Next to college, buying a house, and having children, a wedding is one of the top most expensive things you’ll ever pay for in your life.
In 2019, the average cost of a wedding was around $28,000. That doesn’t mean you need to keep to that number, but it’s something to keep in mind as you set your budget.
As you saw with my recent decision to increase my wedding budget, keep in mind, your budget might change with time. You might get far in your journey and realize you need to add an extra amount.
Setting the right budget can help you and your future spouse avoid financial stress or get in debt to fund your wedding.
You’ll want to make sure you have all of the expenses tracked somewhere to keep tabs on everything and all the payments you’ll need to make.
Let’s dive into how you plan your wedding budget and build the fundamentals of your wedding plan.
Build your wedding budget: calculate the costs
In order to create a wedding budget, you’ll have to think about how much you have to spend on it in the first place.
Some questions you can ask yourself to get started:
- Are either of you getting any money from your family for your wedding?
- Do either of you have money saved up?
- How much could you comfortably start putting away for your wedding?
Answering these questions will give you a basic idea of your overall wedding budget. If there's an absolute maximum, you'll know you need to keep it under that number.
You might also have family members who want to buy you a specific item or part of your wedding, so keep track of that as well.
Decide what matters most
Before you do anything, you’ll need to decide what matters most to you as a couple.
Some questions to think about:
- Do you want to have all of your cousins there?
- Is the location essential to your wedding day?
- Do you have to have a specific dress?
Knowing what each of you values and deciding on your top priorities for each of you will help guide your budget and make it a day that you’ll both remember.
Plan your wedding location
For the most part, the most expensive part of a wedding is the reception venue. Depending on where you want to get married, it may take up a significant part of your budget.
- Do you want a destination wedding or are you planning to keep it local?
- Is a certain area essential?
You’ll want to keep a detailed list of each venue you look at along with tracking things like guest count, costs, and any other pros and cons of each one.
Plan your guest list
So much of your budget will be based around not only where you plan to have your wedding, but who will be there. You need to pay for each person’s meals, wedding invitations, drinks, and so on, so the guest list will be essential to narrow down.
You may or may not need to do this before you plan the location, simply due to some locations having a cap of guests. However, you can’t finalize your budget until you have the set number of guests you want to invite.
You might also have to cut down your guest list once you do the math on how much each guest will cost after everything is factored in.
Figure out where you can cut costs
A good amount of brides decide to see what everything included would cost before they start cutting costs.
Maybe you decide to create your own invitations instead of getting them done.
Maybe you decide to cut some of the extra “splurge” items you wanted to put in your wedding.
There's often things you can cut down on and if you did the first step of this process, you already know what is essential and a top priority. Once you know those, it's easy to cut out the things you're less passionate about.
Buy a wedding budget planner
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