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5 Steps To Budget Your Wedding

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

There are a lot of big decisions to make when it comes to planning and budgeting for a wedding. Having a properly planned out strategy is key to making this process as smooth as possible. You want to spend time coming up with what suits your needs best. Years later, when you look back you can confidently say you had the wedding of your dreams.

Step 1: Who is paying for what

groom kissing his brides cheek during sunset
photo by LeyRe Photography

This is where it all begins. It just so happens this can be a little awkward as well. Asking a family member how much money they plan on spending or giving you may not be what you want to do but it is essential.

Once you have these details figured out, you will need to sit down and figure out where you are at. Maybe you and your fiancé are covering the costs. Maybe you are getting some help. Regardless, once you know the contributors you can move on.

Step 2: Do Some Math for the budget

** All photos are resized. Please see our portfolio for print quality images

newly married couple touching foreheads after ceremony
photo by LeyRe Photography

Figure out how much you have. Crunch the numbers and come up with a total. Keep this number in mind but also take inventory of your finances and see what you can contribute monthly to this amount if needed.

Step 3: Get Your Guest List In Order

overhead shot of newly weds laying in grass
photo by LeyRe Photography

I always recommend starting with the must-haves. The immediate family of the bride and groom are always a given. Then work out from there.

You could always start by setting your guest count totals. Then, simply divvy up between you, your parents, and your future in-laws.

TIP: The cost per guest adds up quickly. A lot of brides just put down the catering cost as the cost per guest when budgeting. There are many other factors:


-wedding favors

-will you have to help with any stay accommodations

-furniture rentals and the centerpieces that go with them

Step 4: The Research

bridesmaids together before wedding ceremony
photo by Leyre Photography

Now it's time to start choosing your vendors. Make the calls and schedule the consults. Don't skimp on whats important to you. If the venue is what matters most, then spend the extra time looking at a handful of them. Make sure you get several quotes and weigh out the differences.

This can be overwhelming for many. If your budget allows for a wedding planner, I recommend it. Not only do they coordinate the entire wedding day for you, they know the local vendors better than you do and can help make your vision come to fruition.

TIP: ask the vendor if you can make monthly payments up until your wedding. If you are contributing funds to your wedding and have a certain amount you can afford each month, this is a great way to keep the main stash set aside for other amenities.

Step 5: Book It

engaged couple kissing in doorway at bok tower
photo by LeyRe Photography

Do all your top choices come in under budget? Perfect! Book it. You are all done.

It's not always this simple. You pay for quality. We all know this. If all your favorite vendors are taking you over budget then you will have to decide what is most important to you. Do you need a $1500 wedding cake? Can you take a few off the guest list? There are some quick changes that can be made to cut costs quickly to see if you can still book your favorite vendors.

The hard part is over now. Everything is set in motion and you can focus on some of the smaller details of the wedding and your future life with your spouse

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