Get Your Marriage Started On Solid Financial Footing
Planning a wedding starts with setting a budget. For many couples, it’s also their first experience of making complicated financial decisions together. And these days, it’s couplesnot parentswho generally do the heavy lifting when it comes to paying for weddings and the events around them.
Having a plan for spending can keep you from wasting money unnecessarily or racking up excessive debt to get married. Knowing what to include in a wedding budget and how to save the money youll need can help you start newlywed life on the right financial footing.
Not Allocating Funds Correctly
Garrett Richardson Photography
Just like buying shoes, an apartment or a pair of jeans, when it comes to financing a wedding, you should figure out how much you need to spend to get what you want. Set your expectations accordingly, and use our budget breakdown above as a guide. To avoid stress, also allot 5% of your budget for a “just-in-case” fund. If you’re paying for your honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well.
If you’re asking yourself how you can possibly save up for something as expensive as a wedding, don’t worryâit’s doable. As soon as you’re engaged, start putting aside as much of your income as you can for the wedding. Saving 20% of your monthly income is a goodâthough loftyâgoal. The longer your engagement, the more you’ll be able to put away. You can also save up by limiting your spending on small stuff . These changes will hardly affect your quality of life, but after a year, the extra cash will cover some wedding essentials.
Traditional Wedding Cost Splits
Wedding traditions, at least from a financial point of view, haven’t changed much over the years.
Exhibit “A” is having the bride’s family pay the most for the wedding. According to The Knot, the bride’s family pays 45% of all wedding costs. Right behind the bride’s mom and dad are the actual newlyweds, who contribute 41% of wedding costs. The groom’s family pitches in, too, paying 13% of total wedding costs.
While traditions remain strong, figuring out who pays for a wedding can be somewhat complicated, given that so many people are getting married later in life.
Historically, here’s a list of who pays for what in a traditional wedding. It’s an important piece of knowledge, considering that you’ll need to set up a wedding budget beforehand, and you’ll want to know who’s paying for individual wedding costs.
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What Is The Wedding Budgeting Process
One of the first steps in determining your wedding budget breakdown is determining the average cost of a wedding in your area. Your wedding planner can provide you with detailed wedding cost information and can assist you in comparing your dream wedding plans with the average wedding budget in your area. Your planner could also help you to set up a wedding budget checklist that will provide at-a-glance information on individual wedding cost items, as well as how your wedding compares to the average cost of a wedding in your area. You may even want to try using a wedding budget calculator to track costs that include:
- Wedding hair and makeup costs
- Wedding suit rental fees
- Overall wedding catering cost per person
- The average wedding cost breakdown
Using a wedding budget template can help you to create and to work through your wedding budget checklist more efficiently. You may also be able to use your wedding budget planner or spreadsheet to compare the average cost of a wedding venue or wedding catering cost with the price you are considering paying for these services. By comparing your wedding cost with the average cost of a wedding in your area, you may be able to identify areas in which you and your partner can save money when planning your wedding.
Average Cost Of Wedding Vendors
Of course, how much wedding pros charge variesâa lot. It’s always best to research wedding vendors in your area and ask them about their specific rates . An internal study found out exactly what couples spend on different wedding vendors last year on average. See the average cost of wedding vendors in 2019, below:
See how the average wedding cost in 2020 and 2019 compare to previous years’ price tags. Keep in mind the averages from previous years include engagement ring cost, whereas the 2020 and 2019 averages only encompass the cost of the ceremony and the reception. The average cost of a wedding in 2018 was $33,931. Interestingly enough, the average cost of a wedding in 2017 was $33,391, which is down from 2016, when the average spend on weddings reached an all-time high of $35,309. In 2015, couples spent about $3,000 less, averaging $32,641 for their weddings. The average cost of weddings in 2014 was just under $30,000âcoming out to $29,858, while the average wedding cost in 2013 was $28,427.
Looking for some help with your wedding spend? Check out The Knot Wedding Budget Planner.
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Who Pays For The Wedding
These days theres no one-size-fits-all answer. Historically, all wedding costs were paid by the family of the bride, a custom that goes back to the time when dowry payments were commonplace to help to make daughters more attractive as brides to prospective suitors. But today, this tradition has frequently fallen to the wayside, as women have taken a more active and equal role in relationships, earning money and deciding their own futures.
In many cases, couples choose to finance their own weddings, and enjoy the freedom that that gives them. Saving up for your wedding can allow you and your partner to decide on many aspects of your ceremony, reception, and associated events with greater autonomy. Or the couples families may split the cost of the wedding. Or some combination of both, where the couple funds the majority of the event with some assistance from their families. dream wedding on a budget.
Whether you decide to pay for your wedding alone or ask for help from loved ones, there is no universal answer to the question of who should pay for the cost of wedding arrangements. You and your partner should work together to decide what works for you, and how to manage wedding costs more effectively. Finding a solution that works for your situation can allow you to enjoy greater peace of mind when planning your wedding budget.
Rustic Barn Venue Hidden Costs
If you are planning a rustic, country-themed wedding, a barn is the perfect setting. But getting the barn up to par for your ceremony will require lots of work, and dont forget those extra wedding venue costs.
Restrooms: If the barn is not equipped with restrooms, you will have to provide them yourself, and its going to cost you if you want more than the basic porta potty.
Climate Control: Depending on the season, you may be required to rent either heaters or fans to keep yourself and your guests comfortable and happy,
Generator: While barns can be quaint and charming, they may lack certain modern-day luxuries. like electricity, which you will then have to provide.
Cleaning: You definitely want your wedding to be free of spiders, dust and dirt so you will have to hire a commercial cleaning crew to get that rustic, homey feel.
Lighting: Unless the barn has lots of natural light, there will be additional costs to provide adequate lighting.
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The Average Costs Of A Wedding
Here are the average price tags for common wedding expenses, according to a 2019 survey by The Knot and WeddingWire’s Wedding Cost Guide:
At the very least, youll need a marriage license. Application fees vary by state, county, city or other conditions. The standard license fee is $27.50 in New Orleans, $50 in Boston and $100 in Santa Barbara, California.
Manage Your Guest List
The number of guests will influence your decisions on everything, beginning with the venue. If you have your heart set on a remote location or a site with limited space, youll have to be a bit stricter with your guest list. If youre not able to shorten your guest list, consider a destination close to your home city. We offer what we call local destinationsvenues that are near the couple’s home area but may require having guests stay overnight, says wedding planner Holly Olsen. Guests feel like they are attending a destination wedding, but they didnt have to get on a plane.
Meet the Expert
Holly Olsen is the founder of Seattles Perfectly Posh Events. With over a decade of experience professionally planning and designing more than 300 weddings, Holly and Perfectly Posh Events have been named Seattles Best Wedding Coordinator, Best Wedding Planner, Best Wedding Vendor by Seattle Bride Magazine.
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Who Pays The Costs Of The Average Wedding
With such a high price tag, it can be hard for many couples to cover the costs of the typical wedding. Many get help from their parents while others use savings or even charge wedding-related purchases on their credit cards.
The charts below show how costs are split among the couple, their parents, and other generous contributors, along with how couples come up with the funds to pay for their special event.
Percent of wedding paid for:
Here’s where couples draw money from to pay for their part of the wedding:
Average Cost Of A Destination Wedding
The total cost of a destination wedding varies. Prices depend on location, the number of days, the number of events, the U.S. dollar to local currency exchange rate, the time of year, the number of guests, and more. That said, the average estimated baseline cost of a destination wedding hovers around $35,000.
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Why Should You Make A Wedding Budget Breakdown
Creating a wedding budget serves two primary purposes. First, it helps you get a better insight into the different expenses of your wedding and help to make the right choices. Second, it allows you to keep track and control of all your spending as the big day nears.
So looking at the wedding budget breakdown above, what are the actual spendings? Here’s a thorough rundown of all the most common expenditures.
Category : Up To 80 Lakh
This high-end budget wedding should not let you worry too much about costs. But even in this budget, venue and catering together take a huge chunk of your budget.
Tip: Including international cuisines in the menu can shoot up the costs. On an average, an Indian meal plate costs around 800 per person. But with international cuisines, the plate cost can go up to 1500 per person.
Increase in the wedding budget also means a simultaneous increase in jewellery expenditure . Whatever budget you choose, jewellery is one department that will see an exponential rise.
Tip: We suggest you buy jewellery around Dhanteras or Akshay Tritiya festivals so that you end up saving some money. A lot of jewellers offer discounts and promotions during these festivals.
Tip: Try bargaining or opting for packages when you are planning for your honeymoon. This will help you save up so that you can use the balance to shop your heart out!
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Have The Ceremony And Reception At The Same Venue
Increasingly, traditional wedding reception venues like country clubs and fine dining spots are also open to hosting the wedding ceremony. Bundling the two together can save on paying separately for a wedding ceremony spot and a reception venue. In all likelihood, you can negotiate a better price by having both at the same place and can possibly get a smaller fee for the ceremony if you stay on for the reception at the same venue.
Average Cost Of Wedding Reception Venue
Couples are spending between 40-50% of their entire wedding budget on the ceremony and reception venues at an average of $10,500.This means that the average costs of wedding venues are close to $6000, with some couples spending upwards of $20,000.
If you prefer sticking closer to the lower end of that figure, dont worry. Play your cards right and you can claim a gorgeous wedding reception venue for less than $1000.
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Average Cost Of A Wedding By Size
Weddings are increasingly expensive, with costs for venues, food, and wedding attire rising at a rapid pace. Couples are willing to spend more for an elaborate wedding in order to show off their lavish affair on social media. However, couples are also shirking the traditional tradition of a grand celebration and opting for intimate gatherings. The average cost of a wedding by size is an inaccurate reflection of what other couples can expect to spend on their big day.
The average cost of a wedding for a wedding of one hundred guests is around $5,000 to $10,000. Of this, a larger wedding may require additional rentals, such as tents and chairs. Weddings involving hundreds of guests can easily exceed the $7,000 average, and this number doesnt include a lavish reception. In addition to the cost of the bride and grooms attire, other costs may include travel, gifts, and clothing.
How Much Family Members Are Willing To Contribute
Are parents or other relatives planning to contribute to your wedding? If so, find out how much they plan to give and add it to your budget. If a family member says they’d like to buy the bridal gown rather than contribute cash, for example, take note. You can remove the cost of buying a dress when you break down your budget.
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What Influences The Cost Of A Destination Wedding
A destination wedding has the same essential elements as a local wedding. Youll want invitations, a dress, rings, a venue, catering, a florist, music, a photographer, cake, and an officiant. Travel, accommodations, group activities, little extras, and a full-service destination wedding planner are the factors that will end up costing more.
Planning a wedding from a distance comes with its own set of additional challenges and logistics, so hire a planner who has experience with destination weddings and a trusted network of local vendors.
However, there are some details of destination weddings that could save you money. Destinations in countries where the currency exchange rate works in your favor will typically end up being less costly because your money will go further.
How Many Guests You Wish To Invite
Your guest list size will determine how much you’ll need to save for your venue, food, beverages, invitations, favors and anything else you plan to give guests. As a general rule, plan to budget at least $100 per guest.
If you’re planning a wedding on a budget, one of the easiest ways to reduce costs is to invite fewer people and have a more intimate celebration.
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