How To Create A Wedding Budget

How to Create A Wedding Budget | Destination Wedding Planner

December 7, 2022

Psst… do you know the secret to a successful wedding day? It all starts with your wedding budget. Yeah, we’re not exaggerating. Knowing how to create your wedding budget is the best way to ensure that you are getting your ultimate dream wedding. However, knowing where to begin? That’s the tricky part. Lucky for you though, we’ve had plenty of experience working with our couples in showing them the ropes in how to create a wedding budget.

Decide Contributions

How to Create A Wedding Budget | Destination Wedding Planner
Photographed by Grace Marie Photo

In order to create your perfect wedding budget, the one you will stick to, you first need to decide on contributions. These are the people that will contribute money towards paying your wedding venue, your vendors, your wedding attire, favors, decor, etc. Whether you and your partner are dishing out the $$ for your wedding or you’re relying on outside sources, getting this sorted out is your very first step.

A good tip is if a holiday (specifically Christmas) is coming up, you can always ask your family to gift you a vendor. Either gifting you photo or video would be an amazing gift that you could fully utilize on your special day!

Set The Top Of Your Budget

Next, you’re going to want to set the very max you are wanting to spend for your wedding. The total budget for your wedding should be a number you are completely comfortable with and do not want to spend a penny more. Having this limit will help you in making decisions on what you wish to prioritize for your wedding vs where you want to splurge.

Know How Many Guests Are Attending

How to Create A Wedding Budget | Destination Wedding Planner

Of course, a major influence to your wedding budget will be how many guests will be attending your wedding. Your guest list can have a major impact on cost, so knowing a number (or at least a good range) will help set you up for success.

When you are thinking about cost in relation to your wedding guests you have to keep in mind of certain things. Such as:

  • The size of your wedding venue in relation to your # of guests
  • What type of food/beverage you want to serve your guest + cost
  • Transportation (how will your guests be traveling from point A to B if in different locations)
  • Rentals (tables, chairs, table settings) – how many you will need depending on the # of guests?
  • Experience – are you wanting to provide an experience for your guests? Games? Photobooth? Props?

Prioritize Your Expenses

How to Create A Wedding Budget | Destination Wedding Planner
Photography by Grace Marie Photo

You then want to make sure you prioritize where you want to splurge in save. What you prioritize will vary from person to person. In our professional and humble opinion we believe that your wedding venue, photographer, and planner come as top priorities for your wedding day. Is that us being a little biased? Maybe. At the same time though, it’s completely true. Your venue helps set the scene, your planner helps create the scene and your photographer captures it.

Again, this is completely dependent on you and your partner’s priorities. If you’re planning on eloping in the mountains, first… invite us. Then you can focus more on your bouquet, your dress and less on a venue. Nature is your wedding venue in this case! See, it’s all relative. All we’re saying is to make sure that you know what matters most to you and your partner, and stick with it. That way you can allocate your budget and money accordingly.

Prepare For The Unexpected

How to Create A Wedding Budget | Destination Wedding Planner
Photographed by Grace Marie Photo

We don’t like to admit it, but things can go wrong and we have to be prepared for that. Before you sign any contracts with any vendors or venues, make sure you read the contract… and the fine print! Some things you may have to look out for are:

  • Venues Not Allowing Outside Vendors – Some wedding venues will only allow in-network vendors to work at your wedding. To have the wedding vendors of your choice, you may need to pay an extra fee.
  • Vendor Transportation – Do you need to pay travel fees for certain vendors to come to your wedding? If the answer is yes, take into account those extra costs in your wedding budget
  • Set Up and Breakdown Fees – Some venues will offer set up and breakdown services… at an extra cost. Some of them will be non-negotiable depending on when your reception ends. Keep this in mind when looking over contracts and building out your wedding timeline

Spend Wisely

Now I know some of us can get swipe happy, which leads to unnecessary purchases. When it comes to your wedding budget, this is not your best friend. While a credit card may be your saving grace especially when it comes to buying those centerpiece vases you’ve been wanting, this might not be the best option. You want to make sure that when it does come down to using that special card, you are using it wisely. If you don’t have the funds to cover it within the next 30 days, don’t buy it. That’s our motto.

Figure Out Where You Can Save

How to Create A Wedding Budget | Destination Wedding Planner
Photographed by Grace Marie Photo

One of the most ways on how to create a wedding budget is figuring out where you can save. Like we’ve mentioned before, some of us really like the shiny and new. However, your wallet may not be so happy with that answer. Instead, think of certain areas in your wedding expenses where you can save. Can you incorporate more DIY elements to your wedding day? Make your own centerpieces or ceremonial arch? Have a backyard wedding instead of a wedding in a large venue? Skip out on the favors? The options are endless!

When working with our couples, it’s our priority to be honest with our couples and let them know where they can save and splurge. We work with our couples and their budgets to find the best of the best options for where they want to spend a little extra or less expensive alternative to spend less.

How to Create A Wedding Budget

Well, there you have it. These are just a few of our tips on how to create a wedding budget to afford your dream wedding. While some of these tips are easier to follow than others, just know that it’s not all about the dreamy venue or stunning decor. At the end of the day, it’s the sentiment behind the wedding day. You and your partner coming together and celebrating your love. If you’re ready to splurge on that first wedding expense and book your wedding planner, click here!


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