Creating a Wedding Budget

How to Get Started on Creating a Wedding Budget You Can Afford
Excepts by Nina Callaway, About.com Guide

Once you’ve finished basking in the glow of engagement, you’ll find it very hard to get anything accomplished without a detailed wedding budget. This will give you an outline of what you should spend on each item, so as to ensure you don’t spend more than you intend to overall. Here’s how to create a wedding budget that you can afford

Who’s Paying for the Wedding
Although tradition says that the bride’s parents pay for the whole thing, this is frequently untrue for today’s couples. The average wedding cost now is about $25,000, but you’ll need to base your wedding budget on what is available to you. There are several options:
Parents can say that they are contributing a specific dollar amount, and then the couple decides on a wedding budget and makes up any difference themselves.

Parents can say that they want to pay for specific items such as the bride’s attire, the rehearsal dinner or the catering. The couple then has to figure out how to pay for everything else. You could use this article, Who Pays for What at a Wedding as a starting-off point.

The couple can set a budget and then ask to split it evenly. This is particularly a good solution for divided families. For example, the couple, the mother of the bride, the father of the bride, and the groom’s parents will each contribute $5000, for a total of a $20,000 wedding budget.

Figuring Out a Basic Wedding Budget
Start off by using a wedding budget planning worksheet to figure out the basics. If you already know some of the costs, such as the hall rental, put in the actual numbers, and adjust the other numbers to make up for it. You can ask other brides who have gotten married in your area what they spent on vendors to figure out if these numbers are realistic, or need to be adjusted.

Your Wedding Budget Worksheet ·
My Total Budget ___________
Expenses
% of total budget
Your estimate
What you actually spent

Ceremony
Location fee, officiant fee, marriage license, musician’s fees, ring pillows

3% ______ ______

Reception
Reception Site, Food, Drinks, Rentals, Cake, Favors

48% ______ ______

Attire
Dress, Headpiece/veil, undergarments and hosiery, shoes, accessories, jewelry, hair and makeup, Groom’s Tuxedo or Suit, shoes, bow tie, cuff links, studs, suspenders

10% ______ ______

Rings
His and her rings, engraving

3% ______ ______

Flowers
Ceremony, bride’s bouquet, maid-of-honor and bridesmaid bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, centerpieces, flower-girl basket

8% ______ ______

Music
Ceremony Musicians, Band and/or DJ, cocktail hour musicians, sound system rental

8% ______ ______

Photography
Photographer and Videographer’s fees, albums, additional prints, disposable cameras for candids

12% ______ ______

Transportation
Transportation for wedding party, guest shuttle and/or parking attendants

2% ______ ______

Stationery
Invitations, response cards, thank you notes, postage, calligraphy, guest book

3% ______ ______

Gifts
Bridesmaid and groomsmen, parents, welcome baskets for out-of-town guests.

3% ______ ______

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