Congratulations you’re engaged! Now what?
Well first things first, you have to have the money talk with your fiancé and BOTH of your families. Ugh, I know. Soooo awkward but believe me, it’s necessary.
Nowadays the financial burden is no longer shoved on the bride’s family. However that doesn’t mean it no longer happens but help from both families is even better. Weddings are expensive. Another strong possibility is that the bride and groom-to-be are handling the bills, either partial or in full. This has become somewhat of the “norm”, my fiancé and myself fall into this category.
Whatever your financial situation is, find out who is contributing what amount. If you two love birds are putting money in, look at your financials and figure out how much you are able to save and can afford. The absolute worst thing you could do is plan a wedding that puts you in debt at the beginning of your marriage. Yes, it’s fun to dream of all the things you could do for your special day but come back down to reality. You do not want to put financial stress on the beginning of your life together. So, make sure you two sit down together and discuss what you BOTH want the most and what you BOTH could live without. ::Emphasis on ‘both’::
Once that’s all figured out… How much money should be allocated to what part of the wedding? Well according to a few sources (AKA the knot wedding planner- read my post about this tool here), there is a somewhat standard guideline to follow. Each chart varies slightly but looks very similar to the wedding budget pie chart I put together for you:
Now, don’t feel like you HAVE to follow this 100%. It’s a guideline that is meant to help but can definitely be altered to fit your wedding needs.
For instance, my fiancé and I are lucky enough to not have a ceremony rental or an officiant charge (thank you MOG 😘). Plus, I’ll be saving money (but not time) by making my own wedding dress, AHH! The money saved will be allocated into the reception budget to accommodate our ever-growing guest list 🙈.
speaking of my bespoke wedding dress i made… (small business plug here) if you are interested in a custom gown or accessory for your day, i would love to work with you! I’ve done both women’s and men’s accessories, wedding dresses, second looks, robes, and more. take a look at my bespoke page to learn all about the process. ❤️
Some other ways to save and allocate your funds is just by shopping around smartly for vendors. There are tons of wedding professionals out there that are high quality AND affordable. Usually these are the vendors that will be new-er to the industry or they are small local businesses. Don’t discredit new vendors or the one-person small business, just make sure to do your research!
Wedding Wire, The Knot, Google, and Facebook are great places to start looking for reviews but just keep in mind there’s always a few people out there that live to give bad reviews- no matter what. The best referral in my opinion is through word of mouth from previous brides and grooms, friends, and family. I suggest you do this for all of your vendors, big and small, before signing those contacts.
Lastly, just because a vendor is inexpensive does not mean they are the best “bang for your buck”. if they have GLowing reviews, great referrals, AND their business fits your wedding aesthetic, then go for it! just make sure you do your research, i cannot emphasize that enough.
don’t forget to include these important things in your wedding budget
There are a few things that you MUST remember to include that tend to be forgotten: taxes and gratuities.
Taxes are usually included in the bill and some vendors (like venues, caterers, etc.) will include a set gratuity in their bill. However, if they don’t that means it’s up to you to include it in your final payment. Even though it’s your wedding, these people are busting their asses to make this day everything you want. So make sure to thank them verbally and tip them, well. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t put together another chart for you 😉. Take a look at this suggested tip chart
Also, don’t forget to factor in potential overage charges and miscellaneous expenses. Some vendors will specify these charges in their contracts but if they don’t it’s safer to leave some room in the budget to cover them. As for the miscellaneous, this can include postage, emergencies, sudden additions, etc. The last thing you want is to not have the money to pay someone for their services.
I hope this was filled with helpful tips for deciding on your wedding budget. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!