How Do I Budget For A Wedding?

By on July 12, 2010 in ArticlesHow Much Does

How do you budget for a wedding? Planning a wedding can be a lot of work, depending on the type of wedding you are having. Whether big or small, a wedding can become all consuming during the planning process. Traditionally, the bride's family pays for the wedding and reception, while the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon. Nowadays, couples and their families may decide to share the cost or pay for the wedding themselves.

As soon as you become engaged, set up a separate savings account for your wedding and put away a set amount of money each month to help pay the cost of the wedding and honeymoon. Setting up a separate savings account will help keep this money from being accessed for other needs in the months prior to the wedding.

The first thing to do when planning your wedding is to decide on what type of wedding you will be having. Generally, a large wedding with many people in attendance will cost much more than a small wedding.

Decide what time your wedding will happen. An afternoon wedding, leading into an evening reception with a sit down dinner, can be expensive. If you are on a budget, consider an early afternoon wedding with the choice of a buffet, appetizers, or a potluck meal paired with cake and champagne, which can save money and provide a wonderful event on a smaller scale.

Where are you holding your wedding: at a church, outdoors or at home? Costs can vary greatly if you are renting a space or using a low-cost area for your vows and reception.

Next, buy a wedding planner book, so you can cross off items as they are completed. A wedding planner book is very helpful, since they are usually set up with month-to-month tasks to complete before the wedding. Reserve wedding and reception locations, honeymoon, catering, cake and flowers as far ahead as possible, especially during prime summer wedding months.

Now that you have a list from your wedding planner, you need to estimate the costs for each item to be completed. On average, US couples spend $19,581 for their wedding. Starting with an estimated budget limit ($3,000, $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 or more) for the wedding is a good idea.

When going through the list below, decide which items you must have for your wedding, compared with items you would like to have for your wedding. This list will give you an idea of what items you need to pay for and the items you can leave off your list, if they are not within your budget. Choose your absolute needs first, then add onto the list for costs you are able to afford. Whatever your final budget amount is, always add an extra amount to the total for the "unexpected expenses" category.

Wedding costs typically include the following items:


Facility Rental

Officiant of Ceremony

Bride's Dress

Bride's Shoes

Bride's Veil/Tiara

Bride's Purse

Bride's Lingerie

Bridesmaid Dresses & Shoes

Attendant's Gifts

Groom's Tux & Shoes

Groomsmen Tuxes & Shoes

Flowers (Ceremony/Reception)


Ceremony and Reception Music

Wedding Coordinator


Photography & Video

Ring Bearer Attire

Flower Girl Attire

Ring Pillow

Unity Candle

Guest Book

Tent Rental

Decorations (Purchased)

Linens & Decorations (Rented)

Liquor Bar



Cake & Cake Top


Guest Boarding/Hotel

Makeup & Hair Styling


Going-Away Outfit


Thank You Notes

Postage Stamps


Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction