3 Key Tips for Creating a Special Event Budget

3 Key Tips for Creating a Special Event Budget- Food Catering and Tasting in Frederick MD

Budgeting is the least glamorous part of planning special events; however, it is arguably the most important. Budgeting allows you to tell your money where to go and designate where your financial resources are spent. This process helps avoid a shocking tab and overspending at the end of your event.

Take some time to do your research and allocate where your money will go in order to properly prepare for any celebration. Here are 3 tips on how to build a budget for your special event:

Identify the Major Expense Categories

When planning a special event, begin by outlining the major expense categories you need to include in your budget. It’s important to have a written budget (i.e. Word document, Excel spreadsheet, planner, online app, etc.) in place to keep track of projected and actual expenditures. The major expense categories to plan for include:

  • Venue costs
  • Food & catering
  • Alcohol & beverages
  • Audio/visual (Music, speakers, microphones, projectors, etc.)
  • Entertainment
  • Equipment & event rentals (Tables, linens, chairs, tents, etc.)
  • Decor
  • Marketing & stationery
  • Photographers & videographers
  • Production staff (Event planners, MC’s, clean-up crew)

When you create the budget, list the item, the projected expense, the actual cost, and a comments section to document any notes long the way.

Set Priorities

Along the way, chances are you’ll to have to make some hard decisions to trim expenditures to stay on-budget. Dream ideas for special event planning can quickly outgrow the money in your wallet. Therefore, it’s crucial to set a maximum budget and set priorities to separate the must-haves from the wants.

First, start with the most important aspects of operating your special event. What is required to actually host your special event? Maybe you have to book a venue that can seat 200 guests. Or, maybe you must offer vegetarian dishes to accommodate dietary restrictions for your guests. Whatever your must-haves may be, always budget for those items first and then the fun stuff second. This keeps your expectations realistic from the get-go.

Budget for Emergencies

You’ve probably heard the saying it’s better to be safe than sorry. Well, planning for your special event is no exception! Whether you forget to budget for taxes, insurance, tips, or even weather-related ‘Plan B’ situations, unplanned expenses are almost guaranteed to pop up. For this reason, it is always safer to budget an emergency fund for cost overages and other unexpected costs.

Depending on the scale of your special event, aim to allocate somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of your budget solely for emergencies. The best-case scenario is you never have to use this fund, and the money leftover can be reallocated. However, should something unexpected arise, you can have peace of mind knowing there’s an emergency fund in place to cover such circumstances.


Maryland’s Premier Catering Professionals

Are you planning a special event in Maryland and need quality catering services? At Celebrations Catering, our commitment, transparency, and dedication to our clients’ needs has positioned us as Maryland’s premier catering service for events of all types and sizes. Contact us today to learn how we can help you build and keep your special event catering budget.

Posted on:
All I can say is WOW. This catering company–Chip and his team–are nothing short of fabulous. Food and service were well beyond our expectations. Worth the drive to Thurmont–they are so professional and clearly have expertise in this business. As a hospitality professional, this catering company just blows any hotel catering I’ve experienced out of the water!