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How To Set Up A Wedding Budget

Get Creative Where You Can

How to set up a wedding budget in Excel

Getting creative while planning your wedding can go a long way in helping you save. “I’ve seen couples reduce their costs significantly by thinking outside of the box,” says Melissa Trentadue, manager of community at wedding planning platform Zola. Trentadue says she has seen couples opt for donut bars and cupcake towers instead of the traditional wedding cake to cut costs, and DIY decorations for tablescapes.

Bride Catherine Badillo, founder of personal finance blog Wealth of Cents, used a mix of candles and greenery to cut down on floral expenses. “Candles and greenery work with any time of year, provide a nice romantic ambience, and are cheaper than large flower arrangements,” says Badillo.

If you have the option of wearing a close family member’s wedding dress, reimagining it could save you over $1,000, says Beams. You can have the dress altered and updated to your style, it will add a meaningful element to your special day, and you’ll already have your “something borrowed.”

Digital invitations make for an eco-friendly wedding option and will save you time and moneyyour guests just want to know the important details. “The handmade, gold-embossed, ribbon-clad invites will sit in someone’s drawer until the day of,” says Badillo. If you are sending out invitations in the mail, Badillo suggests having your guests RSVP on your wedding website instead of having RSVP cards printed.

Pare Down The Cake Extras

Order a small, fabulous wedding cake that’s exactly what you want and, in the kitchen, have several sheet cakes of the same flavor cut for your guests. And stay away from tiers and handmade sugar flowers, fancy fillings and special molded shapes. Have your caterer decorate each plate with a flavored sauce instead. Buttercream frosting is also tastier and less expensive than fondant.

Average Cost Of A Wedding

How much does a typical wedding cost? In 2020, average wedding spending came to $28,964, according to data collected by Brides. This emphasizes why planning a wedding budget is so important.

Without a budget, you may be at greater risk of overspending or creating debt to pay for wedding expenses. Keep in mind that $28,964 is an average. What you actually spend on a wedding may be influenced by:

  • Where you live
  • Whether you choose a local wedding or a destination wedding
  • How many people you invite
  • Which wedding traditions you choose to uphold

The bigger the ceremony, the more it may cost. In 2020, Brides reports a growing trend of micro-weddings, typically with no more than 50 guests. And 42% of couples in a study by The Knotchose to hold an even tinier minimony, with up to 10 people, in place of a full-scale wedding. The typical minimony clocked in at only $1,400.

Factors such as inflation and supply chain disruptions can increase the average cost of a wedding, which is something to consider when planning your budget.

Read Also: How To Address Families On Wedding Invites

Wedding Planner Or Coordinator

Average Cost: $1,500 Suggested Budget Percent: 410%

If youve got a calendar with each days events planned down to the hour, you probably dont need a wedding coordinator who works out every single detail.

But you might want someone who tells people when and where to go on your actual wedding daywhere to get their pictures taken, when to begin walking down the aisle, when to start playing I Feel Good by James Brown at the exact moment you are pronounced husband and wife.

This can be someone you hire to be your day-of coordinator or a well-organized friend or awesome aunt. This categorys a balancing act. You dont want to spend absurd money for services you dont need, but the bride and groom shouldnt be giving anyone tips or direction on their big day!

Work Out How Much You Can Afford To Spend

How to Use the Easy Wedding Budget  Savvy Spreadsheets

This might seem like a straightforward step, but there are a few things to remember:

  • A wedding can be a huge financial expense and the last thing you want is to regret how much you spent. So before you start, find a figure you can live with spending on your big day.
  • Lots of newly-engaged couples tell us that they have no idea how much a wedding costs, which is only natural if you haven’t planned a big event before. If that’s the case, we recommend having a browse around our real wedding budget breakdowns, which detail what real couples spent on the big day.
  • So you have 5,000 in the bank, but you think you can get to 20,000 in savings by your wedding? Be realistic about how much you can save in the time you have. While you’ll be dipping into your account for deposits and expenses throughout planning, bear in mind that the bulk of the cost comes right at the end.
  • If you’re considering taking out a personal loan to pay for all or part of your wedding, make sure to shop around to find a loan with the lowest possible interest rate and terms you’re happy with. We’ve started your research for you, and found that Avant Money offer rates as low as 6.1% APR on loans over 20,000.*
  • If you know your parents want to contribute to your wedding, try to have the money conversation with them early on. That way, you you know how much you have to work with, if they want their money to cover specific items , or if there are any other caveats to them contributing.

Photo by via One Fab Day

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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.

Sit With Your Partner And Both Parents

Once you know the kind of wedding youre planning, its time to sit down with your partner and both parents. Create a budget that you can work with. It is crucial to have your parents and partner while creating your budget so that you know who is sponsoring what.

Pro tip: Discuss everything, about every aspect of your wedding. Be clear about your requirements and let everybody know what kind of wedding youre planning to host.

Read Also: How To Address A Wedding Invitation To A Family

Stay Organized And Track Your Wedding Expenses

Do yourself a favor and immediately create a Google Doc spreadsheet to keep track of your wedding budget. Start by breaking down your estimated costs for each category to provide a template as youre contacting vendors. Each time you sign a contract or send a payment, record the actual cost so you always know how close you are to your bottom line. Share the doc with your fiancé and consider sharing it with family members who are helping to pay for the wedding if that will help streamline the process for you.

Ready To Start Planning Your Celebration

2021 Budget Planner | Setting up my Annual Budget Planning | How to Set up a Budget

Sticking to your destination wedding budget may seem like a challenge, but it doesnt have to be. There are plenty of ways to plan a destination wedding on a budget to alleviate stress and prevent overspending. Between careful planning and utilizing the services of a Certified Destination Wedding Specialist, you can bring your dream wedding to life.

*This is based on customer base only and is inclusive of airfare, accommodations and the wedding package.

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Flowers Lighting And Decor

Flowers, lighting and other decor for the wedding day run an average of $3,500 .10 Thats a lot of petals, twinkle lights and tulle. Some venues have enough charm on their own, but most couples like to spruce up the place and add personal touches.

If youre limiting your spending in this category, think about what will show in photos during the ceremony. A wooden arch decorated with greenery and flowers to frame the happy couple is probably a better investment than elaborate centerpieces. That arch will set a scene that youll show your great-grandchildren one day when you flip through the photo album, while the centerpieces are just wow factor for the day.

Keep in mind that decor isnt the only place youll need flowers. Most weddings include bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. And you might also want a flower girl to sprinkle rose petals down the aisle. That costs money. And if youve always dreamed of hydrangeas, calla lilies or tulips for the bouquets, be aware that these spring and summer blossoms will come at a high price if youre having a winter wedding.

But maybe the guys dont want boutonnieresthats a good place to save money. This category is also a great place to get your DIY on! You dont even need a florist: Check out the floral department at your local warehouse store or even supermarket.

Come Up With A Detailed Budgetand Stick To It

First things firstbuild your wedding budget. It’s important to have a budget that is detailed and accounts for everything, big and small, so there aren’t any unexpected expenses that come up. Plus, it could serve as a to-do list of what to buy or arrange for.

“Seventy-five percent of your budget will likely be comprised of the venue, food, and beverage,” says certified financial planner Claire Beams. A bride-to be herself, Beams suggests figuring out those big expenses first so you know how much you have to spend on everything else. She says to allocate $500 to $1,000 for unexpected expenses.

Having a discussion with your partner about your expectations and how much you want to spend on things will help you come with an accurate budget and stick to it. Once you have the numbers figured out, it’s easier to seek out vendors because you can choose based on who can work with your budget.

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Three: Create A Rough Guest List

The size of your guest list will determine roughly how much you need to be aiming to save.

If its 20-50, you can look for smaller venues that offer an intimate and personal space at a cheaper price e.g. a private room in a pub or restaurant. Most venues easily cater to guest lists of 50-100, so do some research to find out how much venues in your area charge and what the cost per head for catering might be. Often guide prices will be listed on websites if you dont want to make contact just yet or chat to married friends to see what they paid. If you want around 80 guests on an all-inclusive wedding package of £90pp, you can use that £7,200 as the starting point for a rough budget.

Above 150 guests, youll need a larger venue and will need to accept this will cost you more not that there arent smart ways to save like a midweek wedding, going for dry hire, or not hiring a venue exclusively.

Should you realise that you can never afford to pay for all those guests, you either need to 1) give yourself more time to save, or 2) cut down your guest list to a more realistic figure. Remember that on top of this youll have all the other major costs. If youre not sure what those look like, heres the average spend on the top 10 wedding costs in 2019:

  • Venue hire £5,406
  • Entertainment/music £1,005
  • Video £968
  • READ MORE:How to Plan a Wedding for £25,000

    Figure Out Who Is Sponsoring What

    How to set up a wedding budget in Excel

    Though it is customary for the brides parents to pay for the wedding, this is no longer the case in modern weddings. Today, the wedding budget is frequently funded by both sets of parents, other family members, and the couple themselves. As a result, get down with family members and discuss who will pay and how much they will contribute.

    Read Also: Wedding Vendor Spreadsheet

    Substitute Less Expensive Flowers

    Choose flowers that are in season, and pick locally grown flowers rather than blooms that need to be flown in from afar to reduce costs. For example, if you exchange Black Magic roses for more reasonably priced, deeply colored dahlias in all your bouquets and table arrangements, you’ll save about $4 a stem. If you were planning on having five roses per bouquet and 10 per centerpiece, and have a wedding party of five ladies and a guest list of 150 people, you could save $700.

    Opt For More Casual Bites

    A buffet or family-style meal is typically easier on the wallet than a more formal, plated dinner. Everyone serves themselves, and you forgo the cost of waited table service. You can also keep it casual by ordering from a local BBQ joint, your fave Mexican restaurant, or a fun food truck! And if you need to save money, rely on your guests to contribute potluck-style.

    Don’t Miss: How Much Is Open Bar At Wedding

    Once You Have Your Total Decide What Details Are Most Important To You

    Go through the list of details we provided above and select the items that matter to you and your fiance.

    If you dont want a photo booth or are not serving alcohol at your wedding, cross those items off the list. You do not have to budget for them.

    When you have your total budget and list of important details, its time to calculate what each piece of the wedding will cost.

    To help you do this, weve provided a percentage breakdown of wedding costs by category:

    Use the following percentages as a guideline for how much of your total budget to spend in each category:

    • Ceremony 3%

    Multiply your total budget by the percentage to get the total spend for each category.

    For example, if your total wedding budget is $20,000 and the breakdown gives you 5% to spend on flowers, youll have a $1000 budget to give a florist.

    $20,000 x 5% = $1,000

    Keep in mind, these are GUIDELINES.

    If you crossed out a few of the categories on your personal list, move those percentages to categories you think are more important.

    For example, if your ceremony will be at your family church and it is free to use the space, place that 3% in another category. That extra 3% could help you move from a DJ to a live band or upgrade your hotel choice.

    Similarly, if you have had your heart set on one specific band that runs over budget, you can book it! BUT, youll have to make up for that overage from elsewhere in your budget by downgrading decor or favors, for example.

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