So, you’re engaged, you’re in love, and you’ve set a date for your wedding. Now the clock starts ticking. Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and effort. Planning your wedding on a tight budget takes even more time and effort. With so many details and expenses to think about, you might feel overwhelmed, so where do you start? You start with the budget of course! We’ll walk you through how to plan a wedding budget (and stick to it!).
In order to begin planning your wedding, you need to first answer two important questions:
1. Who is paying for your wedding?
Read more about how to pay for your wedding
2. What is the total amount you plan to spend on your wedding?
Once you have that figured out (easier said than done), it’s time to break down your budget. Below is a sample budget worksheet that divides your costs into percentages of your total budget. Download the Wedding Budget Worksheet (PDF)
This worksheet is a good starting off point, however your priorities may change once you start shopping and meeting with wedding vendors. You might decide that you’d rather spend more on the venue and less on flowers, or that you’d rather have a live band instead of a DJ. All of these decisions may change the amount of money you decide to spend in
Figuring Out a Rough Wedding Budget
A good way to get a rough idea of a wedding budget is to figure you’ll spend about $100 per guest. If you invite 200 people to your wedding, you could expect to spend about $20,000. Remember this method is a just for getting a rough idea of your total budget. You can also ask other brides who have gotten married in your area what they spent on vendors to figure out if these numbers are realistic, or need to be adjusted.
Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding
Start by looking through your wedding budget and remove anything that you don’t need. For example if you’re having the ceremony and reception in the same location, you won’t need transportation. Always ask recently married friends who they used and how much they paid. When meeting with vendors, ask them to work within your budget and see if they can give you any discounts. If the numbers still aren’t working out, then try rethinking your plan to lower your overall costs.
Once you’ve set your wedding budget, make the effort to stick by it. It is so easy to get carried away with all of the amazing products, services and options to choose from. Keep your wedding budget worksheet close by and use it to help you make good decisions.