Today, we’re talking about determining a budget for your wedding. Figuring out how much you can afford for your wedding is the very first step to beginning to plan your wedding.
Let’s be real for a minute, shall we? Budgets for weddings are HARD! Weddings are EXPENSIVE! There are numbers, categories, numerous things that you need to account for. We see budgets that range from $15,000 to $75,000, and from guest counts ranging from 10 guests to 350 guests – everyone has a number, and determining that number is so important!
Below, are our five easy-to-swallow steps for making and keeping your wedding budget. Happy Planning!
This is probably one of the hardest discussions you’ll need to have with your parents, or with whoever will be paying for your wedding. If someone has expressed interest in donating to the wedding fund, you’ll want to sit down with them and have a very frank discussion about the cost of your wedding, and how much they are willing to donate.
This. Is. So. Important. Seriously, we cannot stress how important it is to talk frankly, honestly, and openly about paying for your wedding. This will help you to set a realistic number that helps you get to your big day.
Here’s some basic guidelines, if you need some inspiration in how to split up the funds.
Traditionally, the parents of the bride pay for:
The couple pays for:
The groom’s family pays for:
Time to plug our favorite quiz again! It’s really important to chat realistically about what your wedding will cost. To do that, you need somewhere to start! This quiz will literally analyze details about you and your dream wedding to give you the perfect breakdown to the financials of your wedding day. The type of wedding, type of venue, travel distance, and even wedding colors play a role in how much your wedding will cost. There are so many variables that go into planning a wedding that it is so hard for our couples to come up with a number that makes sense, and isn’t just arbitrary! This quiz will help you narrow down a general idea of how much a wedding like yours may end up costing you based on your likes and dislikes.
For example, here’s about what a wedding will cost based on the type of wedding you have:
|Beach||$20,182 – $33,636|
|Casual||$11,212 – $18,687|
|DIY||$11,385 – $18,974|
|Destination||$28,116 – $46,861|
|Elegant||$23,287 – $38,811|
|Formal||$26,564 – $44,273|
|Fun||$17,422 – $29,036|
|Garden||$16,042 – $26,737|
|Romantic||$19,319 – $32,199|
|Rustic||$14,662 – $24,437|
|Simple||$11,212 – $18,687|
|Theme||$19,492 – $32,486|
|Traditional||$18,974 – $31,624|
|Unique||$18,629 – $31,049|
|Vintage||$17,422 – $29,036|
We gotta mention though: this quiz is an estimator. It won’t give you a true, to theT, not-a-dollar-more answer, which is why this part of the wedding planning process can feel so tricky and overwhelming. A planner can guide you in the process of creating your budget, and help you with that honest conversation. Best of all, they can help you stick to it!
We look at budgets as a required goal to meet. According to the Knot, 45 percent spent more than they’d planned by an average of $7,319. When we set a budget with our couples, we stick to that budget – we talk about realistic expectations, and we never go above a budget unless you give us permission. Only in extreme circumstances do we raise our budget limits. With a wedding planner, your chances of going above budget unexpectantly are slimmer – and you’ll talk about it frankly and honestly before it ever happens.
If everyone gives in lump sums, then you’ll want to start by dividing up. Here is how we generally divide up the budget at Happy to Be Events:
|Flowers and decorations||8%|
|Invitations and announcements||3%|
|Ceremony site/officiant fee||4%|
If you’re making your own tracker, you’ll want to include the vendor name, the invoice date, when the payments were made, and how much is due. You may also want to include how the payment was made and any due dates. These are things that we always track for our brides.
After you set up a budget tracker, you’ll want to set up a system that reminds you when you need to make payments. As you get closer to the wedding, some vendors will require payment thirty days out, while others require it on the wedding day, and others still may require payment at various milestones up to the wedding. Having a payment reminder system helps you to keep on track – you wouldn’t want to miss a payment with your vendors!
Having a tracker for your wedding that establishes automatic reminders to guide you through all of the payment due dates is such a blessing! From the catering being due 10 days before, the photographer on the day of, the venue a month before, it’s no wonder people call wedding planning overwhelming! Remember, you and your honey can do this! Stay organized, write down due days, and have a little fun along the way!
That last bit of advice leads us into our final tip (our sixth tip? Oh man!)
This is probably the most money you will ever spend on a single day! Whether you are hosting a sit down six-course Italian feast for two hundred or a backyard fiesta for 20, the money that goes into everything that happens on a wedding day can be so stressful! Don’t forget to breathe! We are huge fans of mindfulness during your planning, and taking breaks throughout the wedding planning process (we even build them into our couples’ wedding planning!). Breaks are so important to keeping you calm, cool, collected, and able to actually enjoy your wedding planning process!
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Photography by Amanda Beside Eric, KSant Photography, Fowler Studios, Summertime Photography, Studio N Photography, Mermaid Lake Photography, Tessa Anne Photography, Kassandra Renee Photography, Samantha Parkes Photography, Kerry Renee Photography, and KJ Shepard Photography.