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How Do You Budget For A Wedding

How To Make Your Cheap Wedding Look Expensive

How To Create A Wedding Budget

Although most of us who are planning a wedding on a budget, dont want their wedding to look cheap at all. This means that you need to act wisely while giving an expensive look to your cheap wedding. This requires you to manage all the things in a perfect way.

Especially, when you are taking help from your family and friends, make sure that they know what you are expecting them to do. For instance, while decorating the venue, use good materials that fit within your budget.

In addition, the food you prepare should be on par with one that you experience at different weddings. Although the dress should be inexpensive, it should not look cheap.

After all, appearance is what counts the most at your wedding. So choose a dress that gives you a perfect look.

The Best Credit Cards For Wedding Planning

Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

  • Jazmine contributes articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a specialty in marriage and planning advice.
  • Jazmine is a full-time writer, interior stylist, and podcast host of Office Politics.
  • Before freelancing, Jazmine worked in human resources, people operations and recruiting.

It’s not exactly breaking news that weddings can get very costly, very fast. Even with a global pandemic keeping most nuptials postponed or completely repurposed well into the new year, the average wedding cost usually hovers around $28,000. While some couples are getting crafty with DIYs and others making sacrifices during the planning process, many have discovered hacks and incredible savings by thinking and spending strategically with credit cards. Whether you’re looking to conserve extra funds around the big day or simply saving any last cent for a honeymoon of a lifetime, using the best credit cards for wedding expenses responsibly can help make more of your dreams come true.

How To Pay For A Wedding: Keep Costs Tame & Organized

Figuring out how to pay for a wedding? Its no easy feat. You want a beautiful wedding but dont need to break the bank: heres how to make your wedding budget work for you.

The average cost of a wedding in 2019 was $33,900, according to a survey by The Knot. And if youre recently engaged or plan to become engaged soon, this is probably the part where you start to panic a bit.

As unrealistic as it might seem right now, plenty of couples have come before you and have planned their dream weddings at every price point.

Youll learn:

  • How to pay for a wedding
  • How to prep for wedding saving
  • How to organize wedding spending
  • A tool to plan and track your expenses

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The Museum Or Art Gallery Gathering

If your budget is $12,000, you could spend your money like this:

Venue and full-service catering: $8,000 for tables, chairs, linens, food, beverages and staffAttire: $200 for a dress $0 for a suit you already ownFlowers and decorations: $800 for lighting rentals and DIY bouquets and centerpiecesWedding Planner: $600 for the hour minimum $1,000Entertainment: $750 for a DJDessert: $400 for a cakeInvitations: $100, DIY

Lower Your Guest Count

Top 5 Wedding Planning and Budget Checklists

According to our study, the average wedding cost in Canada is based on hosting 154 guests. If you want to spend less, cutting that back is important. No, you dont have to scrap your wedding guest list altogether and elope , simply remove the extra people, like plus ones, coworkers who youre not close with, that guy you see at the gym occasionally and friends of friends. Keeping it limited to your nearest and dearest will make your celebration more meaningful and provide you with fewer mouths to feed, favours to buy, tables to decorate and more.

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Get On The Same Page About The Size And Location Of The Wedding

Shana and Andrew decided to marry in Belize in 2017. Her dad was born and raised in this Central American country, but most of her family had never been. This made it an ideal spot for a destination celebration. But the choice wasnt only up to her, but her future husband too. Her first tip for couples is to have an open, honest, and realistic conversation about the location, the size, and the nuts-and-bolts of the big day. They knew they wanted to spend less, and in the end, they had 65 friends and family members who flew to this small island nation. By deciding, as a team, what was the best experience for all involved, it made the stress less chaotic.

How Much Does A Wedding Cost

The amount you will spend on a wedding can vary greatly, depending on how big you decide to go. Comparing some numbers for average wedding costs can help put your potential outlay in perspective.

According to, for example, the average wedding cost $38,700 in 2019, with the majority of those costs associated with the ceremony and reception.

Wedding-ceremony costs dropped drastically in 2020 due to the crisis and shutdown, dropping to an average of $19,000, but are already on the rebound to pre-pandemic figures in 2021.

The average wedding spend also includes things like the officiant, wedding cake and dessert, wedding and engagement rings, stationery, a dress for the bride, hiring a band, catering, and flowers.

The Knot puts the regular average cost of a wedding a bit lower, at $33,900 for 2019. That figure includes the engagement and wedding rings, and also covers the most essential costs associated with wedding planning, including booking a venue for the reception, hiring a photographer, paying a wedding planner, purchasing the bridal gown and grooms attire, paying for the rehearsal dinner, and covering the officiants fees. It does not, however, include the honeymoon. For that, you will need to budget another $5,000 on average.

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Use An Online Wedding Budget Tool

There are many ways to keep track of your wedding spending throughout the planning processfrom spreadsheets to taking pen to paper. Our recommendation? Try WeddingWire’s online wedding budget tool, which helps you monitor your costs so you don’t overspend. An online tool is particularly ideal because multiple people can access it and it does a lot of the legwork for you in terms of divvying up your budget for different vendors and sending reminders when payments are due.

Can Credit Cards Be Helpful When Trying To Save For A Wedding

How to Organize your Wedding Budget using Excel

Many people grew up learning to fear credit cards. Though they can help as financial tools, credit cards can be categorized with debt and tempting options that will deter you away from your important goals when used irresponsibly.

But when used with caution and self-discipline, credit cards can be beneficial chess pieces in a larger money game. According to the author of Broke Millennial and personal finance expert Erin Lowry, “there are three common types of reward structures” to be cognitive of.

  • The Sign-On Bonus: “You get miles or points after you spend a certain amount of money.” This could prove useful when planning your honeymoon or a destination wedding.
  • The Flat-Rate Cash Back: “You get a certain percentage of cash back every time you make a purchase.” If you’re early in the wedding planning process, this could be your best option, especially when making larger purchases.
  • Rotating Categories: “You get a small percentage of cash back every time you make a purchase, usually 1%. And then increased cash back in different categories each quarterly.” If you’re flexible with your spending, rotating categories may be a great choice for you!
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    Wedding Budget Breakdown: 6 Essential Tips For Creating A Budget

    First comes the engagement and then comes…a wedding budget breakdown? It might be the least-glamorous aspect of wedding planning, but establishingand sticking toa budget is one of the best gifts you can give yourself as a couple. As of 2019, the average wedding cost was just over $29,000, but for many peopleparticularly in big citiesthat number might just barely cover the cost of catering.

    So how much should you spend on your nuptials? And how much of that should be dedicated to food, flowers, the wedding venue, and the myriad other expenses that pop up? While there is no one-size-fits-all budget, there are some helpful guidelines to follow as you whip out your calculator. Here, a primer for planning out your wedding budget.

    How To Create A Perfect Wedding Budget

    Expert tips and real wedding budgets from $2K to $30K

    For most couples, a wedding is the first time youll ever have to think about planning a huge event, let alone creating a wedding budget. That means lots of people start planning a similar way. First you think about the wedding you want. Then you think about how much youre comfortable spending. And then you hope really hard that the two concepts match up. The problem is, its almost impossible to know how much the event youre envision is going to cost until you start getting into the nitty-gritty of planning. Which is how you end up reading things on APW that start with, We set a budget of $5,000 but once we started actually planning, that number quickly tripled.

    The media would like us to think that these couples just got caught up in the expectations of the wedding industry and spent $10,000 on crystal vases. In reality? The culprit was that they thought chair rentals cost $1 when they really cost $2. Or they found out their dad would be heartbroken if they just served sandwiches. Then it turns out that the only wedding photographers in their area who didnt call them sweetie during the initial meeting charged $3,000 instead of the $2,500 they were hoping to spend, and not being talked down to felt like it was worth finding an extra $500 in the budget. Next thing they knew, the combined total of those surprises was $5,000 and rising.

    Also in Logistics

    Read Also: A Practical Wedding Budget Spreadsheet

    Buy Cheap And Elegant Wedding Dress

    Initially, shopping for cheap yet perfect wedding dresses appears to be a daunting task. However, if you have decided to find an inexpensive wedding dress, you will surely get your hands onto one. The simplest way to do this is to look for the dresses that are on sale.

    Just spend a day or two for getting an idea about the average price of wedding dresses. You can check out various online stores for cheap deals. Dont look for a complete set of the dress with all the accessories, as buying things in parts can lower the overall cost of a wedding dress. Believe it or not, this is going to save you a lot.

    In addition, if you are willing to wear a borrowed dress, this may serve as the best idea to make your wedding more economical. You can talk to your friends and ask them to lend you their wedding dress. You will surely get one for your wedding.

    In fact, the repurposing of the wedding dress is a vintage idea that will help you to save a ton of money.

    How To Manage Your Wedding Budget Spreadsheet

    Average wedding cost infographic

    The key to any successful wedding budget spreadsheet is, of course, to keep it as updated as possible. To that end, Kuchemba recommends inserting new costs as they come in/you sign contracts. You may also want to have a monthly reminder in your calendar to sit down with your partner and family to discuss where the budget is at that current moment, says Kuchemba.

    Whats also helpful: differentiating between more fixed costs and more malleable costs at the beginning of the budgeting process. Your photography and videography estimates, for example, likely wont fluctuate unless you add or subtract hours of service, and the same typically goes for music and entertainment services, your officiant, and the costs to occupy your ceremony and reception venues.

    Other expenses will increase and decreasesometimes dramatically soas your guest count rises and falls because they are explicitly tied to how many guests theyll be catering to. These categories typically include bar costs, food costs, rental upgrades, and floral arrangements . Keeping those more fixed costs in mindand selecting those vendors on the earlier sidewill give you a better idea of how much wiggle room you have in categories you wont know final pricing for until later.

    Read Also: Address Wedding Invitations To Family

    Calculate A Wedding Budget

    A budget can help you only if it is realistic and workable. According to WeddingWire, 74% of couples end up going over budget, and over half boost their budgets in the course of planning. The average couple underbudgets what they will spend on their wedding by 45%. The 2021 Brides and Investopedia wedding survey reported that the average wedding budget is about $20,000.

    Cowles says getting your budget right begins with a discussion about what kind of wedding you want. Couples first need to sit down and think about the overall vision for their wedding, she says. Are they envisioning an elegant soiree in a ballroom? Something casual in a family members backyard? A destination wedding? In tandem with the vision for the wedding, they need to make a rough guest list based on whom they are interested in having attend, because this is going to directly affect the budget.

    Needless to say, inviting 20 or 30 of your closest family members and friends to a backyard wedding will cost much less than a black-tie affair with a guest list in the hundreds. Cowles says that as you make your guest list you should group people into one of three categories: immediate family and best friends, good friends and extended family, and co-workers or casual acquaintances.

    Whats The Average Cost Of A Wedding

    Heres another look at how you might break down the costs of your wedding. Consider copying the percentages into a spreadsheet to help get your budget-tracking started:

    • Venue: 40% – Average Cost: $15,163
    • Dress: 5% – Average Cost: $1,509
    • Food: 10% – Average Cost: $70 per person
    • Hair and Makeup: 3% – Average Cost: $966
    • Music: 3% – Average Cost: $1,000
    • Wedding Planner: 6% – Average Cost: $1,988
    • Miscellaneous expenses: 6% – Average Cost: $1,900
    • Transportation: 2% – Average Cost: $830
    • Invitations and Stationary: 1% – Average Cost: $408

    Read Also: Wedding Budget Google Spreadsheet

    Split Your Remaining Budget In Half

    This rule, by and large, works for every wedding: divide your working budget in half and that’s the figure you have to spend on your venue.

    • Under that, you should cover your reception venue hire fee, your food , and your wine, cocktails and other drinks.
    • This is the figure to take with you to venues when you start to inquire, along with your per-head price .
    • Once you’ve booked your venue, go back to your budget and re-adjust if necessary, as some venues naturally bring with them more expenses than others. A for example, has lots of extra costs, whereas a hotel venue might have some extras included in the package.

    Photo by Miss Gen Photography via One Fab Day

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