Creating Your Wedding Budget

So you’ve gotten the proposal and a ring from the person of your dreams! Everything is so awesome and so exciting! Enter the first snap of reality…how much are we spending on this once in a lifetime day??  This week we’re going to talk about the basics of starting that budget: it’s basically step numero uno after an engagement.  In order to make the plans, ya gotta have the green to make ‘em happen, so it’s best to know exactly what you’re working with right out the gate. 

To get yourself started, take a look at your basics: do your best to be realistic.  When ya’ll picture your wedding day, what’s the vision??  Of course, it can be super easy to dream wayyyy outside of our budgets, but there are so many amazing ways to recreate some luxe looks that, with a little vision and elbow grease, you can make them happen on a more “ya’ll” budget.

 How many people are you thinking on your guest list? It’s always a good idea to make a rough draft of this FIRST, same time you’re working on the budget.  For starters, that’s the number that will ultimately control a big part of your cost: think caterer, bar, favors, invitations, etc…and secondly, you might end up surprising yourselves!  Ellie and I thought 50 tops (we couldn’t possibly know more people…or so we thought…) aaand it ended up being more like 120.  I was freaking out before the wedding that there wouldn’t be enough room for everyone! Of course, it ended up absolutely perfect 😉

Where is the money for the wedding coming from? Maybe savings, or a loan, family, some extra from your paychecks, or a blend of a few options? If you’re thinking credit card: proceed with caution, but it can still be a good option.  We had a designated wedding credit card, but the money already set aside to pay the purchases off each time.  That way, we benefited from the security and trackability of the credit card purchase, but the money was in place to pay off each said purchase.  You don’t want to start off your newly married lives in a bunch of debt; setting the budget from the beginning and sticking to it with a solid plan is vital to avoiding some serious money heartbreak!

Over the course of your planning, you can expect the large bills to come in waves: many of your vendors will want around 50% down, with the remaining 50% due a set time prior to the wedding, usually 1 or 2 weeks.  The upside is that your big payments are at least a little spread out, to not hurt quite so bad.  Also, the longer your engagement the more time you have to pay off said vendors! If you know that you and your partner are footing the whole bill, there’s nothing wrong with a longer engagement to give you a little more time to work with.

Pick your “must-haves.”  The things the most important to you, and to your partner (they may all be different, the same, or a mixture…just make sure you’re both in there!).  Maybe you’ve always dreamed of having elaborate, gorgeous flowers on your day, or there’s this one venue that you’re in love with.  Maybe your partner is dead set on having a certain beer or a certain method of transportation.  Now is a good time to communicate those things, so you can note them and prioritize them in your selections.  Put your money where it will count the most to truly make the day special and represent the two of you individually and together. 

You don’t have to have an insane budget to have a gorgeous wedding.  Does it hurt? Well, obviously not.  But it doesn’t HAVE to be! Don’t be afraid of some wise, well-chosen DIY.  Now, I’m not saying go full-on DIY: I don’t think I could ever make that recommendation to a human; it would be soooooo much! But there are definitely some amazing, really good ideas out there to add some luxe and beauty on a budget. I used a couple of DIY elements in our wedding: one of my favorites was probably our huge welcome sign.  Those can be crazy expensive bought pre-done, and I’m never above a good challenge, so I spent 30 minutes in Hobby Lobby and got all supplies for said sign for THIRTY dollars…instead of around $164.  Small win, but a few well-placed saves like that can really help you out. 

At the end of the day, the budget is the groundwork for the whole event.  Be realistic, set goals and come up with a plan.  Part of being realistic is knowing what the general price points for your vendors are, and where the money for your budget is coming from.  Do your best to stick to said plan, and you can come away from the wedding of your dreams with minimal financial impact! Think of ways to really make your money count.  Maybe you both really want a pretty fancy wedding, and don’t want to compromise that: try planning an elaborate mini-wedding! Remember, the smaller the guest list, the smaller some of those ultimate heavy-budget hitting numbers are going to be. You can also choose a much smaller venue to hold your guests. Or have your wedding on a day other than the weekend: most venues charge markedly less for a week day than for the weekend.  Or maybe you have a million bridesmaids/groomsmen and a HUGE family: maybe a backyard event or pretty outdoor space that’s easier on the budget and a little more effort into the DIY for the day! There are many ways to plan and design a wedding: just make sure that yours is about ya’ll!  No matter the budget, the goal is the same: to come together to celebrate ya’ll and the growth of your family; to create memories and be present and enjoy one of the more beautiful moments of life.  So don’t stress the small stuff, be realistic, be willing to compromise and also to ask for help: sometimes a different set of eyes can really work some magic when trying to figure out how to bring an idea to life.  Find your creative friends; or your wedding planner; or BOTH! 😊 

Happy planning ya’ll!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: