BridesVillage, an independent e-commerce retailer of wedding supplies, announced today that it has released a free budget calculatorto help couples manage their wedding costs. The calculator features an extensive list of common wedding expenses arranged categorically; couples can create cost estimates as well as monitor their spending. The budget spreadsheet, along with a special limited-time coupon and promotional giveaway, is now available at BridesVillage.com.
“The wedding budget calculator is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Cathy Ward, founder of BridesVillage. “We spent a lot of time talking to brides and breaking out the expenses they have to deal with these days. This project is really for them.”
Ward noted the calculator was built using Microsoft Excel and is downloadable in an .xls format, one of the most compatible file extensions used by modern spreadsheet programs. It was designed, she said, to be easy for anyone to open and use.
The download is presented as a simple wedding budget worksheet that contains over 120 common wedding expenses listed as line items. Expenses are organized into categories like attire, stationery, flowers, legal fees, and many more. The spreadsheet includes columns for entering estimated and actual costs and calculates running totals for each.
“There are a variety of wedding budget planning tools out there,” Ward added, “but all of them seemed to be missing something. We’d find one with a section on photography costs but nothing about transportation, but that’s important in this economy. We wanted our brides to be able to manage all of their budget, not just some of it.”
To celebrate the release of the calculator, Ward said, she is also posting what she described as an extremely high value coupon that can be applied to purchases from BridesVillage. The coupon can be accessed on the website and will expire on July 31st, 2012.
BridesVillage is also giving away an authentic Queen Elizabeth Sixpence to the first 50 readers who download the spreadsheet or read the accompanying article of money-saving tips. The sixpences come in a range of years and values, Ward said, and all are out of circulation. The sixpences can be ordered for free — customers pay only for shipping
“It’s more of a thank you than a prize,” Ward said of the coins. “There’s that old wedding rhyme about it being good luck to have a sixpence on your wedding day, and we thought it was a nice symbolic way to say we appreciate the economic challenges couples face.”
Ward said that even after the promotions end she expects the budget calculator to be a popular ongoing feature of her site. She believes it could make a significant impact on how couples plan their celebrations and, she hopes, gets them to plan to smarter.
“It might be a bit self-defeating as a retailer, but I’ve always encouraged customers to stick to what they need,” she added. “I don’t want brides to get this spreadsheet and think they have to fill in every line or buy every item listed. I want them to use it to see the big picture and help them feel like they’re in control of planning a fabulous wedding that’s within their price range.”