With so many expenses to cover, the total cost of a wedding can skyrocket before you know it. So, if you’re looking for a way to perfect every detail without putting you and your partner in a financial hole, learning how to set a budget for a wedding becomes an incredibly useful tool.
Whether you’re set on common American wedding traditions or embracing new trends, the right budget is just one step in helping you both enjoy the preparations for the big day. Luckily, there are some straightforward ways to make budgeting a more realistic task because your wedding should be a special day that’s as extravagant and memorable as you desire.
Below, our wedding experts discuss some vital tips to help you plan your celebration and enjoy every moment of it. For more information on wedding planning, feel free to explore our blog!
Figure Out How Much Financial Assistance You Need
If you’re on a budget, the first step toward success is figuring out whose contributions will be coming in as you prepare for the wedding. Is anyone offering you financial assistance? Perhaps you and your partner’s parents or family members would like to help out.
Talk with whoever is pitching in to find out whether they want to contribute an amount or cover a specific wedding expense, such as catering. It brings great peace of mind to find out who wants to help out with your wedding costs, so push through any awkwardness and be straightforward about the details. Otherwise, it will be challenging to understand what costs you need to cover.
Be Realistic About How Much You Can Both Spend
You can set an initial budget for the total cost of the wedding, but it is essential to think realistically about how much you can spend without straining your budget. For example, consider your current disposable income and savings accounts. Have you calculated the exact amount you can save from now until the day of the wedding?
Remember, a wedding budget will need to account for every detail. That includes simpler things that can be easy to forget, such as the marriage license fee or printing wedding invitations. You will also need to factor in any financial contributions from other parties as you organize your budget together.
Don’t overreach; you should be able to comfortably afford the wedding while still covering other life expenses.
Pin Down an Estimated Guest Count
There’s no way to know how to set a budget for a wedding without first deciding who to invite to join the celebrations. The guest count dictates most costs, including the required size for the venue and how much food and drink you’ll need to order.
With your ballpark budget in mind, work out your estimated guest count and calculate just how much you would like to spend per person. Does your wedding budget show a reasonable per-head cost? You’re on the right track.
If the cost per person looks a little high, trim the guest list, and try again. This task can be difficult. Why not start by removing anyone who isn’t an essential person in your lives?
Determine Your Non-Negotiables for the Wedding Day
One of the most crucial tips in creating a wedding budget is coming to an agreement on what’s worth the money you’re putting into the budget. Which aspects of your wedding are you unwilling to give up? Where would you be willing to compromise to reduce costs?
Consider the “when” and “where.” Is your wedding date set in stone, or could you move it to a less expensive time of the year or day of the week? Would you be open to a cheaper venue choice?
Food, drinks, and music are some other areas to consider. A menu with local, in-season dishes may help cut costs, as will a narrower selection of drink offerings instead of an open bar. A DJ will also save costs compared to a live band.
Find Less Expensive Alternatives That Are Still Amazing
Finding more cost-effective options reduces costs and helps you meet the budget requirements for the big day. There are some parts of a wedding you cannot cut completely, such as food, music, and guest seating. However, you can still explore your options before making a final decision.
The prices for different wedding vendors vary significantly, giving you an opportunity to slash some expenses in this area. While not all people want a wedding planner, it’s a great help in juggling a busy schedule leading up to your wedding. Why not see if there’s a wedding planner friends or family recommend and ask about possible discounts?
Bear in mind that you may have to make sacrifices when choosing cheaper alternatives. A less extravagant cake or dress, or simpler decor, could be the solution to staying under your budget. But that doesn’t mean you have to choose options you don’t love; just don’t commit to anything you can’t afford.
Make Final Cuts and Know They’ll Be Worth It
You’ve already decided what parts of your wedding must stay, and you’ve swapped out alternatives where possible. So, if you’re still over your budget, one final sweep of the wedding budget can make a difference in the end. It could mean guests, a menu item, or a specific decoration, but it’s up to you to make the cut.
Approach it as a trade-off–this cut could be the one thing that guarantees you’ll have a memorable day without drowning in debt as you start your journey together. Ditch the financial stress, and know that you’ll be happier for it.
It’s Time to Start Planning Your Wedding!
Now that you have a better idea of how to set a budget for a wedding, you can start planning to your heart’s content. Do your research, and try to have fun. You can find more wedding tips and ideas on our site, including tips on how to decorate a wedding reception hall on a budget.