How to Create a Wedding Budget That Actually Works


Your wedding will be one of the biggest events in your life. How do you go about planning and executing one of the biggest events in your life without going crazy? You start by eliminating most of the potential drama that may arise such as not having enough money to fulfill obligations you have committed to.

Creating a budget allows you to detail how much you want to spend on each and every wedding item. The following are some of the things you should do when setting a wedding budget:

Determine the Limit

You don’t want to spend money you don’t have. The first things you should do before you break down how much you are going to spend on each item is to determine how much money will be available for expenditure.

If you are going to receive funding from other people such as family members, have them make definite pledges instead of blanket promises that don’t tell you anything about how much they actually plan to contribute.

Knowing how much you will have available to spend gives you a limit to guide your budgeting exercise. The final budget plus any allowances for error must not exceed the total amount you will have available to work with.

Define Key Items

There are certain key things that will account for most of the money you will spend on your wedding. This is one of those situations where Pareto’s 80/20 principle applies.

When determining how much you will spend on these key variables, you must take into account the size of your wedding. The number of people you will invite to your wedding is one of the main cost factors. This is especially true if you are having a destination wedding at an all inclusive resort and you have to cater for accommodation and transportation for some of your guests. It is important if you plan on having children apart of your special day to book a family-friendly resort over an adults-only resort.

Here are some of the major items that will gobble most of the money you spend on your wedding day:


Wedding and reception venues will cost you a significant portion of your total budget. The location and size of the venue plus the demand for the venue will determine how much the facility charges you.


Will you be hiring a limo and driver on your wedding day? You should probably call a few limo companies and ask for their rates in advance. You don’t want any surprises a few days before your wedding day.

Flowers and Other Decorations

What good is a wedding if there aren’t any spell-binding decorations? One of the things that make a wedding ceremony great and memorable is the decorations.

After determining how big you want your wedding to be and settling on a possible venue, it will be easy to estimate how much you will spend on decorations. With enough details already figured out, if you call a local wedding planner to do an estimate for decorations, you will get a figure close to what you will actually spend on your wedding day.

Wages of Wedding Planner and Staff

If you plan to hire a wedding planner, you should call and ask for quotations as you figure out your budget. Don’t make any assumptions. You want to get real quotations so you have an accurate idea of how much you will actually spend hiring a good wedding planner.


No wedding is complete without professionally taken videos and photos. How much will a professional photographer cost? You can’t really know unless you call around and ask real photographers for their rates.

Cake, Food, and Entertainment

These are fundamental items that can’t be excluded from any wedding. Once you reach a decision on the venue and size of the wedding, determining these costs won’t be hard at all.

Budget for Both Hidden and Small Costs

Small costs such as the cost of creating and mailing RSVP invitations should be included in the final budget. Also, you can call a wedding planner and ask what the usual hidden costs associated with planning a wedding like yours are. Hidden costs can include expenses on things such as cancellation fees, overtime costs for hired service providers, and tips.

How to Spend Less

If you can find a way to spend less money and still have a great wedding, go for it. Life has to continue after the wedding and having some money left over to finance a normal life after the honeymoon is always a good idea.

Some of the things you can do to spend less money on your wedding day include:

  1. Having a wedding that is no bigger than it needs to be. The more people you invite to your wedding, the higher your costs are going to be.
  2. Timing your wedding strategically to take advantage of off-peak prices. You can still have your wedding around the time most people have their weddings by setting the big day at the end of the off-peak season or at the start of the peak-season just before the prices heat up.
  3. Hiring a great wedding planner with lots of connections that can be leveraged to score great deals on wedding products and services.
  4. Shopping around to find the best deal you can get.

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