How to Create a Wedding Budget
Wedding Budget Overview
Planning a wedding is a wonderful experience.
Searching for the dress, the venue, and the wedding decorations can be a fun experience.
In order to execute the wedding you’re envisioning, you need time and money, honey!
And if you don’t want to end up spending a fortune you have to create a wedding budget.
Knowing where to start can be a bit of a challenge, but the real test will be sticking to the wedding budget.
If you haven’t the slightest clue what to do, we’ve got some helpful budget creation tips to will get you started.
It's Easy to Start Your Wedding Budget
The Wallet Talk
The first thing you need to figure out is the wedding budget source of the money.
Maybe it’s just you and your fiance. Or, your parents and in-laws might want to chip in.
Don’t forget your lovely Grandma Helen. She may want to help with a specific aspect of the wedding, like your dress or shoes.
The money talk can be a bit awkward, but as adults it’s important to have this conversation early and accept whatever the outcome is.
You know your family the best and how to approach them.
Perhaps they’ve already offered and you don’t have to worry about it. (Whew!)
Or, you just kind of have a feeling that you know they want to help.
The next step is to determine how much money you’ll be gifted (or loaned).
Then, get an idea of how much you and your fiance are going to contribute to help fill the gap.
It helps to know how many wedding guests you want to have, what type of venue and food you’ll want, and an estimate for larger wedding vendors like photographers.
It can be hard to know what to figure out first, but you’ll have to piece things together as you go, depending on when you talk with your family and the wedding vendors.
In order to create an accurate wedding budget you have to know how much money will need to go in the wedding piggy bank.
Authentic Bride Guide Tip: Please don’t turn into a bridezilla if your relatives are unable to contribute to your wedding budget. The day is about you marrying your true love. If you have to skip the custom wedding favors or not serve steak and lobster to stay within the budget, you’ll survive. Trust us.
Related Content: Easy ways to save money at your wedding
Can You Pay My Bills?
Once you know how much money you’ll be generously receiving, it’s time to take a deep dive at your own finances.
Firstly, you have to find out how much you and your fiance can contribute to the wedding budget.
Be realistic, estimate your savings and your current monthly income in order to create a budget that will fund your wedding and your everyday life.
Just like you don’t want to be house poor, you definitely don’t want to be wedding poor.
Remember, it’s only one day of your forever future!
Combine your contribution with what money you’ve received as a gift and voila! You have your wedding budget.
Start Your Search Engines
Besides the obvious wedding costs, there are a lot of smaller charges that you likely haven’t thought of or hidden charges.
These smaller costs add up very quickly and could turn your perfect wedding budget into chaos in a hot minute.
For example, some couples don’t know that wedding venues automatically charge gratuity for the servers or there is a cake cutting fee. (A what?!)
Depending on who you’re hiring, brainstorm all potential hidden costs and make sure to ask your vendors.
Do some research on Pinterest and ask your married friends what they encountered.
Wedding Guest List
Now that you’ve got a wedding budget, planned for the unexpected and done a rough head count, it’s time to finalize the guest list.
The number of wedding guests will determine how many seats you need at the venue, how much food and alcohol you will provide and how many guest favors you need to DIY or purchase.
In case you haven’t started researching food options, wedding caterers charge a lot of money.
You don’t have to offer a steak a lobster dinner though.
Throw an authentic wedding that offers a food truck or appetizer buffet and dessert bar.
Your guests’ tummies will be full and their hearts will still be happy!
Authentic Bride Guide Tip: Be realistic about the number of people you invite to your wedding. You don’t have to invite everyone you know. And you don’t have to include your parent’s friends. (Even if they are footing the bill. More advice on that here.)
Set Your Budget Priorities
Some couples want a lavish ceremony and a modest party.
Some others want to spend more money on food and cocktails.
The good news is that because it’s your wedding day, you and your fiance get to decide, together, how your want your wedding budget to be spent.
It’s ok if you skip the wedding favors (we did!) and splurge for some surprise entertainment or a killer getaway ride.
Related Wedding Budget Content: Where to save vs. where to splurge
All You Need Is Love!
Money can make the world go round.
It can also cause problems with your fiance, but only if you let it.
Don’t let your premarital bliss fall apart over petty, financial issues.
Pause for a moment and remember why you’re getting married.
If you are having trouble with the wedding budget, or your bank account can’t afford a big wedding, take a deep breath and relax.
Your wedding is much more important than expensive decorations.
You can always get married at the City Hall, wearing a simple but lovely dress and exchange the same vows of eternal love.
You could always throw a reception for your one year anniversary with all your loved ones to celebrate in style!
Plus, you will have money to eat at your favorite restaurant and call an Uber. And that’s a great deal!