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Creating a Wedding Budget

Updated on August 24, 2015

Creating A Wedding Budget

You just got engaged and you are dreaming about the big day.  Chances are that you are looking for a way to create the wedding that you want without having to take on second jobs.  No matter how much money you have in the bank, you can create an amazing wedding.  Your goal is to meet specific goals that you have in your wedding. 

Everyone wants to have a great time and celebrate in style.  Yet, everyone also needs to know how much they can spend, where to spend it and how to get the most out of it.  As you soon will see, there are plenty of things to spend money on for your wedding.  Some things may be worth a huge investment but others may not be.  When you select the right type of budget for your wedding, you can get everything that you want and more.

Step 1: Who Is Paying?

Today, there are many people that may be contributing to the wedding fund.  What you need to do is to have a talk with everyone that will be paying for it.  It may only be you and your soon to be spouse.  It could be your parents, your soon to be spouse's parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends. 

Regardless, plan a time to talk to them about the wedding you want to create and find out just how much they are willing and able to help pay for it.  Even if it is just you, plan a sit down to really go through your budget to find out how much money you can put towards the wedding.  Once you know this information, and you have commitments from others that will be paying, you will know how much money you are working with.

Realize too that anyone that is paying for the wedding should know where their place in the planning is.  For example, if Uncle Jim will be paying for your wedding dress, does he have a say in which one you purchase?  When money is involved, people expect to be a part in the planning and may or may not want to be involved.  Do take this opportunity to talk about their level of participation should be and what it should not be, depending on what you like and want.

Step 2: Dish It Out

The next step in creating your wedding budget is to figure out what percentage of money will be going to various areas of the wedding. Generally, this is the order in value that each element falls but you can make your own decisions as to how much you want to spend on various elements. The most expensive items where the most money is likely to be spent are towards the top of the list.

  •  The reception (including food and hall rental).
  • Reception entertainment (DJ services, bands or other entertainment that you will provide at the reception.)
  •  Wedding attire for the bride and groom (if you are paying for your attendants' clothing for the event, this would also figure into this budget percentage.)
  •  The photographer.
  •  The wedding day transportation.
  •  Flowers for the wedding, reception and other needs.

There are also going to be other items that you have to pay for as well that may not fall under these categories.  For example, you may need to pay for the location of the wedding itself.  Or, you may need printing services for the wedding pamphlet you are giving out.  Allow at least 5 percent of your budget to this type of thing.

Take these percentages and determine how much money you can spend on each element of the wedding then, based on their priority to you.  You then can find services that will fill your budgeted amount so that you do not go over, but hit the target range of money for each area. 

Step 3: Consider Your Needs And Wants

Perhaps you are considering the wedding dress and wondering if you can use your mothers instead of having to purchase a new one. Perhaps you are thinking that you do not need to have transportation on the wedding day. Whatever unique aspects of your wedding there are, determine the best way to allow for this. You may be able to save money on specific items as you go too. For example, perhaps the groom's attire is paid for by the purchase of the attendant's jackets. When there is a new amount of available money, be sure to factor that into the costs of the wedding were appropriate.

Step 4: Finding Ways To Save

Everyone always finds things along the way that they want to include at their wedding.  If your budget is set, though, how do you factor in these needs?  The best way to do so is to find ways to cut costs in other ways.  For example, you may decide that a smaller bouquet of flowers is appropriate for the wedding ceremony and this cuts off a few dollars. 

You may be able to choose a different type of meal plan for the wedding reception and save money by doing so.  Saving money on the wedding can happen when you invest the time in looking for ways to cut costs.  Nearly all aspects of the wedding are offered at discount pricing and opportunities for savings.  You just have to look for it and plan for it.  A good time to find great sales on wedding services is during the winter months for June brides!

Step 5: Stick With It

While it can be very difficult to stick to a budget when you want to have the best wedding out there, remember that most people do not remember those details that you are so worried about anyway; so, while you may want to have those colored napkins on the tables that cost a bit more, your guests will not notice the difference.  Most importantly, by sticking with your budget, you are not stressed and anxious on your wedding day about how you will pay for everything.  Or, even worse, you do not need to reach for your credit card and have to pay finance charges on your wedding.

It is not always fun to have to deal with a budget especially when planning something so fabulous. But, it is a lot better to know where the money is coming from and how much you can spend before you begin to spend money that you could use for a honeymoon or even your first home. Use a wedding budget as a way of helping you to know what's happening financially with your wedding. In actuality, you will appreciate it later, down the road when it matters most.

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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      A very important point and great advice. Great hub.