Creating the Perfect Wedding Budget: Strategies for Planning a Wonderful Celebration on Any Budget

Mar 2, 2023 | Traveler’s Q

How Much Do You Need to Budget for a Wedding?

Ask yourself these questions: What do you value in your wedding? What elements are the most important and necessary to you as a couple? These answers will be the key factors for determining how much to budget for your wedding.

What to Consider When Making Your Wedding Budget

Your current savings, income, and wedding goals will all play a role in determining your wedding budget.
Your wedding budget should include a realistic and achievable repayment plan for any loans you may need to take out. Make sure that you’re aware of your credit score and have taken steps to improve it before you start planning.
You should also consider alternative ways to fund your wedding. Consider wedding registries, crowdfunding sites, and grants to help you cover some of your wedding costs.
Keeping in mind that unexpected life disasters may occur before the wedding.  This could be a job loss, illness, or other emergencies that would prevent payments from being made. Make sure you plan for an emergency fund and insurance to cover these costs.

Your Wedding Budget Breakdown

Not all marriages are created equal, and wedding budgets should reflect that. The many variables that determine the cost include the wedding season, bridal party size, and type of wedding.
Your wedding budget should include all wedding-related costs, such as attire, venue costs (including rentals and deposits), wedding decorations and flowers, wedding planners and coordinators, wedding photographers, and videographers.
Remember that these wedding costs are averages. You may choose to spend your budget in certain areas instead of others, so always reflect on the details that are most important to you as a couple.
The ceremony is approximately 3 percent of the wedding budget. This includes the attire for the wedding party, officiant, venue rental fees, marriage license, and wedding ceremony decorations including flowers, wedding rings, and music.
Your costs for the reception will take up 45 percent of your wedding budget. This includes catering costs, wedding cake, bar services, music/entertainment, rentals (tables, chairs, and linens), and wedding decorations including flowers.

Other Wedding Budget Expenses

Wedding Stationery
Three percent of your wedding budget should be reserved for all of your wedding stationery.  This includes save-the-dates, engagement party and bridal shower invitations, wedding invitations, RSVP cards, wedding programs, and thank-you cards.
Photography and Videography
Depending on your wedding budget, you may choose to hire a wedding photographer and videographer. Wedding photography is approximately 12 percent of your wedding budget.  This includes wedding albums, photo prints, and wedding videos.
Wedding Favors and Gifts
Wedding favors and gifts usually take up three percent of wedding budgets. This includes bridal party thank-you gifts, wedding guest welcome bags, and wedding favors.
Wedding Transportation
Approximately two percent of your wedding budget should be allotted for transportation.  This includes wedding party transportation and wedding guest transportation. Depending on your wedding budget, this may include limos, guest shuttle buses, and newlywed getaway cars.
Wedding Planner or Coordinator
If you choose to hire a wedding planner or coordinator, that will take up anywhere from 5 to 15 percent of your wedding budget. This wedding budget item will vary depending on the wedding planner or coordinator you choose and the wedding season in which you choose to have your big day.
Honeymoon Costs
The wedding budget should also include honeymoon costs. This is usually 8 percent of the wedding budget and can include airfare, hotel stays, meals, and entertainment.
Emergency Fund
Remember, with any budget, there may be unforeseen costs that could come up during planning. Make sure you plan for an emergency fund and insurance to cover such unexpected events.

The Wedding Budget Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Going into Severe Debt for Your Wedding
Do not charge anything on your credit cards that cannot be paid off within 30 days. Pay in cash whenever possible.
Not Prioritizing Your Spending Decisions According to Your Values
Do not forget to factor in what is most important to you as a couple when it comes to wedding budget decisions. Prioritize costs accordingly, ensuring wedding items and services that have the most meaning for you and your partner.
Not Tracking All Wedding Spending
You will have to track wedding costs and budget items to stay within your wedding budget. Document all wedding-related purchases, vendors, receipts, and contracts so that you will know exactly what has been spent and where.
Not Doing What You Can to Cut Costs
You can still have the wedding of your dreams without breaking your wedding budget. Consider items that you can do yourself. Try to find wedding vendors that offer discounts, deals, and coupons.
Not Setting Absolute Limits on Your Budget
Be sure to set wedding budget limits and stick to them. This will help you avoid budget regret and overspending.
Not Keeping an Emergency Fund
Emergencies may come up that are unpredictable. It’s important to plan and allocate a portion of your wedding budget to an emergency fund, so you don’t panic later.
Not Considering Alternative Ways to Fund Your Wedding
There are other ways to fund your wedding without going into debt or breaking your wedding budget. You can consider sponsorships, grants, and crowdfunding to help you have the wedding of your dreams.
Beginning Your Wedding Planning with Terrible Credit
To avoid a wedding budget disaster, it’s important to start planning with good credit. Take the time to build your credit score before planning. This will help you get wedding services and items that may be more budget-friendly.

Steps to Creating Your Wedding Budget

Determine Your Values and How and What to Prioritize
The wedding budget should first start with what is most important to you and your partner. Ask yourself what wedding items you value the most.
Determine Exactly How You Will Pay for It
You will need to determine what sources of income you have available for payments. Consider any loans, credit cards, savings, and side gigs you have.
Itemize What You Will Pay in Totality Before You Pay Anything
Make sure that all wedding items and services are itemized so you know exactly what your wedding budget is paying for. Then prioritize what gets paid in full before the wedding day.
Determine Who Will Pay What
If you are having family or friends contribute to your wedding, decide who will be responsible for specific wedding items and/or services.
Choose the Right Wedding Planner
If you are going to work with a wedding planner, make sure that they have experience and extensive knowledge of wedding budgets.  Traveler’s Q has the expertise to begin planning your special day right away.
Creating a wedding budget is an important part of wedding planning and will help ensure that you have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank. By following these tips, you can create a wedding budget plan that fits within your financial resources while still creating a memorable wedding experience.