When planning any event or wedding, one of the most important factors to consider first is your event budget. In the excitement of getting married or considering a corporate event, outlining an event budget may be the last thing on your mind. However, without a clearly defined budget, you may be in for a shock when it’s time to pay.

We want to save you from disappointment and offer you easy steps to creating an event budget. Please also note that it’s for your benefit that you always have a plan in place before hiring anyone to support your wedding or event.

Steps To Create Your Event Budget

Start out by identifying what expenses you can expect to have for your corporate event or wedding. It’s key to consider these things because you’ll then understand where your money is going. You’ll also have better expectations and not feel as if things are piling on.

Note: Your needs should always be placed at the top of the list and the wants last. You can add on the wants if you have money left in your budget.


The actual cost will not be known until you start getting quotes and you sign a contract. We recommend that you have a contingency of 15% more than what you expect. It has been our experience that many clients perceive prices to be one thing and actual costs to be very different.

What is your Event Budget For?

Believe it or not, answering why you have things on your budget can save you from over spending. Do you really need to buy 50 bottles of champagne for 20 people? Create a description column next to each line item and state why you want that item.

We also believe that you should confirm what venues and vendors offer that is included in their contract. There is no reason to rent 300 chairs if the venue has them and you like them. No reason to pay for WiFi if the venue has adequate service.

Answering why you have something on your event budget can also help those who may need to approve your budget better understand.

Be Specific About your Budget

This step is key before you even begin to pay invoices. We would also say this is key before you hire a DC Event Planner like us. Take the time to think about all of the things you will need at your event or wedding.

Avoid grouping things together. Everything has a line item with a separate price. You wouldn’t want to group tables and chairs together. While you may need 500 chairs, you may not need 500 tables. Same thing goes with food and beverage. Being specific can help you in the planning process to easily make changes where needed.

Actual Event Costs

During this phase you will have already hired an Event Planner and have received quotes from your venues and vendors. It’s key to go over all quotes with someone who has experience and can tell you what you need and do not need.

Note: Adjustments will be made during this process so continue to update your chart. Here’s an example.


How To Find Out What Things Costs?

You may not know what something will cost to have at your event or wedding. Here are some easy ways to get a good idea:

  • Ask Vendors to give you a general or minimum costs for similar events
  • See if Event Planners can tell you what the total budget was for similar events
  • Ask venues what their minimum financial requirements are
  • See if catering companies have menus with price per person

Note: Prices will and do change. Please do not lock in these estimates to be exact prices until you receive a contract.

In Conclusion

Working on an event budget isn’t always pretty. Spending money can be stressful. However, when you have a plan in place, things get easier. Keep in mind that when creating your budget, you want to see more than one quote. Focus on the quality of the product or service and not the price.

If you have established a budget and a service provider fits in your budget, do not nickel and dime them. The cheapest option is not always the best option. If you need help coming up with a sound budget, click here to contact us.