How to determine your wedding budget

Photo by  on  Unsplash

Photo by on Unsplash

You’ve said “YES!” and now you’re ready to plan your wedding.  What’s the first thing you do?  Sit down and discuss your budget!  Your wedding budget is going to be the basis on what all of your wedding decisions will be made. It's a very important conversation to have and definitely one of the first before you really start planning your wedding.  Because before you can book a vendor or if you want to add something, you will refer to your budget.  So how do you determine your wedding budget?  Read on below for tips on how to create your wedding budget. 

Tip #1: Start with a number you feel comfortable with.  You and your fiancé may have different ideas on what you each feel comfortable spending for your wedding.  You can each write down a number and then compare.  If you're within range of each other that's great news.  If your numbers differ quite a bit then you're going to have a long discussion ahead of you.  Also, you and your fiancé may have been saving for your wedding for years.  If that's the case, definitely give each other a kiss because that means you can start your planning!

If you don’t have any money set aside yet, then you and your fiancé need to talk about how much money you can put aside from your current paychecks to pay for the wedding.  And if your paychecks are already allocated, then you'll want to think of options for making extra money.  Some examples would be getting a temporary second job, putting various items on your credit card (although this could be a slippery slope as you'll need to pay the credit cards off), or you can go to our next tip. 

Tip #2: Find out if you will have outside help.  Many couples have family members that offer to help pay for the wedding (parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc.). Find out if you have family members that are able to help and how much they can contribute.  Sometimes a family member will say that they’ll pay for one of your vendors and then set an amount like ($5k for your flowers) so that’s an item you won’t have to worry about.  Other times family will say they can contribute a set amount or they will pay for your entire wedding.

If your family has offered to pay for your entire wedding, you will want to have the wedding budget conversation with them.  It's a wonderful gift they are giving you and your fiancé by paying for the entire wedding, but you want to make sure they give you an actual number so you know how extravagant you can be when booking your vendors. 

Tip #3: Don’t forget to budget in the gratuity.  Sometimes gratuity is include with your invoice (usually for venues) but most of the time it isn’t.  Oftentimes you'll allot a certain amount for your vendors completely forgetting to factor in gratuity.  And while gratuity isn't mandatory it is customary (and welcomed) by each of your vendors.  

Tip #4:  Have reserves. It's always a good idea to have a budget and then to have money set aside for wiggle room and incidentals.  You know, for when you fall in love with a dress that cost just a tiny bit more than you initially allotted for.  ;)

Bonus Tip: Check in with your fiancé weekly.  Once you have your budget set and you start wedding planning, it's easy to get caught up in hiring vendors and purchasing wedding items.  Before you know it, you may be reaching your set budget.  By having weekly money dates with your fiancé, you can check in with each other and review how much you have spent and for what and how much you have left. It ensures you are both on the same page throughout the entire wedding planning journey.  Also, this is a good habit to have, in general, with your fiancé that you can continue on after your big day into married life.  

Have you determined your wedding budget yet?  How did you and your fiancé decide how much to spend for your wedding? Share with us below!