4 Wedding Budget Planning Tips

When getting married, a budget is one of the biggest items you will have to worry about. Today, couples can plan on an elaborate wedding or one that is a little more intimate.  Regardless, it is wise to plan a wedding budget and do your best to stick to it. Here  are some suggestions  on  how much to budget for common costs, and tips. 

How Much to Budget for Each Item

When looking at your budget, there are several factors that need to be considered when you start planning.  As a guide, venues and catering should be no more than 40% of your budget (remember that wedding venues typically charge by guest count so consider the size of your guest list when budgeting this item).  This includes food, alcohol, and anywhere you will be having a ceremony and/or reception. 

Bands and DJs should be 9-12% of your total budget and should include any ceremony and reception music you may need. Photographs and video of the memories of your wedding day should be 9-12% of your overall budget. Centerpieces and other floral arrangements and decor should be 8-10% of the wedding budget. 

Something that doesn’t get considered a lot is transportation, and as a couple, budget 2-3% for transporting the wedding party, and guests to other events of your wedding. Another important budget item is wedding attire for both the bride and groom, along with hair and makeup, 8-9% is recommended. Adding these items represents about 75%-85% of the budget and leaves about 15%-25% for other expenses.

Start a Planning Spreadsheet

The best way to know how much is being spent and how much you can still spend is to start a spreadsheet. First, determine your wedding budget and add that to the top line of the spreadsheet.  Anytime you have a charge or expense, record it in the sheet. There are tools online to help you budget and plan, so you’re not alone in your planning, and you can use the templates online  to create a custom budget just for you.

Beware of Extra Costs

As noted above the basic budget accounts for about 80% of expenses. The other 20% should account for other events you may have like your bachelorette and bachelor parties, any tastings before the wedding, and any travel that might factor into a destination wedding. Don’t let these costs creep up on you, so make sure you add them to your budget spreadsheet as these costs become known.  

Note that wedding planning is a “team” activity and all members of the team need to be aware of the budget. You may have to override or reject some costs that other members wish to add; sometimes you have to draw the line.

Consider the Time of Year and Day of Your Event

Prime wedding season, which runs from May-October, will cost more than a wedding in non-prime season.  If you’re not attached to the idea of an evening wedding, consider having a lunch or brunch wedding and reception to save on costs. Saturdays and Sundays are more expensive than getting married on a weekday, so factor this into your plans as well.

Weddings are costly. Chat with your partner and come up with a budget together. For more help from Fan C Designs, check out our collection of wedding dresses and our blog for more wedding day tips including 5 ways to save money on your wedding dress.

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