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The Top 5 Wedding Budget Tips

August 7, 2018

How to manage a wedding budget

with these top 5 tips

Getting married is like throwing one huge party for all of your family and friends! However, saying “I Do”can also be a huge cost for a couple to take on. Whether you’re self funding the wedding or getting help from family, when you and your partner start the wedding planning process, it can seem overwhelming to figure out the first step. To help you get started, we’re sharing our top 5 wedding budget tips to help you start thinking about those wedding expenses. Stay tuned for a FREE downloadable budget spreadsheet guide that I use with my clients.

Estimate and Guest-imate

Royal Inspired Vineyard Wedding at Triunfo Creek Vineyards, wedding party photo with white bridesmaid dresses and black groomsmen suits

Photo by:  Lynn Bagley Photography

Set up your ideal wedding budget first and foremost before booking your venue. You don’t want to book a really expensive venue and then have little room left for other things that are important to you. Secondly, have a rough estimate of how many guests you’d like to invite. Sit with your partner and write out the list. Some venues and catering companies base their rates on guest count, so you’ll want to have an idea of how many you plan to invite. Knowing an approximation will help you get accurate bids on venue and vendor services.


Get A Professional Opinion

Photo by: Sisterlee Photography

Ask your planner to help you set a realistic wedding budget. Sometimes couples have an idea in their head on what they want to spend but haven’t actually sat down to talk through what they really want and get a realistic grasp on what those numbers could be. Your planner is a valuable resource that has worked alongside vendors with a wide range of rates. They can help guide you to vendors within your budget and give you a true idea of what everything costs. Discussing your estimated budget early on with a planner can help alleviate sticker shock when you’re discussing rates with vendors.



Butterfly Lane Estate wedding, private estate wedding in Montecito, Indian and Christian wedding ceremony

Photo by: Kelsea Holder Photography

Decide on what the top 3 most important things are to you. Is it the food? A live band? The venue? Your dress? Photographer? Know what you and your partner care about most so that you can allocate more money to those things and have a higher quality. This also allows you to cut other things out when you know what’s most important.



Triunfo creek vineyard wedding reception, sweetheart table, wood mr. and mrs. signs, white calligraphy

Photo by: Anya Kernes Photography

Remember, a couple hundred dollars here and there can add up quickly! Find ways to scale back and ask yourself, do we need those upgraded chairs? Especially if you’re on a tight budget, a couple hundred bucks here and there can add up to be thousands of dollars.


Hidden Costs

VW Van Photobooth bus and bride and groom

Photo by: Sposto Photography

When setting a budget, remember to give wiggle room and incorporate all the little things that can pop up. Such as your marriage license cost, getting insurance for the day, alterations, postage when sending save the dates, invites, and don’t forget to add a line for tipping your vendors. Sometimes this can be a couple extra thousand dollars especially when tipping your catering staff. These are small things sometimes, but big line items that make a difference.


If you have the ability, try keeping track of everything in an excel spreadsheet or other budgeting software. This will help you to know when payments are due so you can plan for that in your budget. Then once the day arrives, let it all go. The only thing you should be thinking about is having the best time celebrating the love between you and your partner! Happy planning!

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