Business By The Blog, I talk about our journey in business and the challenge to run a small business debt-free and without credit. Before opening our business, we made a committment to live this way in our personal life with our personal finances, too. A main influence in this decision was author and radio host, Dave Ramsey. We listened to Dave Ramsey before it was cool to listen to Dave Ramsey!
What does this have to do with weddings and wedding gowns?
I have heard so many people ask Dave how much money is appropriate to budget for a wedding and he never gave a specific guideline until recently. (Wonder if that's because his daughter just got married?) Of course, many families have their own system for coming up with a wedding budget; I think this is a personal issue: as long as there is open communication and a definite budget; each couple and family needs to do what works for them.
But, if you are just starting your planning and want a starting point, here is a guideline worth discussing:
Take the yearly income of the person(s) responsible for the wedding finances, and use 50% of that for the wedding budget. So, if your parents are paying for the wedding, and they make $70K per year, your wedding budget should not exceed $35K. If you and your fiance are paying for your own wedding and together you make $30K a year, use $15K as your guideline.
Does this mean that if you are blessed with a $300K income, you should spend $150K on a wedding? Dave would say "no", but I say that if you make $300K a year, you can spend anything you want on a wedding :)
Since this is September's Bride's blog, let me give you a further guideline for your wedding gown. A good rule of thumb is to allocate 10% of your total wedding budget for your wedding apparel. If your wedding budget is $35K, plan to spend $3,500 on your gown, veil, jewelry, shoes, undergarments, AND the alterations and pressing for these items. The cost of your gown typically is half of this total, so you could be shopping in the $1500 - $2000 range for a gown if this is your scenario.
See, Math can be fun!