Wedding planning is an exciting venture for every couple. You finally get to work toward realizing a vision you probably had for a while now. But before you begin figuring out the particularities, such as finding your dream venue and booking vendors, there is one thing you need to establish first. And that’s the wedding budget you will work with.
Doing a budget breakdown is very important as you are supposed to guide your decisions by it. To simplify this task for you, we have decided to delve into the topic of how to set a wedding budget you can manage to stick to. Let’s discover the process below!
Photo via The Utopia Collective
Determining a realistic wedding budget
You are probably impatient to begin your venue hunt and book vendors. However, determining the budget you will work with is the first step you need to complete on this venture. No matter the finances you have at your disposal and the size of the event you plan on creating the budget planning process is universal. This means that regardless of whether you dream of a splendid event or you are keen on utilizing low-cost solutions, you still need to follow the same steps – which we will discuss in detail now!
Define your financial opportunities
First of all, you need to define your financial opportunities, i.e., how much you can afford to spend. Namely, the realization of such an exquisite event can be quite expensive. By not creating a wedding budget, you risk exceeding the amount you can afford.
Since parents are often willing to support and help young couples with wedding costs, we recommend talking to them. See whether they are happy to pitch in, as well as how much they are willing to contribute. You can also inquire about their individual wishes; maybe your grandmother wishes she purchases the bridal gown, or someone else is more than happy to cover the costs of entertainment. Once you finish this initial step on your ‘how to wedding budget’ journey, you will have an approximate sum you know you can work with. And that will determine everything else you encounter during the planning process- from venue and vendors to attires and favors!
Photo via Joe Mineo Creative
Create a guest list
Another crucial factor you should figure out as you are trying to determine how much should a wedding cost is the guest number. Instead of listing all the people you and your partner wish to invite, try to shift your perspective. First, consider how much you can afford to spend and tailor the length of the list accordingly. List the people you cannot imagine celebrating your special day without, and see whether there is still room to invite others. Doing this will ensure you don’t overspend and stick to the wedding budget you initially created.
Design a spreadsheet
Creating a spreadsheet is the most effective way to keep track of your budget. You can easily create one using an Excel workbook or Google Docs. Ensure you include all your wedding costs and update the spreadsheet as you spend. To break down the expenses in more detail, you can divide them into categories and subcategories. For example, under bridal attire, you can include ‘dress’, ‘accessories’, ‘shoes’, etc.
Every category should include vendor information, estimated cost, and the actual sum you have spent. Moreover, leave room for additional service fees, as well as tips, along with taxes.
Photo via Devoted Columbus
Prepare for unplanned expenses
Most couples fail to consider including something called an ‘emergency fund’ in their wedding budget. This money will go to all expenses you cannot predict beforehand and should be approximately 10%-15% of your total budget. We strongly suggest you pay attention to expenses that seem small at the beginning but can easily add up as your big day slowly approaches. Any last-minute changes, such as extending the photography timing for a couple more hours, or extending your entertainment time, you can cover with this money. By dedicating an emergency budget at the beginning of your planning process, you will not have to cut down on other expenses to accommodate any change that emerges.
Things to include
Given that you are probably creating a wedding budget for the first time, it is completely normal to be unaware of everything it should consist of. However, knowing what you need to spend money on will make the expenses more predictable, leaving less room for surprises. Below we have listed everything you and your beloved should allocate money to:
- Rental items
- Marriage license
- Food and beverages
- Bridal favors
- Gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen
- Flowers and decor
- Makeup and hairstyle
- Marriage bands
- Rehearsal dinner cost
Photo via Joe Mineo Creative
Sectioning your total budget into smaller, more manageable units will make it easier to determine how much should a wedding cost. Consequently, it will allow you to plan more precisely and create a realistic budget you can actually stick to. If you notice that the estimated category expenses exceed the budget you initially set, it is wise to make some adjustments. You can either increase the amount of money you plan on spending or cut down on some expenses you can execute the day without. For example, if you have planned to purchase personalized bridal favors for every guest, you can consider buying something less expensive to make it fit your budget.
We hope that the tips we have shared on setting up a wedding budget will help you easily navigate this task. Remember always to strive to create a realistic fund that you can easily stick to and doesn’t exceed your financial opportunities. At Wedding Style Society, we are fully dedicated to assisting future newlyweds in designing the day of their dreams. Moreover, if you need reliable vendors, we kindly advise you to check out our carefully-crafter list of professionals you can trust. And if you’re searching for more wedding inspiration, don’t hesitate to read the rest of our blogs.