How to budget for your wedding (plus a budget template) - oliveandoath.com

How to budget for your wedding (plus a budget template)

STICKER SHOCK IS A REAL THING. 
Especially when it comes to planning a wedding. That’s why I want to share my tips for building your basic wedding budget. There’s no fear in spending money when you know that you have it (AKA when you have a budget in place). 

FIRST: Let’s talk the basic make-up of a budget.

  1. Total Available Funds 
  2. Categories – AKA Items that you want to purchase
  3. Length of time you have to pay these things

When setting your total budget ALWAYS underestimate a little bit. Statistically 54% of weddings go over budget in Southern California. Plan for a little less and the unexpected expenses will be easier to handle. Even better, create a budget item called unexpected expenses. The length of time between engagement and wedding will change the budget A LOT. For example, say you have about $500 per month you can put away for a wedding and already have $2,000 saved. A six month engagement will only give you about $5,000 to work with, while a year long engagement gives you about $8,000. Now, if you are already feeling like saving for a wedding is going to be impossible Click HERE to my blog post all about unique ways to save extra cash for a wedding.

SECOND: Time to create an itemized list

Once you have figured out a realistic total that you and your man can agree on, gather a list of all the items you will need. You can have my comprehensive list sent straight to your email with a pdf and excel version (also works in google sheets) by clicking here. The budget I created has Southern California averages auto populated but can be adjusted depending on your location. Money allocated to each section needs to be relevant to three things: your overall budget, the items importance, and how many people you have. Remember: THIS IS ADJUSTABLE. Don’t fret too much the first time around with exact numbers. If you haven’t started talking to vendors these are all guesses. Keep in mind that if you add money to one section it has to be taken from another part of the wedding budget.

THIRD: Prioritize the item’s importance to you!

After the list of all the items you’ll need is gathered, it’s time to prioritize. For my wedding, photography was super important to me and I was willing to pay basically anything for it. We ended up budgeting $2,500 for two photographers, a one-year anniversary session, and a wedding album. This is completely subjective and relative to your total budget. If you are both music lovers and want to hire a boss ass DJ as your big purchase, then freaking go for it! A splurge somewhere usually requires a sacrifice somewhere else, which is why prioritizing is important. 

With those three things complete, you’ll have a good start to your wedding planning process. I hope you feel confident going in to talk to vendors knowing what you can spend and where.

Happy planning!

All my heart, 

Reagan Suitt


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