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How to Build Your Wedding Budget


Now more than ever we all are thinking about how we spend our money. Over half of clients go over their budget. Why is that? Planning a wedding is a large task - and the most important part of the process starts with learning how to budget your wedding according to market value in your area. While the ideas of a string orchestra and a white horse drawn carriage sounds so romantic, your wedding budget can’t handle that…can it? Do you even know? This is exactly why it is crucial for you to learn how to budget for your wedding, so you know how much everything costs and how it’s going to be paid for.

Plus, when you learn how to set a wedding budget you can learn what you can and can’t afford for your big day so that you can set realistic standards and expectations. Let's walk through some tips on creating a wedding budget that’s realistic and be ready to roll with the punches of your fantastic day.

Who is Paying? This can be tough to talk about - because modern times allow for this to go any number of ways. If we are thinking back to old school, traditionally the Bride’s parents would take care of the cost of a wedding, but it has become more common for both families and even grandparents to contribute as well - not to mention the bride and groom themselves... obviously. When you learn how to budget for your wedding, start by having a conversation with family members and discuss if they will be involved financially and how much they are planning to provide.

If some family members only want to help with a portion of the wedding, figure out how much or ask if they might want to pay for one item on the wedding budget, like the DJ or photographer. This will help get a start on your budget and also help cross items paid for on your list along with making it easy to manage. Once you have figured out how much money you can work with, then you can begin learning how to budget for your wedding.

Get Your Market Now is the time to do research into all of the different areas of your wedding. There are many different areas of a wedding that need to be considered when learning how to budget for the big day. With the planning of venues, clothing, transportation, food, decorations, and entertainment, you need to have a good understanding of how much everything typically costs. This will help you learn how to set a great wedding budget from the start. TheKnot.com is a very popular wedding site that has many tools, such as a budget calculator. This could help you when you start planning - but truly the only way to know the cost of items is to do your research! Reach out to vendors that fit your aesthetic and price range. You want to have comparable vendors to be able to make an informed decision! By having this wedding budget guide, can help you figure out which wedding cost you might have to cut, or expand your expenses in that area.

Time of Year As expected different seasons in which planning a wedding can be more expensive. This is the first thing you must learn when figuring how to budget for your wedding. If you are choosing to have a wedding in the late spring and summer, then you will probably be expected to pay more for the venue and other vendors because the demand is very high during the spring and summer months.

Also, determine if you will have your celebration in the morning or evening hours. You might spend more in the evenings because you will be expected to provide a full course meal, more alcohol, and better lighting. If you would like to save some money on your budget, then you may want to have an earlier celebration with a lighter meal. Once you figure out the day and time, this will help you figure out how to budget for your wedding better.


How Many Guests? A big part of planning a wedding is determining how big your guest list will be. When you learn how to budget for your wedding, a big portion of that total is trying to notify, feed and accommodate your guests. When selecting a venue, catering food, offering an open bar, and designing a wedding cake, you must consider how many guests will be attending. If you send out the invitations early and require an RSVP a few months before the wedding, then you can have a good idea of how much and for how many you will need to plan. Don’t think that you need to invite everyone you have ever known. The more people who will be attending the wedding, the more expensive it will be.

Put it on Paper Once you have done some research, have a set amount of money to spend, and know approximately how many guests will be attending, then you can start to write out your budget. I suggest that you put together a binder to help keep everything together and easily accessible. It is easy to lose track of your budget, so by using these resources and wedding budget guide, you will be able to stay in control of what you must spend. It can seem overwhelming having to think about all the different aspects involved with planning a wedding. But by being organized and focusing on one area at a time, you will be able to create a detailed and achievable plan when you learn how to budget for your wedding.

Always Aim Low I cannot express enough how easy it is to go over your budget and doing so might put you in unnecessary debt. So that is why I say that it is critical to learn how to set your budget and stick to it. If you are able to stay under your budget to the best of your ability, you should be able to avoid that debt. If something costs more than what you had initially planned, then you may need to cut the cost from another area of the wedding.

Don't Forget to Tip! There will be many different types of vendors involved in creating the events. That’s one reason why figuring how to budget for your wedding is important from the start. It is typically recommended and expected to tip the vendors when there is excellent service. Make sure you include a gratuity category when planning your budget. This category can cost you hundreds of dollars all on their own. For the day of the wedding, you may want to have envelopes with the gratuities set aside for your planner to distribute to the vendors after the party is over.


It is a good idea to make sure everyone who is financially involved is aware and understands the budget that you will be creating. By having everyone follow the budget, you will be able to keep everyone on the same page.


I am hopeful that this guide will help you create and implement a realistic wedding budget. Get out there and get planning lovelies!

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