The Wedding Budget, Hang In There

Okay, you’ve made a decision to take the plunge. Well, actually two of you made that decision. But now comes the hard part. How much will all this cost? Do you want to invite every person you’ve ever known to the wedding, or reduce the amount of wedding guests to just include close family and friends? This is a tough question to answer. Just remember, the more wedding guests, the more wedding favors, larger cake, etc. never-mind adding that per plate dinner charge.

If you don’t know it by now, you will learn very quickly, that weddings have become big business. Now, please understand, I’m not against that. A couple of years ago, we gave my daughter and her fiancĂ© a very large, very beautiful wedding.

(Unfortunately, we did not have such wonderful wedding favors to choose from at that point!) And it was an event that we will forever cherish and forever remember. But, we learned the hard way, that there are many decisions that are made, even last minute, that will turn your wedding day into a financial burden that you may keep paying for years to come.view this site

Considering all of the above, let’s start at the beginning and discuss how to make a wedding budget. We’re not just talking about your wedding “day”, but your entire wedding budget – every category including the bridal gifts, wedding cake, gown, tux, limos, wedding favors, wedding photographer/videographer, etc. etc. etc. But, for the parents who are reading this, there is good news.

Okay, back to setting up a budget. This is not very exciting and actually pretty boring, though using a wedding budget calculator can make all the difference. Once you’ve become engaged, you will have romantic thoughts of bridal showers, engagement parties, wedding gowns/tux, honeymoon, and of course, the bridal shower favors, and unique wedding favors!

We’re sure you’re not at all excited about sitting down with your future life mate and discussing how much this is going to cost both of you. That can take the wind out of the most exciting wedding plans! But, honestly, this budget should be set up with a wedding budget calculator before $1.00 is spent. If you do not set up a budget, you will end up spending two to three times what you planned on.

First things first. Decide how much you can spend, whether you have the cash, need to charge certain items or whether or not you both feel to take out a loan and then pay it off with the (fingers crossed) large financial gifts you’ll receive.

Secondly, you HAVE to decide on a theme. Try one of the many tools available nowadays like the wedding color picker. If you don’t, then you will be tempted to make impulse buys, and your budget will begin to soar. Not to mention that your wedding will also look like every other wedding that you’ve gone to, and sworn up and down that yours will NEVER be like that!

Thirdly, if you don’t set a budget and do not decide on a theme, then the day after you get married, you/your fiancĂ©/parents/friends, etc. will all be tempted to book the banquet hall, run out and buy a wedding dress, etc. Usually when these impulse decisions are made, there is much regret, and you soon find that you are stuck with something you never really wanted.

Now, down to basics. The wedding reception will account for about 50% of your wedding budget. Be careful! Choose where you will have your reception wisely! Once you place money down, you usually will lose it if you decide to cancel. Also, after you narrow down your choices, be VERY careful! Always ask what is included – cake, bartenders, waiters, security people, valet parking, coat room attendant, etc. There are many hidden costs here that can send your wedding budget soaring. Okay, now that I’ve convinced you to draw up a budget, let’s get started. Come up with a total budget figure. Then use these percentages as a guideline.see page from

Wedding reception = 50%
Bride’s attire = 10%
Photography/videography = 10%
Music = 10%
Flowers = 10%
Invitations/postage = 4%
Other expenses = 6%

Wedding Parties: Engagement, Bridesmaid’s Lunch, Rehearsal Dinner, Bridal Shower, Bridal Shower Favors

Stationary: Wedding Invitations, (Announcements, Thank You Cards, Reply Cards), Stamps, Calligraphy (if desired)

Bridal Attire: Wedding Dress, Headpiece/Veil, Shoes, Accessories, Undergarments, Hairdresser, Make-up, Nails, Pedicure, Trousseau, Alterations
Photography/Videography: Formal Portraits, Engagement, Wedding and Reception, Wedding Album, Parents’ Albums, Extra Prints, Videographer of Wedding.

Wedding BudgetFlowers: Ceremony Arrangements, Unity Candle (Optional), Bride’s Bouquet, Groom’s Boutonniere,
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen, Mothers’ Corsages, Reception Arrangements
Reception: Food/Caterer, Drinks, Wedding Cake, Facility Rental, Place Cards, Wedding Favors, Decorations, Tips

Music/Entertainment: Ceremony, DJ or Band
Transportation: Limousines, Parking, Valet Parking
Gifts: Maid/Matron of Honor, Bridesmaids/Flower Girls, Bride’s Parents, Groom’s Parents
Honeymoon: Travel (Airplane, etc.), Cruise, Accommodations, Enjoyment Money, Rental Car
DON’T CANCEL THE WEDDING! (Thought you’d need a laugh at this point!)

You can cut all of the “non-essentials” from the above list. Or cut out a few of the guests you really didn’t want to invite anyway! Remember, PLAN before you buy. Decide on a THEME before you go into a binding contract for a banquet hall. DO NOT buy on impulse.

One last word to the wise. This is your wedding. Enjoy it. Hopefully it will be the last time you do this. So enjoy the moments. Even when it gets crazy, and you feel you’ve gotten in over your head financially. This too shall pass. In the meantime, why not create your very own wedding website so that your guests can keep track of your up-and-coming dream day?

Good luck and God bless!