How To Budget For A Wedding

Weddings can be SO expensive, but that doesn’t mean they have to break the bank.


Just like with about everything else in life, if you’re strategic about it, you can make it work! And today, I am here to show you what questions you should be asking yourself and what methods you should use to plan a wedding on a budget. Now, before we get into anything let me start by saying that if you reallyyy want to narrow your budget down, eloping might be for you! If you have ever considered eloping- or are considering it now, be sure to check out my post, “Should I Elope?” to find some clarity.


But if eloping isn’t for you, let’s talk about how to plan your dream wedding without crushing your dreams of financial stability along the way.



Set A Budget


First things first: What’s your budget?


What is that magic number that will allow you to “splurge” on your wedding without overdoing it? Once you have this number in place, the rest becomes pretty easy! Although it may be uncomfortable, speak with your family and see who is paying for what. Once that has been clearly communicated, ask whoever is chipping in to commit to a dollar amount so you have a clear picture of what your budget will be. If you are paying for it on your own or pitching in as well, talk with your partner and come up with that number!



What Kind Of Wedding Do You Want?


Now, it’s time to figure out what kind of wedding best suits you and your soon to be husband or wife. Are you picturing a backyard wedding? A wedding in a  castle? A destination wedding? A beach wedding? What kind of wedding you are wanting will help figure out the cost of the venue, the size of your wedding, and any travel costs!


P.s if a destination wedding is on the horizon for you I am always up to travel and would loveeee to capture it for you! Click here to book me for yours now! I also have a resource for destination weddings! Check out my post “How To Plan A Destination Wedding”.



Needs Vs. Wants


It’s no secret that your wedding day is your excuse to have everything you ever wanted and go ALL OUT! But, if you are planning on a budget, it might be helpful to narrow down your list of want-to-haves to must-haves. And I don’t mean to narrow down to the bare necessities, I mean, what do you need at your wedding for it to still feel special and magical? What do you want to splurge on to make your dream a reality and what can you easily let go of?


Because while you want to stay on a budget, you also want to avoid sacrificing things that matter to you if you are able to! Finding what is most important can help you to ensure you lower or eliminate the cost of aspects that maybe don’t matter as much.



Break It Down


Now that you have your budget, vision, and must-haves in mind, break everything up into percentages. Group every single cost into categories and crunch some numbers. Once you’ve done that, take a step back and make any needed changes from there. How much will each aspect of your day take up your budget? What categories do you need to take another look at to adjust the cost?


Breaking it down into percentages and looking at the big picture can help to bring into perspective and shed light on what you might be overspending on so that you can narrow it down and cut costs as much as possible!


Click here to see an average budget breakdown and to learn more about how to figure out your own!



Watch Out For Hidden Fees and Taxes


When figuring out costs, breaking down everything into percentages, and making your calculations, make sure you don’t miss any hidden fees or taxes! Overlooked costs are easy to miss and can really add up, here are some examples:


-Postage stamp fees with stationers

-Wedding dress alterations and steaming

-Marriage license fees

-Bridal undergarments

-Non approved vendors through venues


There certainly is more but there is a few! Don’t let the thought of not noticing hidden fees stress you out, most won’t amount to a large sum. As long as you do the research and are able to spot most of them- it shouldn’t add up too much. Click here to check out feebelly which is an app that looks over contracts to find any hidden fees or taxes!



Stay Organized


One of the most important points saved for last, organization! When it comes to anything involving wedding planning, especially your budget and costs, it is so crucial that you are organized and keep a close eye on it all. Keep every receipt, quote, invoice, email, bill, everything! This way you can easily pull it back up to refer to when you are making calculations or if there is any discrepancy.


If the thought of this is making your head spin- you might want to add a wedding planner to your must-have list!



What point was most helpful to you? Comment down below and let me know!

Looking for a wedding or elopement photographer and love all of the photos from this post???

Click here to book Anna now!

about anna

Anna is a wedding photographer based out of Bellingham, Washington. She is a coffee lover and a momma to her three little girls.


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