Planning a wedding can be extremely time-consuming, stressful, and expensive. From booking the venue to paying a photographer and videographer, to picking out your wedding dress, the costs can add up quickly! Additionally, while all of these factors start to accumulate, you may begin to stress about the possibility of going over your allotted budget. If you’re looking to stay within a certain price range, planning out each detail of your big day will benefit you and your bank account.
Your wedding should be one of the most important and best days of your life. So doing everything you can to avoid the stress and anxiety of wedding planning will make the process fun and memorable for you and your significant other. While working towards your big day, keep in mind what’s important for you to have at your wedding and what you would be willing to give up to stay within your budget.
1. How to Set a Budget
While you start to do your research on wedding planning, there are a few things you will need to take into consideration. First, decide where you want your wedding to be, the time of year you’d like to have it, and how many people you want to include in your big day. All of these factors play a big role in how you choose to create and set a strict budget for your wedding, due to costs fluctuating based on the venue, time of year, and how many guests you want to attend.
First and foremost, you will need to take a look at your income and how much you pay in bills every month. Make sure to include all of your bills like electric, phone, food, mortgage, and car payments. For example, if you and your soon-to-be husband or wife are considering buying a home before or after your wedding, make sure to have a separate budget and savings for that. Between the cost of both a wedding and a monthly home loan, you may consider an adjustable-rate mortgage to make your finances more manageable.
This specific mortgage allows you to have a lower interest rate for a fixed period of time, which can decrease your monthly mortgage payments compared to other loan options. Having a lower mortgage payment when you first purchase a house, especially as newlyweds, can help you stay within your budget and account for other expenses whether you chose to buy a home before or after your wedding.
Going through your finances will help to distinguish how much money you’re able to put toward your wedding each month. You may have a savings account specifically for your wedding or you may have help from your parents. If your parents are willing to give you a budget as well, consider taking that money and putting it towards bigger expenses like the venue or photographer. Between your personal budget and a budget from a family member, it may be in your best interest to create a spreadsheet with all of the costs to help you stay organized and on track throughout the planning process.
2. Cost Breakdown
To get more specific about the costs that go into your wedding day, see the below breakdown of what you can take into consideration when planning your budget!
The average cost of a venue is around $6,000 but it can fluctuate depending on location and time of year. For instance, there are some places that charge less during the winter months, due to it being the off-season for weddings. Additionally, venues can also cost less if they are held on weekdays or Sundays. These both can be important aspects to consider.
Prices can also vary if you choose to hold your ceremony in the same venue as your reception or if you choose to have the venue cater your meals. So before you book, make sure you are considering all direct and indirect costs that are associated with what you’re looking for in a venue.
Flowers and Decorations
On average, couples may spend $2,000-$3,500 on bouquets for the bridal party. Costs will of course vary once you add in floral arrangements as decorations or centerpieces, adding a couple of thousand dollars more to the cost. While the cost of decorations are likely not set in stone either, be sure to personalize the decorations to make your day so special. A great way to honor those who could not be at your wedding is by adding a memory table to your reception or ceremony.
For most people, wedding dress shopping is something that you could have been looking forward to for years, so setting aside money to get their dream dress may be important to them. The average dress costs $800-$1,000 but may vary depending on how simple or extravagant the dress is. Many can spend anywhere from $800 to $20,000 on a dress if they choose to do so.
The cost of your rehearsal dinner is dependent on how extravagant you want the party to be. If you keep it low-key, with something like a picnic or just a happy hour, the costs will be significantly lower than hosting it at an event center or even at the venue you’re having your wedding. You may spend around $2,000 on your rehearsal and that includes food and drinks.
3. Saving vs. Splurging
Regardless of the size of your budget, you’ll need to decide what wedding expenses are most important to you and your vision; making a list of priorities will help you decide where to splurge or save money. One thing that many couples tend not to splurge on are wedding invites. The reason is, invites are more likely to be thrown out, so choosing not to splurge on invites may be in your best interest. Invitations can still be personalized, but do not cost as much as others with all the extra bells and whistles like certain envelopes and stamps.
Splurging on a photographer for your wedding is a great investment for you and your significant other to make. Not only will they capture all those important details and moments from your big day, but you will be able to keep those memories with you forever by creating photo albums and prints from the photos. You may choose to splurge on your Wedding Album, or you could pick something still high quality, but a little more price-conscious, like a Photo Book.
Additionally, deciding whether or not you want to save or splurge on your venue is completely up to the couple getting married, but while researching venues, be sure to find out if they offer catering and bar services themselves. Food and drinks for weddings can add up quickly, so these are factors that should be considered. Besides the beautiful day itself, you will want your guests to remember the savory food and drinks that are served. Let’s face it, who wants their guests to be disappointed in the food at their wedding? You may choose to save money on your venue, but splurge on the food and drinks served.
Wedding planning should be a fun and memorable experience, but staying within your budget can sometimes complicate things. Be sure to create spreadsheets, determine what you’re willing to splurge on, and most importantly, try your best to not go over the budget. As stressful as this experience may sometimes get, make sure to take in every moment, whether it’s good or bad. These are memories that will last you a lifetime!