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Wedding Plans on a Budget

Updated on March 10, 2014
Wedding Budget
Wedding Budget | Source

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."~Antoine de Sainte-Exupery

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Planning a wedding can be daunting as much as it is exciting. There are so many things that need to be taken into consideration but the most important factor is the BUDGET. Both you, your partner and in many cases, your families need to be on the same page when it comes to your finances. When budgeting for your wedding, champagne taste on a beer budget definitely won't work. However, a sensible financial plan will help you achieve realistic goals.


There are so many new and tantalizing products and services available with each passing year. As we all know, most of these products and services are featured at all the major Bridal shows. There you will see all the latest fashions, trends and services. From wedding gowns to cake toppers a veritable visual feast and all under one roof........sensory overload indeed! STOP DROOLING and get ahold of yourself! Remain mindful of your budget and be prepared to shop around.

Budget on Track

In order to stay on track, you should create a list of expected expenses. You may be asking yourself what percentage of your budget should be allotted to each expense? Don't worry, it really isn't that complicated. Below is a list which breaks down each element with a "suggested" percentage that should be allocated.


Percentages of budget that should be allotted for various elements:


-Reception-40% to 65%

-Bride's Wedding Attire-13.5% to 18%

-Ceremony-8% to 12%

-Photography-7% to 12%

-Rings-7% to 10%

-Flowers-5% to 13%

-Miscellaneous-4% to 12%

-Music-2% to 10%

-Stationary-3.5% to 5%

-Gifts-3% to 5%

-Church costs-1% to 3%

-Wedding cake-2% to 2.5%

-Transportation and accommodation-2%


As mentioned previously, this is a "suggested" percentage allotment. Some couples place a greater emphasis on certain other elements. For example, flowers may be more important to you than say gifts, so in this case just readjust the percentage for gifts to 2% to 4% and flowers to 6% to 14%.


Creating a budget breakdown list is pretty simple for such an important aspect of your wedding plans. The great thing about preparing such a list is that it gives you real direction and it makes following your budget so much easier.


As you may have noticed, each expense has been referred to as an element. Wedding and Event Planners often refer to them as such when putting together the various aspects of a function. We will also be looking at each element in greater detail in the coming weeks and try to understand why we allot certain amounts of our budgets to them. For example, the Reception will require anywhere from 40 to 60% of your budget. It sounds pretty scary, but it is an important part of your big day. This is where everyone finally comes together to celebrate this special day and truly enjoy the fruits of your labour. Skimping on this important element can ruin an otherwise perfect day. Some couples, against better judgement, place greater emphasis on attire, flowers or transportation only to have everything fall apart at the reception. Don't try to economize here, you want to finish your day off with a bang.

Dollar Signs
Dollar Signs | Source

Vendor's Costs

When working out your budget, you may be "guesstimating" what the various vendors such as the florist, photographer, caterer and so on might cost. A vendor's fee may depend on a variety of factors:


-Years of experience

-Supply and demand

-Quality of work

-Competition in local area

-Hours of service being provided


Each vendor can set their own prices for services or products offered so it is up to you to do your homework and shop around. You and your partner may have a personal priority, however, as mentioned before, it is up to you to decide how you wish to allocate your funds. Be advised to always use your discretion and spend your money wisely.

Selecting a Wedding Cake
Selecting a Wedding Cake | Source

Saving Money

When putting together a wedding budget, you need to figure out what you can afford to spend. You need to decide what is of importance to you and your partner and apply your funds accordingly. Always remember that a memorable wedding day can be had regardless of the size of your budget. Making smart decisions from the beginning can help to keep your costs under control. Here are a few ways that you may successfully keep your wedding costs down:


-Keep It Small-Inviting your closest family members and friends to the wedding will help to keep your costs down but will also create a memorable occasion because you both will be able to spend more time with each of your guests.


-Shop Sample Sales-Buying your bridal gown at a sample sale can save you upwards to thousands of dollars. You may just find a fabulous designer dress at a fraction of the cost.


-Borrow-You can save some money by borrowing possibly shoes, a headpiece or even a bridal gown, (if it works for you).


-Reduce Amount Of Flowers And Decor-By selecting flowers that are in season and reusing ceremony flowers at the reception venue, you can save quite a bit. Also, cutting back on other decor aspects at the reception such as seat covers.


-Eliminate "Atmosphere Enhancing" Gadgets And Props-Many couples love the idea of using the ever popular dry ice or bubble machines at some point during the evening, (usually the first dance), or lighting shows and themed screens to name a few. These options can definitely help to enhance the mood and atmosphere of the affair, however, sometimes less is more so it is not necessary to spend money on any of these gadgets and props.


-Choose All Inclusive Venues-It is far more prudent to choose venues that include everything. Contrary to popular belief, it is not cheaper to rent a space, hire caterers and rent chairs and china and so on. Believe it or not, it may end up costing you considerably more than you think.


-Buffets Are Not Created Equal-Buffets are a great idea but remember that it may end up costing you way more than a sit down meal when it comes to a wedding. Although buffets eliminate the need for extra staff, buffets usually cost the caterers more to produce because they usually require a great deal more food. On the other hand, if you have a cocktail hour with hors d'oeuvres and choose a menu with an appetizer, salad, entree and wedding cake for dessert, it will be more than enough food and it will definitely save you money.


-Choose Uncommon Days And Times-Most couples usually select Saturday evenings for receptions but if you opt for a Saturday afternoon, Friday evening or perhaps a Sunday brunch, you will save quite a bit of money which can be utilized elsewhere.


-Choose An Uncommon Month-While many couples want to get married during the spring and summer months, you will save a great deal of money by choosing autumn or winter months. Imagine the the warmth and colours of autumn or the majesty of a "winter wonderland" wedding. Vendors are willing to be far more flexible with pricing from January through March. Also, this time of year can be quite romantic and elegant. However, please note that prices may be more expensive in and around Valentine's Day in February.


-Don't Book Too Far In Advance-If you are willing to book a date closer to your wedding day, vendors will be more flexible because they do not make any profits for dates that are not being utilized. If you are able to arrange your wedding in six months or less, you will be able to negotiate some

Romantic Autumn Wedding

Romantic Autumn Wedding
Romantic Autumn Wedding | Source

Finally.......

The wedding budget is the most integral part of your planning. It determines everything from number of guests to whether it will be a formal or informal affair. If you follow the tips and steps that have been provided in this article, you will be able to achieve your dream wedding no matter how big or small your budget may be.

How To Budget For Wedding Centerpieces

Question?

Are you careful when it comes to sticking to a budget?

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    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Hello savvydating thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such kind words. I am still writing but I haven't had much time to spend on Hubpages these past several months. I hope that I can start up again very soon. Thank you very much for asking, I really appreciate it. I hope all is well with you. Take care and have a lovely evening. -Rose

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 3 years ago

      "Don't try to economize here, you want to finish your day off with a bang." I like that you said that because, well, it's not always obvious that the reception is really, really important. This hub is great. I mean, the way you've broken everything down. All a person has to do is print this out and fill in the blanks. How awesome is that?

      Are you still writing, Rose? I hadn't seen you around lately, so I thought I'd drop by to see what you're up to. Up, useful, awesome.

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you so much for stopping by Sunny River! I really appreciate it. Take care and have an awesome weekend! -Rose

    • Sunny River profile image

      Sunny River 3 years ago from A Place Without A Name which resides somewhere between Fantasy and Belief, just north of Reality

      Great ideas. I've already taken some of these into consideration. :)

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you so much for stopping by thelyricwriter. I really appreciate your kind words and support! Take care.

      -Rose

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Rose, voted up, useful, beautiful, interesting, and shared on FB. I would assume that it can be difficult to have a wedding on a budget. My wedding was very small and didn't cost much money at all, just a small ceremony. My wife and I always wanted to have a renewal wedding, do it right this time by. I'll be sure to keep this by because you've listed some very resourceful information Rose.

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you so much for stopping by Careermommy, I really appreciate it. I hope this is helpful for your friend. Take care and have an awesome day! -Rose

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      rose-the-planner, this is great information. My friend is planning her wedding now, so I will be sure to pass along this article to her. The budget breakdown is very useful.

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      So nice of you to drop by georgialgal1984. Thank you so much for the kind words, I really appreciate it. Weddings can be a very expensive affair but if couples stick to their budget and follow a few helpful tips, they can still have.their dream wedding without spending a lot of money. Take care! -Rose

    • georgialgal1984 profile image

      Mrs Clark 4 years ago from United States

      Great hub with lots of practical advise for an engaged couple! It's amazing how much debt people will take on for wedding rings, the ceremony, and reception. Hopefully your hub helps others budget and consider areas they can save in. Hope you have a happy and safe night~

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you so much for stopping by Faith, I really appreciate it. You know, I always say that it doesn't take a great deal of money to have a lovely wedding. A little creativity and some shopping around is all it takes. Take care!

      -Rose

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Really great hub here to a practical guide as to not breaking the bank on a wedding! My entire wedding cost $600, but that was in '78. I worked at the A & P Grocery Store and save my little pennies and shopped and found everything I needed, and it was a lovely wedding. We were so young then and we are still married. I wrote about part of the cost of the wedding in a hub.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Hello IslandBites, thank you for your kind words. Take care. -Rose

    • IslandBites profile image

      IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Great hub, great ideas.

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! Take care.

    • mercuryservices profile image

      Alex Munkachy 4 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Very organized hub that's easy to read, with well placed text and pictures throughout. I like how you sprinkled some personality in it, too. I think this one will be a performer for you on Google. Also, nice quote at the beginning. Good job!

      -Alex

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you so much traderjim for stopping by. I am glad to hear that you are interested in this topic. There is so much involved in the world of wedding and event planning. I would love to read your hub about wedding dresses. Take care!

    • traderjim profile image

      traderjim 4 years ago

      Great hub!

      I'm very interestes about this topic, in particular I've written a hub about wedding dresses.

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you so much Susie HQ. I really appreciate it.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Rose,

      Wow, love the detail you showed here and it is obvious you know your profession! Love all the titles you have done in this area. I often fancied this as a profession, event planning and having worked as a wedding make-up artist I love the wedding side too! Great hub, well put together, voted up +++++ shared!

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you so much Rajan! It is so important to stick to a budget because it is very easy to go overboard with wedding costs if your not careful. Take care.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Rose, I see you have a great list of hubs on wedding planning. Given your profile it's not a surprise. This a great start to reading your hubs on this subject. My daughter got married about a year and half back and we did make a budget almost on the same lines you suggest here. I did a lot of research on the net for ideas.

      I'll be reading more hubs on this subject by you and enjoyed reading and learned a lot from them.

      Great job. Voted up and useful. Thanks for sharing.

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you so much Kathryn for your kind words! I really appreciate it. Take care.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Wow, I decided to check out your hubs, and noticed your array of wedding articles, as well as your profession. If I get married, you will be a great source of information!

      I like your breakdown of the budget, as well as all of the useful tips. You did a fantastic job!

      Also, welcome to HubPages. You have a great selection of articles already!

      ~ Kathryn

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you so much Kasman. There are many ways to save money when planning a wedding. That's awesome that you were able to get a deal at the botanical garden for your wedding. Take care.

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Good details in this hub for anyone needing to budget for their wedding. I remember my wife and I needing to budget but thankfully we did get some things for free like our wedding coordinator. Another thing that helped was that we got a good deal on the rose garden at a botanic gardens. I really liked the autumn picture, like a movie! Voting up and sharing!

    • rose-the planner profile image
      Author

      rose-the planner 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Thank you Crystal, I really appreciate it. Take care!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

      Very useful hub with great, practical tips. I can tell you know your stuff, and you did a terrific job with presenting this information. I think you can really creat a niche for yourself here on HubPages. Welcome!