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Wedding Budget Series: Part 6 Celebrations & Festivities: Transportation, Favors, Parties, Dinner

This is the last "level" of budget I discussed! We've almost made it! hahaha.

If you are just joining us - please feel free to go to the website and read the other blogs related to this!! We are talking about all things budget related to the wedding -- with the most important take aways being; wedding budgets are personal, you need to prioritize in relation to what your preferences are, and big or small --just have a plan!! Easy-peasy, right? Here are the previous conversations! BLOG & RECIPES | The Great Hall of Royal

Today we are chatting about the "extras". Now, I know some of you will disagree on them as extras -- because good golly they can be a lot of fun. My point was really just that starting from the top down -- these are things that are important to us and to many of our brides -- and I would pick them both in importance and in designation of budget dollars before these. Venue and food -- heck yes. Party favors -- Umm. You see what I mean! That being said -- if you are planning to do these things, then give them a name and a dollar amount! The "oh and then this too" can really wreck a budget...but if you are intentional, you can both plan for them and know what guidelines you've set for yourself!

Our Level Five: Transportation/Party Bus, Party Favors, Bachelor Party, Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner/Sunday Brunch, Staff for Rehearsal and Sunday, Wedding Showers.

Transportation/Party Bus -- because you know if this is necessary or preferred! I will say that we are impressed with our guests and that they have a plan for their way home! Generally, throughout the night - if someone is enjoying themselves a bit more than they might realize -- our bartenders are very good at asking them "how are you getting home tonight buddy?". Because, if you are thinking you're driving, we are going to help you get back on track or make an alternative plan. But what we see again and again is an immediate "oh I'm not driving! I'm riding with him/her!" --they've got a plan and that is fantastic -- we are all here for that! So -- if you are heading back to hotels -- letting your guests know there will be a late-night bus can be really helpful! Just something to keep in mind for your group!

Party Favors -- I know I will get some flak for this...but here goes. I think they are unnecessary. I don't think guests expect something for coming (although a REAL written thank you note is a HUGE priority for me!) and we see a lot of party favors left at the end of the night. If you are set on them -- by all means -- do what makes you happy! But if you are trying to come up with something because you feel obligated to have one -- you don't have to! And, if it is a stretched budget -- then skipping this is not going to matter one teeny tiny little bit to your guests. I promise.

Bachelor Party AND Bachelorette Party -- not a priority on our budget because I think they are nice, fun, and can be a great time of friendship with your besties. But I would again prioritize ALOT of other things higher! You can spend a fortune on these parties! Or, you can have a very low key "just the besties and having time together" party! Because I am a budgeter by nature -- I also think it makes sense to consider your friend group when planning these too. Do they want to/can they afford a weekend away to a destination with all the expenses that come with that? If so -- whoo-hoo! But if now -- is there a more cost friendly way to have that time together without it being a hardship? If so -- whoo-hoo! Your group knows you -- it will be unlikely to surprise them with whichever you choose! So -- do what you think makes sense and they will go for it if they can! (But if you choose a spendy option I'd recommend wording it in a way that they know it is optional and that you care that they love you and not that they spend a bunch on you! Because finances can be hard!)

Rehearsal Dinner/Sunday Brunch -- because it is mealtime y'all! But matters and we will make a plan around it! We have a lot of weddings that have friends and family coming in from all over the place -- and time together is great! And as the bride and groom -- the day of is BUSY! So -- we see these as additional options to extend the party! One trend is to have the rehearsal dinner and then a "welcome party afterwards for those out-of-town guests that might not traditionally be invited to the dinner - but would still appreciate the time to chill together! And the Sunday brunch is a great option for those special people who helped on your day to have one last meal together before heading out again! Because our family is large -- and the friend groups are traveling -- we are using the IX space at the venue for dinner, cocktails and socializing for all friends and family who want to come in early! It doesn't have to be super formal ( we'll be pretty relaxed honestly!) -- we are going to grill out -- have some salads and desserts -- and just ENJOY! Same with Sunday brunch -- after church we'll have a pancake station set up -- some eggs and other things...and coffee. Lots of coffee. Whatever you choose to do -- if you choose to do something on these "bookends" of your wedding day -- know that it is totally up to you!

Staff for Rehearsal Dinner/Sunday Brunch -- so this might look different if you're doing it at a restaurant (reservations are good!), a family members house, or a venue. For the Great Hall -- when you book a rehearsal dinner or a day after brunch -- we staff it as we do all of our events. We will have it cleaned from the night before and ready for you -- and then clean up again afterwards -

- as well as having someone bartending for your group. If you do it differently - then you might need to hire staff! In our personal budget this is again something we are hiring -- because we will be mom and dad those days and want to spend the time with our guests and not working it! Just know what you need and make a plan!

Wedding Showers -- because who doesn't want to be showered with love and well wishes! The financial "responsibility" is something that varies so much for shower to shower -- some are thrown by aunts, some are thrown by besties, some are thrown by the immediate family. I think it is really just a case of family tradition in a lot of ways -- and also that this tradition is changing as well in general! Think back to YEARS ago ( do I sound old yet?!?) when a bride might not have worked outside of the home, might not have lived independently yet, and might be starting out with a blank slate and looking for all the things to make a house a home. Sometimes now, there are also work showers, and for brides that have lived in apartments and homes they might have already been gathering their favorite things! So -- if you are going to be in charge of a part of the shower -- plan and budget for it!

So -- this finishes up my original prioritization and list! I am working on one more --- I have been asked how we split the budget -- which I will share what worked for us! ( We have also been asked to share our actual budget -- which I will not share because...well...awkward!) I hope this has been helpful -- if nothing else perhaps it reminded you of some piece of the puzzle you hadn't thought about!

As always -- please share away! You never know what friend or acquaintance could really use some common sense ( I hope you feel that's what I've offered!) help in thinking through a wedding budget! Sara <3

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