Break Your Budget Into Percentages
If you know what you can spend on a wedding and which expenses you plan to include, youre ready for the next step. This involves dividing your budget into percentages to cover each spending category.
Heres an example of what that might look like, based on a $19,000 budget:
- 40% for the venue and catering
- 10% for furniture rental
- 10% for photography
- 10% for flowers and decor
- 10% for entertainment
- 5% for bride and groom attire
- 5% for hairstyling and makeup
- 3% for the cake
- 3% for stationary/invitations
- 2% for favors
- 2% for transportation
Your budget percentages may look different based on which expenses you plan to include. Still, using this type of budgeting method can help you see at a glance how much you should be earmarking for each wedding expense.
Consider using a free budgeting app to keep track of your wedding budget and expenses.
Think About The Kind Of Wedding You Want To Have
This may be the one part of wedding planning that youve already knocked out of the park. But if not, its time to get to dreaming. Do you and your partner want a picnic in the park, an intimate urban party, or a huge shindig with all your friends and family? There are so many different kinds of weddings out there, and so much inspiration, that it can get overwhelming quickly. You shouldnt spend too much time on specifics initially, but you should determine the general feel you want for your wedding. Think about the look, the style, the people, and the emotionsall the pieces that will make your wedding unique to you two. I often tell couples to think about weddings theyve been to or seen, and figure out the words to describe them. Because while fun and fancy can coexist, they dont always. For example, you may want your wedding to be low key and relaxed like your cousins last yearbut a little more formal, while still avoiding a stuffy feeling. You can even start to get more specific, think: Low-key ceremony, with a relaxed upbeat dance party, and a family-style dinner that feels casual but looks kind of fancy-ish.
Creating A Budget For Your Big Day
Once youve made the important decisions about what you want, when youll get hitched and how youll afford the wedding, its time to lay out a budget.
Your budget should include sections for estimated costs, quotes from vendors and the prices you actually pay. Make note of when initial deposits are made and when final payments are due.
Read Also: How To Get A Cheap Wedding Dress
Hire A Local Or Family
Hiring a local restaurant to cater your wedding can save you lots of cash. So, if youre planning a wedding on a budget, think of restaurants you love in your city or town. Many smaller or family-owned restaurants are willing to work with your budget.
You could even hire a food truck or two, which can be really fun.
Resell And Reuse Clothing
If you want to hold onto your wedding attire for sentimental reasons, we totally get it. That being said, you definitely don’t have to. Use Nearly Newlywed to resell your wedding dress, or consider sourcing a tuxedo from Rent the Runway. The same goes for all your wedding-related event outfits: there’s nothing wrong with borrowing or repurposing your piecesâsharing is caring, after all.
Read Also: How To Plan A Wedding Under 5000
Invitations And Stationery: 3% Of Total Wedding Budget
Printed products play a big role both before your wedding and on the day of . There are lots of options to choose from when it comes to wedding invitations and stationery, so be sure to pick paper products that fit your style and wedding budget. Pro tip: Be sure to factor postage into your wedding budget breakdown depending on the shape and size of your invites, you can pay an additional dollar per invitation in stamps!
Break Down The Budget Into Target Savings Goals
Once you have arrived at an overall budget number, the next step is figuring out how much you need to save monthly or weekly to reach your target. A good formula to determine the budget is as follows: Number of months until wedding x realistic savings each month + contributions and existing savings = total wedding budget, Devlin says.
As you look at the overall budget number, consider how long you have to save for the wedding and think about whether you may get any financial help from friends or family members in planning it. If you have an overall budget of $30,000 and 10 months until you plan to get married, for example, youd need to save $3,000 a month to hit your goal, assuming you have not put aside anything for your wedding yet. However, if your parents are chipping in $10,000 as a pre-wedding gift, that drops the amount you need to $2,000 a month.
When running the numbers on monthly or weekly savings contributions, ask yourself if its realistic. If you cannot hit that savings number together continuously, then you have two options: Downsize the wedding to reduce the costs or consider delaying the wedding to give yourselves a longer window to stash away savings. The second option may not be ideal, but it could be the better choice if you dont want to take anything away from your overall wedding vision.
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It Can Be Hard To Gauge Your Needs But These Strategies Will Help
There are myriad costs that go into getting married, some of them unforeseen: You’ll want to choose a venue, a caterer, a florist, perhaps a band or DJnot to mention wedding clothes. This is why it’s so important to have a plan to save for them, so all those expenditures that make tying the knot special don’t set you back financially for years to come.
These strategies can help you plan for a wedding and put aside enough to meet your needs.
If You Do Have Attendants Go Minimal With Attendant Gifts And Make Them Personal
According to The Knot, the average wedding expense includes $400 in gifts, including party favors. However, most of that $400 goes toward gifts for the attendants. By keeping the wedding party small, you can cut out most of the cost, and with the smaller number, you can be more thoughtful and selective when it comes to a gift.
Strategy: Minimize attendant gifts and make them personal Savings: $200
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Do Diy Projects To Save Money
If youre looking for a way to save money on your wedding, consider tackling some do-it-yourself projects! Make your own decor, bake your own wedding cake, put together a DIY photo booth complete with props, or create personal wedding details yourself for less than buying new!
Essential Tips To Setup A Wedding Budget
Congratulations on your engagement!
The hard part begins once the euphoria of the engagement has worn off THE WEDDING PLANNING Part!
Wondering why it is hard?
Oh, its because it needs a lot of planning and preparation before you actually start arranging things for your big day.
Know that wedding planning starts with creating a wedding budget! Yes, the most important part of your wedding. Creating the wedding budget is indispensable before purchasing the perfect dress, deciding the best cake, picking out the flowers, or even trying makeup. Creating a wedding budget prevents you from losing out on the special day of your dreams.
So, in this post, we shall discuss the most critical part of your wedding the wedding budget and share some tips to set up a wedding budget.
Without further ado, lets get started
BUT, lets first look at why setting a wedding budget is essential.
Here we go
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Upgrade Your Furniture Rentals & Food
With a smaller guest count, you now have the opportunity to splurge on the items that you had to lower with a higher guest count. With a smaller guest count, that means fewer tables & seating. If you had your eye on those gorgeous, but slightly out of budget, ceremony chairsnow is the time to rent them. Smaller guest counts give you the chance to really allocate your funds to your wedding design. With many items being priced per person the thought of getting the $18 chair may have seemed excessive with your original 150 guest count wedding. But can be very doable with your now 30 guest count wedding. A smaller wedding doesnt mean smaller style. Use those extra funds to go big with your design choices such as your linens, florals and furniture.
You can also use this as a chance to step it up a notch with your food selections. A smaller count of people attending the rehearsal allows you to take the menu to the next level and truly wow your guests with your menu choices. A top-shelf open bar and a savory sit-down dinner are more feasible with a smaller list of attendees. Krisy Thomas, Southern Sparkle Wedding & Event Planning
Photo by Laura Gordon
Seven: Stick To Your Budget
Tracking your budget is the only fail-safe way of making sure you dont go over it. Boring, but true.
- Set up a spreadsheet that you and your partner can access will be your new best friend.
- In one tab, put the rough budget youve given yourself for each of your spends in another tab, note down literally every little spend you make. Youll never know if youre going wildly off budget if you stick you head in the sand, and itll help you remember you bought those candlestick holders in the sale six months after you put them in the loft for safekeeping.
- Every month, tot up what youve spent in each area and compare it to the projected spend youve given yourself for each area. If you can see youre very high on décor spends and you havent bought half the things you need, its time to reevaluate.
Recommended Reading: Where To Buy Wedding Dresses
Have The Talk With Any Contributing Parties
If either set of parents are contributing money to the wedding fund, make sure to make time to sit down and discuss how much they will be contributing. Perhaps you and your fiancé are planning to pay for the wedding yourselves, and if that is the case then the conversation will just be the two of you. Either way, its important to have a full idea of how much you will have to work with to keep yourselves on budget.
Its important to note that accepting outside parties or loved ones could come with strings attached. If the two of you want to have creative control without managing others opinions and wishes, you may choose to decline outside contributions. Its definitely a trade-off, so be sure to set boundaries and expectations up front if you do decide to accept financial assistance from your families.
+ Of The Savviest Wedding Budget Tips To Save You Money On Your Big Day
Weve rounded up 50 of our very best wedding budget tips to save you money on your big day, which you can find below.
Before you get started, we highly recommend picking up a copy of The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer to get yourself prepared for planning. Then dive on into these savvy wedding tips!
Just click on a post to read a thorough explanation and examples for each tip! We hope you find these helpful! Without further ado, check out these wedding budget tips:
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How Wedding Costs Have Changed Over Time
Aside from 2020, there have been more than 2 million marriages every year since 2000. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of marriages fell to 1.2 million a year-over-year drop of 37%. Despite this drop, a per-wedding cost that continued to exceed $20,000 coupled with high numbers of people who still went forward with their planned weddings meant people still spent more than $25 billion on weddings.
ValuePenguin estimates that Americans spent a yearly average of $50 billion on weddings from 2015 to 2020.
Given the unprecedented effects that 2020 had on the wedding industry even though earnings were high it’s likely that the cost of weddings in the rest of 2021 will resemble the more conventional cost of weddings in 2019. The average cost of a wedding that year was 18% higher than it was in 2020.
Psa: Please Don’t Go Into Debt To Say I Do
Here Comes The Guide offers this Public Service Announcement: If you want a harmonious marriage , don’t start out drowning in debt. Think beyond the “big day” to your “big life” and smarten up. We all know what the #1 cause of divorce is, right? Right….
If you can’t afford it, chances are you don’t need it. And trust us when we say, you can totally have a champagne wedding on a beer budget . You just need to get a bit creative and focus on the feeling of the event rather than the price tag.
- Sensible Spending Tip 1: Start putting aside some savings as soon as you get engaged.
- Sensible Spending Tip 2: Use your credit cards responsibly. It’s tempting to rack up credit card points during wedding planning, but try to pay off the balance immediately so that you don’t accrue interest!
- Sensible Spending Tip 3: Open up a separate wedding checking account so it’s easy to see exactly where the money is going.
- Sensible Spending Tip 4: Be on the lookout for wedding deals and discounts! These may include off-season or off-peak prices, military discounts, all-inclusive packages, etc.
And, again, remember that it’s not about how much money you spend, it’s how much joy you feel: At the end of the day, even if you get married for $50 at City Hall in a simple white dress , we bet our bottom dollar it will be an incredibly beautiful, memorable, and meaningful wedding.
Plus, you’ll be able to afford that sweet honeymoon. Win-win!