What is a realistic event budget? Well before you set a budget you need to prioritize. What are your priorities for your wedding?
Most people say well whatever my guests like which is going to be food, liquor and music. I've had other clients tell me I really want to make sure my bridal party and I are dressed to the nines as well as we have a show stopping invitation. In the wedding world there is money to be spent in every corner and then some, so you need to write down everything you want in your wedding and then prioritize.
Normally when you sit down to do your budget the easiest part is figuring out your bottom line, the number which you'd wish not go over and then the number you dare not go over. If you're flying solo on this without a planner or industry professional you are going to have to do a lot of shopping around first before you can get an idea of how much each one of your categories is going to cost. This is one of the upsides of having a planner not only can we help you create a budget by knowing the general cost of each category but we can make sure you are not getting overcharged.
I tell clients the hardest part of the budget is not the bottom line but in fact your priorities. Because like I stated above you already have a number in mind that you do not want to go over, your list of priorities will then dictate how much money is allotted for each area. You will know whatever falls in your top three categories you will pay whatever is needed, where things lower on the list will most likely get haggled and cut down when it comes time to reach your bottom line.