How To Budget For Your Wedding

I could say, “The answer to that is easy, how much do you have? “and sign off. But noooooooo.

It is vital that you both sit on how to discuss this. Setting the budget for your wedding could also be your first encounter with family diplomacy.

budget for your wedding woman worried about moneyModern weddings don’t use the old etiquette ‘who pays for what’ rule so much anymore. And half of all couples do pay for their own weddings, but if your families are willing to chip in, then great.

So to get on with it, I have to refer to the first question above. How much do you have? In savings?  Start with that then calculate how much more can you save. How much will your parents contribute, if anything? Do you plan on taking a partial loan? That is the bottom line.

Depending on the relationships with your parents you might ask them if they will contribute but if not and they don’t come forward to offer then don’t be hopeful or plan on it. Leave it out. You may find it a nice bonus if they do come forward later. Whatever the contribution, be understanding, gracious and grateful.

Please do not put yourself deep in debt for your wedding or use credit cards to fund it. There are plenty of ways to have a fabulous wedding without going into debt for life.

So you have done your sums and know how much you have it’s time to set priorities. This is very important. You need to sit down as a couple and decide the things that are most important to you. I like to have it narrowed down to 3 main items. This can be inviting everyone you know, flowers, photography, a great venue, great food (although those two should really be gotten in one), entertainment or anything else you deem as important and don’t want to economize on.

Now you need to break things down.  I have a template myself and am happy to send it on to you if you contact me but there are some very good online and automatic wedding budget calculators {The  Knot has a good one} where you put in your total budget, number of guests {you can play with this a bit to see how much more you get when you lower your guests list} number of attendants and it breaks the budget down into how much you should spend on each. Keep in mind that you may not need all of the categories as traditions can be different on these American sites so omit them and add in your set fees like registrar’s fees of €150.

In general and you will see on the calculators, the bulk of the budget will go on the reception food and wine.  Generally upwards of 40% and this is one of your priorities, almost 50%. Your wedding gown, veil, and alterations are around 6%, Invitations, and stationery about 2%, photography up to 10%; I could go on but you can see how quickly things add up and make sure you have a contingency set aside too. Even with the greatest of restraint, there are so many beautiful things that you can always spend that extra Euro and unexpected things do come up!

I recommend opening a wedding bank account. Put in what you have now, any contributions from families and add with savings every week or month.  Your amount will add up nicely as long as you continue to save and you can better track what is going in and out of one account.

That should get you started and next week we will talk about point two. Tackling your guest list!

How are you feeling so far??

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