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How to Determine Your Wedding Budget

How to determine your wedding budget is possibly one of the most stressful parts of the whole wedding planning process. Here’s 5 simple steps to help you as you figure out how to determine your wedding budget!

How to determine your wedding budget is possibly one of the most stressful parts of the whole wedding planning process. If you have an endless wedding budget, congrats. Now move on to the next post in my wedding series. Haha.

Now to the rest of you who are pinching pennies to make your wedding beautiful, it can be done!! There are so many creative ways to save to nowadays. don’t be discouraged, just get creative… Continue reading 36 genius ways to save money on your wedding.

One of the first things to check off your wedding checklist is determining your wedding budget. Here are some simple steps to help you as you figure out how to determine your wedding budget.

how to determine your wedding budget | the johnsons plus dog

5 simple steps as you figure out how to determine your wedding budget

1. Discuss priorities

Now is the time to sit down with your future spouse and discuss priorities. Determine the must-have’s for each of you.

2. Determine who is contributing

Next you need to determine if anyone from your family will be contributing. This part totally depends on your family dynamics and no one knows that better than you! In some situations, this is simple as just nicely asking if they are willing. I asked my family members if they would like to contribute to making our day possible in lieu of a wedding gift.

  • Always give them an out so they do not feel obligated if they aren’t comfortable or just don’t have the money.
  • It is definitely easiest if you can confirm an amount they are willing to contribute so you can plan accordingly.
  • Another option is having the family member/s choose a certain item that they would like to purchase for you (ie: catering, videographer, photobooth, etc). However, be sure that they know what the true market costs of item they are taking care of, rather than what it cost when they got married 30 years ago! Be sure to determine how involved they will be with the planning/coordination of that item.
  • Always manage expectations upfront.

3. Figure out how much you can contribute

After you’ve figured out if your loved ones will be contributing, determine how much you and spouse want to contribute on top of that. I would not recommend clearing out your bank account. The first few months of marriage are not ones you want to spend in debt. Re-discuss your priorities again. Remember, this is just the a day at the beginning of your story.

4. Set your categories and allocations

There are tons of resources out there that help to determine how much you should allocate toward each part of your wedding. but if you’re like me and many of today’s brides, you aren’t having a traditional wedding. Here’s what our wedding budget allocations were when it was all said and done:

  • Catering – 28%
  • Photography – 19%
  • Venue (with tables & chairs) – 17%
  • Decorations – 10%
  • DJ – 8%
  • Coordination – 7%
  • Dress – 3%
  • Dress Alterations – 2%
  • Flowers – 2% * I had my bouquet professionally made and the rest of the flowers were bought in bulk and we DIY’d it.
  • Hair & Makeup – 1%
  • Linens –  1%
  • Desserts/Cake – 1% * We had a family member do the dessert bar for us
  • Invites (printing & postage) – 1% * I designed them myself
  • Save the Dates (printing & postage) – 0.5% * I designed them myself

5. Add a contingency

Add 20% to your budgeted items. Things will always end up being more than you expected. Add in a 20% contingency and you will have the extra funds planned when something comes up that didn’t expect, and it will!

 

Determining your wedding budget doesn’t have to be the most stressful part of the whole wedding planning process. These 5 simple steps will help you figure out how to determine your wedding budget. After you get your wedding budget down, be sure to check out some of my recommended wedding budget tools next!

the ultimate wedding checklist |the johnsons plus dog
follow along on my ultimate wedding checklist

 

 

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