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How To Set A Wedding Budget

But there is one step that needs to be done before anything else, and that’s setting your wedding budget.

How to Set A Wedding Budget

Just got engaged? Ready to jump into the wedding planning bit?  WAIT! Have you worked out your wedding budget yet?  Let’s look at how to set a wedding budget.

Before you pay one penny of the deposit to a vendor have you agreed on everything that’s important to you both?

I know it’s really exciting and there are some parts of your wedding planning that you cannot wait to get to, dress shopping, venues and photographers to name a few.

But there is one step that needs to be done before anything else, and that’s setting your wedding budget.

If you jump into wedding planning without setting a budget you could end up with a wedding that looks nothing like what you wanted. Along with having a few arguments because your expectations are outwith your budget.

It’s best to know what you can afford and where you need to rethink what you can fit into that budget.

 Once you have your wedding budget in place, you know how much you have to spend, and how much to save every month.⁠

You may be lucky enough to have savings, which can be added to the wedding budget.⁠

⁠Sticking to a budget can be difficult, it’s very easy to get carried away, but it is crucial.⁠

⁠There are a few things to consider whilst your going through the budget setting process.⁠


A photo of a small money tree inside a jar of pennies

Who Pays for the wedding?

⁠Are you paying for the wedding yourself, or are your parents or family chipping in?⁠

⁠These are never easy conversations, to have with anyone at any time in life, but they need to be had so you can work out what you have to spend.⁠

⁠Perhaps the easiest way to ask would be to say ‘Would you like to contribute to the wedding?’ Then let them suggest what’s best for them. ⁠

⁠If someone wants to contribute to the budget, ask them how. Are they contributing a sum of money, or do they want to pay for a particular part of the wedding, your wedding dress perhaps?⁠

⁠Remember it’s often difficult for people to say that they can’t afford to contribute, no matter how much they would love to.

⁠But if they want to help, you could find a way for them to contribute in a smaller way.⁠

⁠Once all the contributions and savings are collated, you will then know if you need to increase the budget by saving money monthly.⁠

Your Contributions

Now you know what contributions there are towards the wedding, it’s time to sit down and work out what you can contribute to the kitty.

Do you have savings already?

How much can you realistically save every month from your salaries?

Remember, you still need to have those occasional dinners out, or have funds to pay for car repairs or any other unknown that might arise.

So make sure you leave yourself with enough monthly income to be able to enjoy life as you plan your wedding.

Once you’ve added up all the incoming figures on your spreadsheet you can see what your wedding budget is, is it enough?

Does it give you enough for the wedding of your dreams, or do you need to wait a little longer giving you time to save a bit more?

Be careful not to take out credit cards to pay for your wedding; you don’t want to start married life with a large debt.

I have a budget.. whats next?

Okay so now you know how much you have to play with, let’s look at where most of your budget will go?


a wedding venue

The Venue

The most expensive item in a wedding is the venue. The average cost of a wedding venue is roughly £5,000 – £6,000. But it is also one of the most critical parts of a wedding.

The size of your guest list can influence which venue you choose.

Does your ceremony have to be a weekend, this is the most expensive time for a wedding.  Could you do it during the week?

There are lots of areas that you can save money on when booking your venue. But get the right venue for you first then we can talk about where to save money.


Who to invite?

Begin by sitting down together, on your own and drawing up a list of the wedding party first.

Then add your immediate families.

Next would be the people that you couldn’t imagine getting married without them by your side.

Decide if you are inviting children along to the ceremony. Remember if you ask one family member and their children you will have to do the same for everyone.

What level of the family are you drilling down to?

If you are inviting one aunt and uncle, then you should ask all your aunts and uncles.

Small families give you more chance to invite the whole family.  Large families are when it becomes problematic.

When you’re compiling your list is, ask yourself, when was the last time I saw this person. Have we been involved in each other’s lives recently? Would I be comfortable with them at my wedding?

What about work colleagues, are they day or evening guests?

Consider you plus 1’s as well; it’s okay if your budget doesn’t allow everyone to have a plus one. You could invite partners to the evening doo, or leave them both to the evening.

Remember this is your day your way, it’s all about who you want to celebrate your wedding alongside. Don’t be pressurised into inviting anyone along that you don’t want there.

You also have a budget to keep to. The more people you invite, the less money you have for other things.

a large long table filled with people and flowers at a wedding ceremony

Wedding day essentials

What is non-negotiable for your wedding?

You and your partner may have different opinions on what items deserve more of your budget.

Sit down together and collate what’s important to you both.

Does one want an open bar and the other doesn’t?

Does one want flowers on the tables and the other doesn’t?

It’s essential to get your priority list right for you both; these items could have a large effect on your budget again.

Sit down and have a chat through the two most essential items, one from each of you. If you have a large budget, you could pick two essential items each and so on.

Ensure that those essential items are budgeted for adequately right at the start of the budget process.


Setting up a wedding budget and sticking to it can be challenging, but it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on the essential things.

Research ways of saving money on your wedding.  What about food trucks at an outdoor ceremony rather than a venue and a 3-course meal.

What options does your photographer have? Could you have them there for the ceremony and meal only?

Whatever it is, look at what you can or can’t live without for your wedding day and plan around that

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