Possibly the least romantic and least desirable aspect of a wedding is the budget and having to pay for it. Whether you and your future spouse are paying for the wedding yourselves, or your parents are helping you out, weddings can be a big expense and you would be wise to keep track of your spending.
No matter how much money you have at your disposal to lavish on a wedding, it is important to keep track of the costs and plan a rough budget outline. When working on a lower budget, it is a good idea to work backwards, using how much you want to spend as your initial guideline. In any case, you will want to make note of all the aspects and details that you wish to experience on your wedding day, including how many guests you want to be present, and then, once you have a rough idea how much it is going to cost, you can begin to omit things to adjust the overall costs.
Just after deciding to get married, many people begin to form a wedding binder where you can collect ideas that you wish to include in your big day. This is a great way to get ideas and start visualizing the event, taking cuttings from magazines and printing ideas from the Internet. It will also help to clarify those elements that you definitely want and those that are optional luxuries.
One way that is recommended to help with budgeting your wedding is to work on percentages, keeping in mind how much you wish to spend on each area.
- 50% Reception – Venue, food, drinks, cake
- 10% Clothing – Bride’s dress, groom’s suit, bridesmaids, hair and make up
- 10% Flowers and decoration
- 10% Music and entertainment – Ceremony music, DJ, bands
- 10% Photographs – Photographer, video, prints
- 3% Gifts and favors
- 2% Ceremony – legal costs, judge, documentation
- 2% Stationery – invites, seating and place names, thank you cards
- 2% Rings
- 1% Transport
The above is just one example of how you might wish to divide your costs and will probably depend greatly on your guest list and other considerations. However, the reception is usually the biggest outgoing, unless you elope just the two of you! Also, remember that it doesn’t include money spent on a honeymoon.
You will also find that if you opt for a destination wedding, these percentages will change, especially if you marry in a hotel that offers free ceremony packages or discounts for all inclusive guests. Paying a private wedding planner would also be another expense, although many hotels offer free consultations.