Weddings add up, and they add up very quickly. Are your families pitching in, or are you and your fiancé footing the bill? There are many things to take into consideration when budgeting for your wedding—venues, flowers, entertainment, photographer, the dress, rings, invitations, food…the list goes on and on. Whether you have $50,000 or $500 to spend, by following an organized budget, you can have a fabulous wedding without breaking the bank.

Use a personal financial manager (PFM) to watch expenses and create a master budget. It will help you cut back on unnecessary expenditures and sock away more money for your dream wedding. 

Things to consider when establishing your budget:

What kind of wedding do you want?

Do you picture a quaint wedding at a park, or a luxurious wedding in the fancy downtown hotel?

How many people do you want to invite?

While you don’t have to hammer out the final guest list quite yet, give yourself a ballpark number to work with.

Do you have a date and time in mind?

Saturdays are the priciest days to have a wedding, so if you’re on a budget, maybe look into a Friday evening or Sunday wedding. Also, think about the time of the year – you tend to get a bigger bang for your buck in winter than you would in summer.

What do you actually need to have at your dream wedding?

Do you really need the 7-layer cake? Or how about the open bar for 300 guests? Try to separate wants versus needs.

Below is what percentage of your budget you can expect to spend on each category for your wedding:

  • 45% Reception
  • 12% Photography & Video
  • 8% Attire
  • 8% Music & Entertainment
  • 6% Flowers & Decor
  • 5% Wedding Rings
  • 3% Stationery
  • 3% Ceremony
  • 2% Transportation
  • 2% Gifts
  • 6% Miscellaneous & Contingency

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