Getting engaged is so exciting and joyous that couples often get overwhelmed once they start planning their wedding. The first step of planning is creating a realistic budget. Creating a realistic wedding budget is crucial to ensure that your special day is everything you dream of without breaking the bank. In this section, we will explore practical tips and advice on how to create a wedding budget that aligns with your vision while keeping financial stress at bay. Whether you're planning an intimate gathering or a grand celebration, understanding the key components of budgeting for a wedding will help you make informed decisions and prioritize expenses accordingly. Let's dive in and discover how to create a realistic wedding budget that allows you to celebrate your love without compromising your financial well-being.
The average American couple spends between $20-30k USD on their wedding. Of course, some spend more but many others end up spending less because they just have a smaller budget. Here are ten steps to keep in mind when setting your wedding budget.
Step One: Create a Priority List. Every couple has an idea of what is most important to them and must have on their wedding day. Sit down with your partner at the beginning of planning and decide what your priority list is and rate each item by high and low priority. This will help you navigate the budget allocation later and it will help you stay focused on what to get done and in what order.
Step Two: Identify Who is Paying. A really big way to know how much there is to spend is to know who pays for what. There may be different parameters for each person and the budget they have in mind so clarify with the people paying how much they are willing to spend and what particular portions of the wedding they would like to cover.
Step Three: Choose a Venue. Venues have different associated fees, space rental fees, preferred vendor discounts or costs, times, or occasional promotions for weekends and weekdays. Some venues don't allow outside catering or staffing so it is important to do your research on your intended venue before hiring your vendors.
Step Four: Choice of Food. Venues sometimes have food and beverage packages that allow you to save on cost while others do not. When you start looking at catering menus your biggest cost factor will be the amount of guests attending your wedding and the amount of vendors you may have to provide meals for. Factor in dessert options whether you have the traditional wedding cake only or cupcakes, sweets, chocolate, or other fun options.
Step Five: Finalize your Guest List. When you have an idea of how much food will cost you will be able to narrow down how many people you can afford to provide meals for. Consider how many guests you will need to provide transport for (if from out of town) and possibly accommodations.
Step Six: Selecting Décor Items and Flowers. With your wedding theme in mind, there are many ways to go with décor. Most Venues do not have included decoration and this is usually an added cost. Depending on how large the venue is and how many guest tables you have, your demand for décor can increase or decrease. Décor and flowers can be partially or fully DIY or for brides who want a hands-off approach they can always hire a vendor.
Step Seven: Gift-Giving. Though it isn't an official rule to exchange gifts, Bridal party gifts, parents and other small miscellaneous gifts are often hidden costs that eat away at the overall budget. Make a budget line for this portion of your event so that it doesn't come as a surprise later.
Step Eight: Hire the Right Vendors: From coordinators or planners to various event rentals. You will need the help of various professionals to pull off your dream wedding.
Based on where this falls on your list, choosing great entertainment can make or break the mood of the space. A live DJ is often preferred but some couples opt for more DIY solutions and use playlists and speakers. Many brides plan the wedding by themselves or with family but never realize the importance of a coordinator until their wedding day. Allocate a part of your budget to all necessary vendors
Step Nine: Prioritize Photo and Video. At the end of the day, you really want to reminisce on the memories. In the years to come you may want to relive your day over and over again and the pictures do just that. If you do a video that's a bonus! Use a team that will cover your ceremony and your engagement shoot in one package. That way you can more appropriately judge whether you like their style or not.
Step Ten: Plan for Miscellaneous Costs. From makeup to vendor tips and other major items that make your wedding day perfect, there are many costs in between that you will need to think about. Use the chart below to guide you on how to allocate funds in your budget. If the order or allocation does not quite match your priority list you can always shift some percentages around to fit your vision.
In the end, creating a realistic wedding budget is essential to ensure that your special day remains within your financial means. By considering key factors such as venue expenses, gift-giving, and miscellaneous costs, you can effectively plan and allocate funds for each aspect of your wedding. Finally, by following all the tips above you can ensure that your dream wedding remains within reach without causing unnecessary financial stress!