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7 Tips To Plan Your Wedding Budget [With FREE Templates]


Wedding is one of the most important events in your life – and one of the most expensive too! Thus, one of the first things the happy couple has to do as soon as they decide to tie the knot is creating a wedding budget.

This is the first big project the bride and groom-to-be work on together. Moreover, it is a project that needs a lot of careful budgeting too! Well, don’t you worry – we have it all covered. Grab your wedding binder tabs and get ready for some calculations! Our tips would help you whether you have 2000$ or 30000$ as your wedding budget. They will work fine for any wedding, big or small.

Figuring Out Who Pays For What At A Wedding?

Source: Instagram@perfect_little_planner

Before you apply for your marriage papers, you need to consider the sources of your wedding budget income. Long gone are days when the parents of the bride paid for everything. In the modern world, there are no rules on who has to pay for the wedding and how much. And you’d better have an independent mindset about meeting the budgeting for the wedding.

Related Post: Who Pays For The Wedding: Main Etiquette Rules

Nevertheless, it never hurts to ask if your parents are willing to make any contribution and cover some costs (or all of it). No doubt, starting this kind of conversation you have to be ready to answer how much you intend to spend. It is a good idea to have a rough estimation at the time. If you do not have it yet, you might simply say that on average a wedding costs about 20000$.

You could offer to divide the money burden between all of your parents. But don’t forget – if they help you with the money they might intervene with decisions about the wedding.

There is more than one way to get finance for your special day. You might want to consider personal loan for wedding, credit card and that is understandable. Money can be tight, especially if you have a lot of expenses that you need to pay for.

What Is The Average Budget For A Wedding In USA?

We compiled the Infographic that shows: the average wedding budget in the USA  is $33,391. Wedding cost across the USA is different and depends on the states:

Fix Up Your Overall Wedding Budget

Source: Instagram@ioanamihet

As soon as you have decided on sources of your finance, you can start some general wedding budget planner. Remember, that wedding of any budget can be gorgeous and joyful if you plan it right. Though planning with money is easier than without them. Otherwise, you will need to do lots of things yourselves, which is way more difficult than ms vs mrs decision.

It is a great idea to talk to someone with a similar experience. If you have some newly wedded friends, consult them about the costs of their venue, attire, etc. It might be very helpful to get the general idea of costs in your area. It works fine to adjust your expectations and numbers. Anyway, you will need to prioritize your wedding budget needs to cut down costs. So, your task number one is making sure your priorities are the same.

Treating Yourself While Wedding Planning

So many things have changed in wedding planning over the last decade. While Pinterest (Follow us on Pinterest) has been helping brides with wedding inspiration, wedding planning got even more stressful with many woes that did not exist 20 years ago.

You are engaged in the age of all the best bridal swag. Brides often forget to enjoy their engagement due to wedding stress and forget to treat themselves while trying to make everyone else happy.

Many Bridal Subscription Boxes have emerged that treat brides with monthly wedding themed goodies. These boxes are not only a fun surprise every month, but they also contain many items that will be useful during your wedding planning, and possibly you may not have thought of yet.

Likely the best such subscription is Miss To Mrs Bridal Subscription Box. Not only each monthly box has its own theme, but most of their items are far superior in quality because they are designed and made just for Miss To Mrs. Their previous boxes included such awesome items like a floral kimono robe for the wedding day morning, vow books, “Just Married” car decal, full garter set, bridal hairpieces, diamond wipes and many more fun & useful items you can use during and after wedding planning.

Crunch Your Wedding Costs By Percentage


If you have already spared a look at some sample wedding itineraries, you understand the general sample wedding budget. It is enough to make a rough draft of all the elements of wedding you have to spend money on. Here’s an approximate percentage – but of course you need to go over the numbers together to see if you have similar ideas. There are some things that you can save on, and something you’d better spend your money on. For example, cheap catering is nice. Until you have food poisoning.

  1. Reception: 48%–50%

Typically this is the most expensive part of the wedding. But if you prefer a quiet romantic backyard wedding with nearest and dearest – it can reduce the costs substantially. Catering and venue might cost a fortune. If your overall wedding cost checklist is no more than 2000 dollars this is definitely your best option.

  1. Ceremony: 2%–3%

Where will your ceremony take place and what kind of ceremony will it be? The cheapest option would be to sign all the papers at the city hall, of course. But you could also ask a friend to be your officiant.

  1. Attire, hair and makeup: 8%–10%

One of the points, where you need to be careful with cutting the costs. There might be no need to buy an expensive designer dress, but quality will speak for itself. Also, don’t forget that makeup and hair will need a trial – which doubles the cost. Of course, if you can do the hair and makeup yourself it makes the things easier.

  1. Flowers, wedding design, decor etc: 8%–10%

Even if your budget is around $30000, it is great if you have a friend or two who might help. Professional decoration costs a lot. If you want a beautiful wedding, but don’t have a lot of money, consider a barnyard wedding. Hand-made decorations, country style – rustic weddings are trendy this season. And – the flower design will be much cheaper!

  1.  Entertainment/Music: 8%–10%

One more area where a friend in need is a friend indeed. It’s good to have talented people around you, isn’t it?

  1. Photography/Videography: 10%–12%

Probably one of the few things you’d better not grudge money on. Photos and videos of your happy day will last forever, keeping your memories alive. You want to look your best, and investing in photos is worth it.

  1. Stationery: 2%–3%

You are going to need invitations, guest cards etc. printed. Also, printed personalized napkins are a great idea for a small wedding.

  1. Wedding Rings: 2%–3%

Your expenses here depend a lot on your mutual expectations. If your budget is around the upper limit of 30000$ you might want a designer diamond ring. But for a 2000$ wedding go for a simpler, yet modern tungsten wedding band. Tungsten wedding bands are one of the top trends this year, they are beautiful and practical.

  1. Parking/Transportation: 2%–3%

Depends on your venue and the number of your guests. Travel expenses rise a lot in the case of a destination wedding.

  1. Gifts: 2%–3%

You might want to give your friends small gifts in memory of your big event.

  1. Miscellaneous: 8%

A thing to consider seriously. Small details matter. And cost money too!

Save Total Wedding Costs Checklist Infographic and keep your budget under control!

Hidden False Friends Of Wedding Budget

Source: Instagram@sayyesabridalgownboutique

When you look at your wedding preparation timeline you always calculate major expenses. But apart from the big things, there are also lots of small ones, that go as “miscellaneous”. They may appear as nothing to worry about, but added up they can harm your budget remarkably. Pre-wedding beauty treatments, business meals with your planner or helpers, hen and stag parties…

Marriage license, postage costs, the price of shoes, undergarments, and shapewear. The expenses keep building up where you haven’t expected them to be. It is especially important to keep in mind these things if your wedding budget doesn’t allow you to get a wedding planner and you do everything yourself. In that case, the chances that you have forgotten something and will need to buy it last-minute increase considerably. Sometimes less is more.

Take Control Over Budgeting For Wedding

Source: Instagram@sayyesabridalgownboutique

To make sure you don’t miss anything, use various cloud resources and wedding budget spreadsheet to control and discuss your costs. You might share this wedding cost checklist with the groom and other people, who participate in your budget planning. Browse the internet for advice – for example, most wedding planning companies charge for change of documents.

But if you use our online guide on how to legally change your name you won’t need to pay for this service. There are lots of other situations which you can handle yourself and avoid wasting your money on. Just make sure you have enough people to help you with all of this – they say teamwork is dream work. It is especially true for planning a wedding budget.

Another smart tip you could use to take control of budgeting is making a wedding registry. It might help you a lot if you put some unavoidable post-wedding expenses on the list. Take a look at our best wedding registry gifts for some inspiration. Such register might help you save money on your travel expenses for the honeymoon.

Also, you could put on your list gift certificates or wedding fund contributions. This way you kill two birds with one stone – you make sure you won’t receive something you don’t need as a wedding gift and cover part of your wedding costs.

Feel Free To Ask For Expert Advice On Wedding Expenses

If you are not sure whether you are up to do everything yourself, you can always contact specialists. Profile vendors can provide you with specially customized wedding budget plans accordingly to your actual funds. This way you will be sure you haven’t forgotten anything important.

Planning such a big event requires practice, and professionals often can get you a discount on some wedding options. They will help you find the best catering or venue, that is perfect for your needs and budget. Or they could give you some advice on cutting the costs. Anyway, whether you do everything yourself or get professional help – do not panic. It is your wedding and it will be just perfect.

Related post: 13 Main Rules On How Much To Spend On A Wedding Gift

Save & Print Guide On How To Calculate Your Total Wedding Budget!