much expect the following:

  • Reception: 48%-50% 
  • Attire: 8%-10% 
  • Flowers: 8%-10% 
  • Entertainment/Music: 8%-10% 
  • Photography: at least 10% of your budget (if you can hit it, at least $4,000) 
  • Videography: 5% (I'm a tad bit biased, but I consider video a necessity) 
  • Stationery: 2%-3% 
  • Wedding Rings: 2%-3% 
  • Parking/Transportation: 2%-3% 
  • Gifts: 2%-3% 
  • Miscellaneous: 5% 
  • To avoid stress, allot about 5% of your budget for a "just-in-case" fund. 

Recognize that you will probably splurge on something so keep this in mind. Factor it into your budget. Make sure to put a little bit extra into the areas where you think it's possible you might splurge: like, a special type of flowers or a specific band you want.

So, just as an example, a $50,000 budget broken down might look something like the following: All-inclusive venue, multi-course cocktail-reception, a live band, full bar.

  • Venue (all-inclusive): $25,000 
  • Catering (included above) 
  • Rentals (included above) 
  • Dessert (included above) 
  • Alcohol & beverages: $3150 
  • Pro-videographer: $2500 
  • Pro-photographer: $4000 
  • Band: $5400 
  • Wedding planning: $4000 
  • Website & invites: $1025 
  • Flowers: $2225 
  • Other: $2000 
  • Pro hair and makeup for bride, bridesmaids, moms: $500 

Once you've locked down a reasonable budget, take a deep breath and remember to HAVE FUN!!!

If you have any questions or need some help developing your budget, give us a call or shoot us an email. We love working with people, even in the smallest of ways (Budget sessions start at $250 for 2hrs).

It's Your Time Events, New Orleans Wedding Planning Design