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Friday, June 24, 2011

Budget Comparison

I used two different wedding budget planners so far (to try to get a semi-decent comparison between the two).

The first is from Wedding Wire (click the names to link to the websites), and the second is from The Knot.

The Knot's budget calculator actually gets on my nerves. I'm already getting ready to scrap it; but it does have its perks. First, it offers a really cute countdown tracker built directly into the budget. The Knot so kindly told me that my "fake" wedding day is 471 days away! What's also nice, in my opinion, is that they give you some days officially "off" from wedding planning as your date approaches. (For example: While October 6, 2012 is 471 days away, the calculator officially stops with 469 days to go). I also like that The Knot's budget gives a lot more detail with each category, labeled as "advice", which you can turn on or off. The Knot reminds you to add things such as reminding you to include small things like cuff links into the groom's accessories category. It also gives you links that relate to each category, such as "find a reception location" or "Tipping advice".

However, not everything about this budget is peaches. One of the most irritating parts about it is that when you delete a category (I deleted the flower girl expenses category), it doesn't automatically redistribute your money elsewhere. What if I wanted to take the $30.00 I wouldn't have spent on flower girl's ANYWAY, and put it somewhere that I WOULD like to spend money? Ugh.

I do like the breakdown over on The Knot, it splits things up into much nicer, logically put together categories, and then gives the breakdown of the estimated money to be spent vs the money actually spent. Aside from those few complaints, it's really not a bad budget tool. Somebody mentioned that they used The Knot, and when they put in a low number (like $2,500) The Knot spit them out a calculation that actually spent $1,300 MORE that she hadn't allotted. While I didn't have this problem, I do agree that people should be wary about it. It's also important that you remember that the budget tool isn't cut and dry. Just because the budget tool gives you an allotment of $200 for a dress, doesn't mean you should only buy dresses that are $200. (It also doesn't give you an excuse to look for a more expensive dress if the budget in your head is looking for one around $100!)

Actually, now that the look at the two different budget tools, I might actually like The Knot a little better. For instance, on WeddingWire, the budget isn't broken down quite as much, while on The Knot, if you are "allotted" $600 for catering, they tell you that you should try to spend no more than $6.00 a person (for 100 people), which is customizable. (You add how many will be in your bridal party and how many guest you expect to have. We've chosen 100 just because it seems like a reasonable number to expect. Plus, it's a plenty large enough number to ensure we invite family and friends without leaving anybody out.)

That being said, the budget gives me the willies. But, thankfully, only on certain items. For example, The Knot gives me an expected money breakdown of $15.00 for the Groom's suit or tux, while WeddingWire gives me a budget of $75.00. While the $75.00 is a lot more; it certainly isn't enough to rent a tux. Thankfully, they both give me about $150.00 for my dress; so if I can find a cheaper dress (closer to $100), then I can easily allocate that money to poor Tony. Apparently, most of these sites are still operating on the assumption that the bride is the MOST important part of a wedding. Not true at all. At least for us.  I'd be willing to give up or drastically reduce a lot of our spending so that Tony can have the type of tux that he wants. He's exactly 50% of this wedding, and he certainly deserves more than $15.00 for a suit!

The budget also makes me a little nervous because it makes me think about all of the little extras, that are actually BIG extras, like our rings and our honeymoon. Thankfully I'm cheap, and I already told Tony that I want a CZ ring. It's just not important at all to me that I have a diamond. They look the same, honestly. I'm also not in a desperate need for an extravagant honeymoon. Truthfully, I'd be SO happy if we could just have the house to ourselves for a week without any obligations (school/work). To me, that'd be perfect. We can lounge in our jammys and watch movies, cook each other dinner and otherwise just hang out together.

So, knowing that this is an incredibly boring post for everybody besides myself (there aren't even any pictures!), I think I'll wrap this up now. Besides, it's getting pretty late (we had a storm and a power outage that severely reduced by blogging time). I also changed my plans about the centerpiece mirrors; I'm going to pick them up with Tony sometime this weekend, and we are going to spend the day hanging out in Monroeville.  Hopefully we'll have a really relaxing time window-shopping.

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