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How to plan a wedding on a budget?

In almost all cases, the couple will end up spending more than they had planned. Before you start daydreaming about Italian villas, booking overpriced vendors, and trying on designer gowns, make sure you are not one of these people by setting a realistic wedding budget.

If you want to make a budget that works, you'll need to add up your savings, keep a detailed spreadsheet to ensure you don't go over during planning, set aside money for unforeseen expenses, and cut back significantly if you go over. We recognise the effort required, but know that your future self will thank you (wedding-debt free). Learn here how to create a realistic plan for your wedding's financial expenses.

Table of Contents

Determining the Type of Wedding

What do you see when you think about your wedding day? The reception will be held in a downtown loft, and it will be very fancy. A cookout in the backyard with loved ones? Reception in the grand hotel ballroom?

Just recall all the weddings you've attended, watched on TV, or browsed through on Pinterest for some additional ideas. Tell me about your experience with them, good and bad.

Don't worry about the fine print just yet. Rather, when it comes to planning a wedding on a budget, knowing your priorities is key. Think about the overall feel you want your wedding to have.

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To a certain extent, you may have already accomplished this one aspect of wedding preparation. Or else, it's time to start daydreaming. What kind of party do you and your significant other envision? A picnic in the park, a small gathering in the city, or a huge bash with everyone you know? It's easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options for weddings and sources of ideas available. Don't worry too much about the finer points at first, but do think about the mood you want to set for the big day. Don't forget the little details that will set your wedding apart and make it special for you and your partner.

When advising engaged couples, it is suggested to consider weddings they have attended or witnessed in order to find appropriate adjectives. It's true that enjoyment and elegance can coexist, but only sometimes.

wedding videography

Discuss the Wedding Expenses

Everyone who has a financial stake in the budget needs to sit down and review it. If you're getting married soon, it could be the first time you and your partner have created a joint financial plan. What a fantastic chance to gain knowledge! Communicating your financial capabilities and desired expenditures for the wedding to your intended is crucial. You'll be able to have wonderful low-cost post-wedding date nights thanks to this. Need help planning your wedding? Check out our list of Wedding Event Planners here.

Your ratios should reflect your priorities. You might go all out for pictures, but flowers just aren't that important to you. Make adjustments to the percentages if you have a preference for one area over another.

Cost

In contrast to throwing a casual afternoon tea and dessert party in your parents' pretty backyard, throwing a formal candlelit dinner in the grand ballroom of that amazing hotel downtown will require a much larger budget. How much you need to put aside depends on a number of factors, but there are a few that stand out as particularly important.

Date and Time

High demand times of year and times of the week result in higher prices. For a variety of reasons, including higher catering costs for dinner, and the fact that guests tend to drink less during the day, as well as the fact that many couples opt to keep their reception's lighting, music, and decorations subdued, evening receptions are typically more expensive than brunch or afternoon receptions.

Crunch Some Numbers

Now is the time to do some serious budgeting, so you can avoid embarrassing situations later. It's fine if you don't have a crystal-clear, iron-clad number in mind for your wedding budget and don't stick to it. However, most people who need a wedding budget will need to have a conversation about it. Spend some quality time together as a couple determining the maximum amount of money you both feel comfortable spending on the wedding. Will family and friends also be chipping in for the wedding costs? This is also the time to brief them on the specifics of their involvement. In some cases, this will be a set dollar amount that you can include in your wedding budget without any adjustments, and in others, they may offer to cover a certain cost category or percentage of the whole wedding. Either way, you need to know before diving into planning and budgeting.

In my experience, discussing money with loved ones is rarely a pleasant experience, but it is often necessary. You should approach the situation with the understanding that your loved ones may or may not be able to help financially, but that it's better to ask than to not ask at all.

When planning an event, it can be tempting to invite everyone you know. This isn't always the best course of action. Your wedding budget will increase in proportion to the number of guests you invite and the number of extravagant extras you include.

Limit Number of Guests

This is a case where less really is more. The temptation to create a guest list on par with that of a royal wedding is understandable, but remember that each additional person attending will cost you money. Sorry if that's harsh, but it's the truth. The cost of the wedding will rise exponentially as you invite more and more people.

You can cut costs by having fewer guests at a more intimate wedding. You and your future spouse may want to consider inviting only the people who are absolutely necessary to your happiness. You could have a smaller reception with only close family and friends, and invite more people to the ceremony.

Your guest list is another important statistic to calculate now. Now is the time to sit down with your future spouse and pull up an Excel spreadsheet to begin adding the names of guests to your wedding. The total cost of your wedding will fluctuate greatly depending on how many people you invite, regardless of where you get married or what kind of ceremony you have planned. Looking for a Wedding Event Planner? Look no further, Vines of the Yarra Valley  have you covered.

The biggest (and most controllable) cost at any wedding is the cost of the food and alcohol served to the guests, so adjusting the number of invited people can have a significant impact on the budget. And because you won't need as much of everything else, like decorations, stationery, favours, and rentals, you'll save money on those expenses as well when you invite fewer people.

Man in suit wedding ring

Know Your Priorities

Each of you should discuss your top three priorities for the big day with your future spouse. Details can include anything from rocking music to an open bar to the photographer from your second cousin's best friend's sister's wedding to a four-tiered cake to late-night tacos to a live string quartet to an abundance of flowers. Having this concise list will allow you to put more of your resources towards the goals that are most important to you and your partner. In order to avoid duplicating each other's efforts and come to an honest assessment of your priorities.

You and your fiance should sit down and discuss the percentages you just tallied to determine the three things that are absolutely necessary for your wedding day. They can be as sensible as an indoor reception or as extravagant as a surf and turf dinner with a live jazz band and a tonne of flowers.

You and your partner should sit down and talk about what it is that each of you really wants, whether you come up with the idea on your own or together. Focus your finances on achieving that goal. Too busy with life to really plan your wedding in detail? Have someone else do it for you and check out our list of Wedding Planners in Melbourne to help take the stress away.

costs for wedding media

Wedding Venue at Home

Almost half of the total wedding cost goes towards the venue. In order to save money, why not use a public park, your house, or the house of a relative as the setting for your video? If you want to avoid spending a fortune on a reception hall, have your ceremony and reception outside at a special location instead.

Plan for the worst if you must hold your event outside. If the weather forecast calls for rain or even just high temperatures, you should be prepared to change your plans.

It can cost a lot of money to rent a building or a function hall for a wedding and reception. Instead, have the ceremony at your house (or that of a parent) or a public park with a breathtaking view.

Each of these options also lends itself well to an outdoor reception, which can be both picturesque and memorable without breaking the bank on a reception hall.

You don't want to get married in a downpour that leaves all your friends and family soaked, so if you opt for an outdoor ceremony, be sure to have a backup plan in place. If rain is in the forecast, you may want to rent a sturdy tent; if the temperature is extremely high, you may want to invest in a few industrial fans; otherwise, you may want to just hunker down inside the house.

Your wedding costs may rise more if it takes place in a tourist destination during the wedding season. Like hotels, some event spaces are more expensive than others. Some, like a city park, have no or very low fees, while others, like a lavish ballroom, can cost as much as an entire year of university. It's important to remember that many highly sought-after venues do not accept weddings with an insufficient number of guests, and that some may even have a per-person minimum.

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No to Venue Upgrades

One of the best ways to save money on your wedding is to decline costly upgrades. Just go with whatever comes standard or is the cheapest out there. For example, if a couple doesn't like the look of the white-on-white tablecloths, they may opt to spend thousands more than originally planned. It's also possible that they simply dislike the ceremony chairs.

You should reevaluate your plans if you find discrepancies between your initial estimates and the results of your preliminary research. Is it possible to allocate more funds so that your dream wedding comes true? Is it possible to adjust the wedding's theme or location to reduce costs? Is it possible to do it yourself or eliminate some costs? There are always ways to cut costs, but if your plan's budget and your vision are at odds, you need to find a way to balance the two.

FAQs About Planning A Wedding

Here's how to plan a wedding step by step.
  1. Set a Wedding Budget. It's critical that setting your budget be the first step in planning your wedding. 
  2. Download a Wedding-Planning App. 
  3. Get Inspired. 
  4. Start Your Guest List. 
  5. Pick Your Wedding Party. 
  6. Narrow Down the Dates. 
  7. Choose a Venue. 
  8. Start Your Wedding Registry.
The Ultimate Wedding Budget Checklist
  • Wedding Ceremony - 2%
  • Wedding Rings - 2%
  • Venue Hire - 15%
  • Catering (Food and Drink) - 25%
  • Photography/ Videography - 12%
  • Outfits and Beauty - 12%
  • Wedding Cake - 2%
  • Wedding Planner - 3% - 15% Depending On The Level Of Service You Choose.
COMMON THINGS BRIDES FORGET FOR THEIR WEDDING
  • Arranging transportation for the families, wedding party, and/or guests.
  • Assigning someone to gather and secure gifts.
  • Cake cutting set.
  • Cake topper.
  • Card box.
  • Cash for vendor tips.
  • Eating a healthy breakfast.
  • Getting a good night's sleep before the wedding.

Veil or headpiece. Necklace(s), earring's, bracelet(s), ring(s), wedding band, and other accessories. Rain boots, umbrella, rain jacket (If there is a chance of rain) Sewing Kit, extra buttons & extra pins.

Conclusion

The couple will almost always spend more than they intended. It's time to book those expensive vendors and try on those designer gowns before you start fantasising about renting a villa in Italy. Discover in this article how to make a sensible budget for your wedding. It's important to talk to your future spouse about how much money you can afford to spend on the wedding and how much you want to spend overall. There are a lot of variables that can affect how much you need to save, but a few that stand out as crucial are as follows.

Prices are higher during peak seasons and days of the week. How many guests you decide to invite will have a significant impact on how much money you'll need to spend on your wedding. Smaller weddings are more cost-effective because they feature fewer guests. Cost of food and drink served to guests is typically the largest (and most manageable) part of a wedding's overall budget. You and your future spouse should sit down and talk about what matters most to each of you for the wedding.

There can be as much or as little attention paid to the particulars as the host desires, from blaring rock music to an open bar to a four-tiered cake. With this list in hand, you can focus your efforts where they will do the most good. Some prestigious locations won't host weddings with a small guest list. Some event halls are more affordable than others, much like hotels. Some couples may decide to spend several thousand dollars more on coloured tablecloths if they prefer a different aesthetic to the standard white-on-white look.

Content Summary

  • If you want to make a budget that works, you'll need to add up your savings, keep a detailed spreadsheet to ensure you don't go over during planning, set aside money for unforeseen expenses, and cut back significantly if you go over.
  • Learn here how to create a realistic plan for your wedding's financial expenses.
  • Think about the overall feel you want your wedding to have.
  • Don't worry too much about the finer points at first, but do think about the mood you want to set for the big day.
  • Don't forget the little details that will set your wedding apart and make it special for you and your partner.
  • Everyone who has a financial stake in the budget needs to sit down and review it.
  • If you're getting married soon, it could be the first time you and your partner have created a joint financial plan.
  • Communicating your financial capabilities and desired expenditures for the wedding to your intended is crucial.
  • It's fine if you don't have a crystal-clear, iron-clad number in mind for your wedding budget and don't stick to it.
  • Spend some quality time together as a couple determining the maximum amount of money you both feel comfortable spending on the wedding.
  • Will family and friends also be chipping in for the wedding costs?
  • Your wedding budget will increase in proportion to the number of guests you invite and the number of extravagant extras you include.
  • The cost of the wedding will rise exponentially as you invite more and more people.
  • You can cut costs by having fewer guests at a more intimate wedding.
  • Your guest list is another important statistic to calculate now.
  • Now is the time to sit down with your future spouse and pull up an Excel spreadsheet to begin adding the names of guests to your wedding.
  • The total cost of your wedding will fluctuate greatly depending on how many people you invite, regardless of where you get married or what kind of ceremony you have planned.
  • The biggest (and most controllable) cost at any wedding is the cost of the food and alcohol served to the guests, so adjusting the number of invited people can have a significant impact on the budget.
  • Each of you should discuss your top three priorities for the big day with your future spouse.
  • Having this concise list will allow you to put more of your resources towards the goals that are most important to you and your partner.
  • In order to avoid duplicating each other's efforts and come to an honest assessment of your priorities.
  • You and your fiancé should sit down and discuss the percentages you just tallied to determine the three things that are absolutely necessary for your wedding day.
  • Focus your finances on achieving that goal.
  • Wedding Venue at Home Almost half of the total wedding cost goes towards the venue.
  • If you want to avoid spending a fortune on a reception hall, have your ceremony and reception outside at a special location instead.
  • Plan for the worst if you must hold your event outside.
  • It can cost a lot of money to rent a building or a function hall for a wedding and reception.
  • Have the ceremony at your house (or that of a parent) or a public park with a breathtaking view.
  • You don't want to get married in a downpour that leaves all your friends and family soaked, so if you opt for an outdoor ceremony, be sure to have a backup plan in place.
  • Your wedding costs may rise more if it takes place in a tourist destination during the wedding season.
  • Like hotels, some event spaces are more expensive than others.
  • One of the best ways to save money on your wedding is to decline costly upgrades.
  • Is it possible to adjust the wedding's theme or location to reduce costs?
  • There are always ways to cut costs, but if your plan's budget and your vision are at odds, you need to find a way to balance the two.
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