Creating a budget for your wedding is one of the least liked tasks in the wedding planning process. Generally, when it comes to budgeting, many people tend to shy away from the topic. However, you cannot do that when it comes to your wedding. Creating a budget for your wedding is the first step in the planning process, as well as the most vital step.
Why Should I Create A Budget For My Wedding?
One of the most common mistakes I see brides make when planning their wedding is they don’t set a budget first thing. They book a couple of vendors and make a few purchases before they figure out what their budget is. Then when they do figure out their budget, they realize they have already spent most of their money. And that they won’t have enough money to do the other things they wanted. Or they are forced to move forward with a plan they can’t afford because they already signed contracts. (Click here to learn more about the common wedding planning mistakes and how to avoid them)
I don’t want this to happen to you! So take my advice and create a budget for your wedding right away. The sooner you can do this, the better. By creating a budget for your wedding early on, you will save your self a lot of stress. And you will be less likely to blow your budget. In addition, once you have created a budget for your wedding, your options will be more defined and it will be easier to make decisions.
How Much Does The Average Wedding Cost?
When you sit down to create a budget for your wedding, it is useful to know how much a wedding costs. In 2019, the cost of an average wedding was close to $35,000. Is that in line with what you were planning to spend? We’re you planning to spend more? Or were you hoping to spend less?
For those of you who were planning to spend that amount of money on their wedding, that is good news. You will have a fairly easy time finding a venue and wedding vendors that work with your budget and still have money left over for the other things.
For those of you who were hoping to spend less, don’t worry. It is possible to plan a wedding for less than $35,000. It’s just a little trickier. I will be writing a post in the future about planning a wedding on a budget, so I won’t go too much into that here. But for now, I can tell you to take a look at your guest count. Your guest count will drive how much you spend on your wedding. The more guests you have, the more expensive the wedding will be. The fewer guests you have, the less expensive the wedding will be.
On that note, I don’t recommend financing your wedding or otherwise going into debt for your wedding. Because at the end of the day, your wedding day is just one day. A day that will come and go quickly. But the bills you will have after the wedding will keep coming, month after month. Which can lead to a world of stress. And I want you to start your marriage off feeling blissful, not stressful.
Steps In Creating A Budget For Your Wedding
Step 1: Figure Out Your Overall Budget
Figure out if it will just be you and your partner shouldering the cost of the wedding, or if you have family members who can contribute. Then take the amount you and your partner can contribute, and the amount your family members can contribute, and add them together. This will be your overall budget.
Step 2: Determine What Is Important For The Wedding
Next is setting priorities and goals for the wedding. For many brides, the food, the decor, and the guest experience are the highest priorities. They want the food to taste good and the service to be of high-quality. They want their wedding to be beautiful and stylish. And they want their guests to feel comfortable and have a great time. Sit down with your partner (and anybody else who may be contributing money or making decisions for the wedding), and figure out what is most important for your wedding. By doing this early on, you will save yourself some stress and hassle down the road, and likely a couple of arguments too.
Step 3: Allocate Funds To Each Category Of Wedding Expenses
Now that you have figured how much money you have to work with, and what is important for the wedding, the next step is to figure out how to spend the money. I’m going to simplify this step for the sake of this blog post and say that there are 7 main categories of expenses for weddings. The trick is to figure out how to allocate your funds between the 7 categories. And it’s useful to think of this in terms of percentages, instead of dollar amounts. For example, it’s a good rule of thumb that you will probably spend about 50% of your budget on your reception. Then you figure out how much you want to spend in the other 6 categories.
To help you out, I’ve created a list of the 7 categories and what is typically spent in each one. But just keep in mind, this is an example based on my experience as a wedding planner. This example will help you get started, but your percentages should be based on what is most important to you
Attire/Bridal Beauty: 10%
Photography and Videography: 10%
Stationery/Guest Hospitality: 10%
In conclusion, creating a budget for your wedding is a vital first step in the wedding planning process. And the sooner you create one, the better. All you have to do is come up with a figure for the overall amount you have to spend, figure out your priorities for the wedding day, then allocate the overall amount you have to spend between the 7 categories of wedding expenses. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
If you need more help with creating a budget for your wedding, A Daydream Wedding is here to help! We’d love to hear your vision and priorities for the wedding and create a budget you can stick to. Contact us today or schedule your free wedding planning consultation!
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