You’ve said ‘Yes!’ and have the ring to prove it, so now it is time to start the planning. You may be wondering how to budget for a wedding.
A wedding is one of the most exciting events to plan. It’s also one of the most expensive to plan.
The average wedding in 2021 was $22,500 with the venue being the most expensive factor. But it doesn’t have to be that costly.
Starting your planning with a well sketched budget is a must.
There are many factors that go into a budget but it is important to be reasonable about time in addition to money.
How to budget for a wedding is a bit tricky when working around everyday living expenses so let’s dive into some details and tips for working out a realistic budget for your wedding.
This site participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as well as other affiliate programs, which allows us to earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links.
How to Budget for Your Wedding
When learning how to budget for your wedding, you’ll need to consider a few factors.
The first is quite obviously money. That is the biggest one.
Then you’ll have to think about time, which will require setting a date. Then resources, in terms of venues and vendors, are your final factor.
- Pool your money together! You and your fiance will need to calculate the money you can contribute after all your living expenses are paid each month. (If you don’t already have a budget in place, check out our article on making a budget: Budgeting for a Family of Seven in 2022). This is also a good opportunity to see where you can cut out unnecessary spending to add some beef to the wedding budget.
- Calculate how much time you have! Once you’ve discovered a total amount of money you can contribute, the time factor comes next. Setting a date is usually one of the very first conversations after getting engaged. You will need to calculate the number of full months before the big day. The average length of engagement is 15 months however this varies among couples. Sometimes giving yourselves some more time can help increase the budget.
- Gather your resources! This part of the budget requires a little research. You’ll need to make some phone calls to vendors and request banquet package information. In addition, reach out to a couple vendors to get estimates or quotes on their services. Once you’ve got some solid numbers in front of you, budgeting wedding ideas can flow. You can discuss what vendors you can do without and where you can DIY some things.
Invest in a Wedding Planner
A wedding planner book can also offer great guidelines for how to create a wedding budget.
Some contain sections dedicated to each facet of the budget, neatly labeled for easy reference.
They are a great tool for budget wedding tips as well, some featuring little notes in the margins.
Here is a list of the top five planners for the 2022 wedding seasons, all of which are affordable priced.
- The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer: Checklists, Worksheets, and Essential Tools to Plan the Perfect Wedding on a Small Budget: I love how comprehensive this planner is, as well as the added tips that will help you find additional ways to save.
- Wedding Planner – Wedding Organizer, Wedding Planning Book with Tabs, Engagement Gift with Stickers, Pockets, Wedding Checklist, Floral Gold Edition: What I enjoy about this planner is the included tabs, stickers, and pockets for storing important vendor cards, notes, and receipts. It’s also spiral-bound, which is my personal preference.
- The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Calendars, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions: If you’ve ever heard of The Knot, you know they are experts when it comes to wedding planning. This planner includes color photos of everything from table settings to wedding favors. They’ve also included answers to their most frequently asked questions.
- Wedding Planner Book and Organizer for The Bride -Faux Leather, Gold foil Stamped ‘Future Mrs’ Wedding Binder: What sets this wedding planner apart is that it’s actually a binder. That means you can remove and add pages if needed. I love anything I can customize, and this binder fits that bill.
- Bloom daily planners Hard Cover Wedding Day Planner & Organizer (Undated) – 9″ x 11″ – Gold Floral: While most planners are geared toward the bride, this one includes the groom. You also get a choice of five different covers when you go with this brand.
How to Pay For a Wedding
Now that you know how to create a budget, it is time to implement a plan.
In many cases, you will see from your budget the amount of money you can expect to set aside every month.
One way to stick to setting aside this money is to have it diverted directly from your paycheck to a separate account just for the wedding.
In addition, any extra jobs, side hustles or familial contributions to the wedding can also go directly into the same account.
This is how to save for a wedding without having to even think about it.
Consider Reading: Over 22 Money Saving Challenges to Build Your Wealth
As you book a venue and vendors, you can use checks linked to the wedding account to pay deposits.
After you pay and receive your receipt, tuck it right into your handy wedding planner so you can keep track of payments as they go out.
Small Budget Wedding Ideas
Don’t be discouraged if your budget for your wedding is small. Not everyone makes six figures and can splurge on an over-the-top event.
Let’s take a look at how to plan for a wedding with a small budget but big ideas.
Reflecting on the factors of your budget that can be flexible, let’s start with resources. Keeping vendor costs low is a great way to stay within a small budget.
Do you have an acquaintance who is a photographer? Call them! How about a relative that is a florist? See if they’ll be interested in arranging flowers for your wedding.
Most of the time, friends and family want to be part of making your wedding the most perfect day for you so don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help.
Another flexible aspect of the wedding planning is the headcount. Every couple starts off with a list of every single person they know.
Most couples end up with an average of 125 guests actually attending the wedding. Really try to limit the guest list to a manageable number of guests for your budget.
Additional small budget wedding tips include many ways to do things yourselves.
You can cut out a significant expense just by printing out your own invitations and hand-addressing them. Another thing to do yourself is make the place cards, favors, centerpieces, and decorations.
Setting aside several weekends before your wedding to complete these tasks will not only save your budget but also reflect your personal touch.
One last tip that can save you thousands on your budget is to consider planning your wedding in the off-season.
Many venues are hurting for clients during the less-busy seasons and will offer deep discounts on room fees, food packages, and budget wedding packages.
If you’re not set on a particular time of year, plan to go off season to make your small budget wedding seem grand.
Understanding how to budget for a wedding requires time and energy. Like all good things, it is worth the end result.
Take your time looking for savings through budget wedding packages, DIY projects, and helping hands among friends and family.
Your wedding day is what you make it whether you have small budget wedding ideas or extravagant budget wedding ideas.
Keep it personal, stick to your budget, and dedicate some time to making it beautiful and you will be overjoyed with the results.