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Wedding Budget Series: Part 4 - Crafting the Atmosphere: Bar, Staff, Siblings, Decorations

Thanks for joining the conversation! I am seeing that all too often wedding budgets are seen as taboo (don't talk about it!), something to complain about (sometimes with TMI!) or something to be feared (I don't even want to know what I've spent!)'s time to normalize this! I mean -- getting married isn't exactly shocking -- the costs of wedding shouldn't be shocking to consider either!

Today we are chatting about what I referred to as level three... if you haven't been following along -- you can find the previous blogs on our website BLOG & RECIPES | The Great Hall of Royal and check out the whole conversation! We are really just going through how I have personally prioritized and budgeted for a wedding in our family -- as well as what I have shared with brides who have asked for help! These are all just my perspective as both a budgeter (love budgets), and a wedding industry professional. But really -- I hope you treat it as a jumping off point for your own style of budgeting! Prioritize what is important to YOU!

Our Level Three: Bar, Staff if applicable, Siblings Outfits, and Decorations

Bar first --- as a venue we get so many question about this! We actually have an additional blog just about the bar bill that you can check out here The Wedding Bar Bill ( It is something should be discussed and budgeted for!

I sincerely -- no I SINCERELY believe there is not a right or a wrong way. The bar bill and how to handle it is personal for so many reasons --- you just have to make a decision! If you are interested in footing part or all of that bill, however, making that decision and putting it in your budget is so helpful for you! Staff if applicable second -- because this can be a significant "hidden" expense. Some venues require you to staff the bar, some caterers add costs for staffing the serving of the food, and if you want staff for the clean-up portion of the night that can all add up especially if you're venue requires you to take down tables/chairs, sweep and vacuum, and take out garbages. These aren't things you want to skimp on -- your buddies might not be as interesting in cleaning up the venue at midnight after a day of revelry as you might think! For us -- this was added into the budget for our own kids' weddings because while we do not charge extra at the Great Hall for bartenders -- and while Matt and I are often floating around doing a bit of this and that throughout the night...for our own kiddos...we will be "just" mom and dad. ️ So -- we have a budget for extra kitchen staff and bar staff through the night to make sure that we can just enjoy the night! And YES -- we have a super supportive family that would help at the drop of a hat --- but I want my family by my side enjoying it all -- not hustling to make sure the details are done. So -- we budget!

Siblings Outfits third -- because I'm my mother's daughter. LOL. We are blessed with three girls -- so presumably we will have three weddings. And, whether they have their siblings in the wedding or not -- we will plan to outfit them for the wedding. I know they are in different stages of life --- this year we have one who has been in the workforce a couple years while another is still a broke college student -- but I grew up with things like that being pretty fair. So -- we will pay for both and have budgeted for that! Some families do, some families don' is again a total personal preference...but for us personally --- then we know what we are planning for!

Decorations fourth -- because having a budget in mind early helps to corral your thoughts as well as your budget! And -- if you find that things cost way more than you thought they would you can adjust for that and not just be surprised! We are do it yourself people on decorations -- mostly because I LOVE to decorate and because my girls also picked up that gene! It is so fun! That being said -- we've had many weddings and the venue and for family and friends that have hired decorators and they have been DELIGHTED! If it is not your forte -- it can be stressful and overwhelming to try to think of "all the things" -- and that is where a professional can be so amazing! They can help you with what your style is that you want to see -- as well as guide you to how to make that happen with a couple of different price points! And -- they can decorate and clean up the decorations, which is delightful too! One mom has told me it was the best money she spent! If you decide this pretty early on -- you budget for how you are going to handle the decorations...and if you are doing it yourself then you also have a budget to guide you as you peruse the wedding secondhand sales sites!

I hope these all made sense for why they were in our budget and when they fell in line for us!

Keep following along -- we've got a few more to share! And share this with your friends and family you think would benefit!

Sara <3

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