Many of you might have just gotten engaged over the holidays, or now that the holidays are over you’re finally ready to start thinking about a special event for 2017. Perhaps it’s a first birthday, a wedding shower, a baby shower, a bachelorette party, no matter the occasion, before you can plan anything, you need a budget to help you determine what you can do.

I know, I know, insert huge eye roll here. But, it’s true! Before you can dream up your style or pick a location, you should always start with a budget.

The minute I got engaged, the only thing I could do, beside stare endlessly at my engagement ring was to look at dresses. And the minute people found out that we were engaged they immediately asked us, “So, when’s the big day?” I remember looking blankly at them and responding with, “June of 2006?” (Man, am I dating myself here!)  Besides being young, and virtually clueless, what was keeping my fiancé (now husband) and I from knowing when and where was not knowing what kind of wedding we could afford. We couldn’t really make any decisions regarding a venue until we knew who was paying and what our budget was.

We realized pretty quickly that we needed an idea as to what we could spend on our big day before we could seriously begin looking at certain venues and vendors. It forced us to have to sit down with one another and with our parents (because we were just a couple of kids at the time) and have what was an awkward conversation about what our wedding would look like and how much we could afford. Trust me when I tell you, most people don’t like talking about money, but it is a necessary evil.

Although the excitement of your event or special occasion and the new-found incessant pinning to your secret Pinterest boards are the most exciting part of dreaming up your perfect event, the budget is what sets the framework that will help us determine venue, vendors and the number of people we can invite to join us as we celebrate! Setting a budget allows you to estimate, prioritize, evaluate, re-evaluate and create an event that’s right for you…and your wallet! A budget will also help to keep you responsible and accountable as you go through the planning process.