How to set a wedding budget + Free Budget Tracking Tool


Marriage is one of the greatest investments most people will ever make – emotionally and financially. Unless you are fortunate with parents which has offered to cover the bill or just won the lotto, chances are this day will be one of the priciest in your life.

In this post we will be visiting some useful tips to pay attention to as you begin planning your budget.


  1. Investigate what things actually cost

The first thing to do is to check what the essential costs are – and remember that “essential” is only really what you need to be legally married.  Examples of essential costs for weddings will be the place, the food, marriage officiant, transport, accommodation, wedding rings, photographer. 
Do you even need a conventional wedding? The option of eloping is a conversation worth having whilst figuring it all out.

When you look for vendors, make sure that you know exactly what their fee includes. If you want a comprehensive list of all the questions to ask your vendors, check this post out.


2. Establish what you can/ want to spend

Is it fair to spend more on a wedding than both of your salaries for a few months? Only you can decide! Remember that not everything which is expected in a wedding is really that necessary to make your dream day come true – so decide as a team what you think is worth what. Very often the most memorable wedding days are those that are made to be truly and uniquely about you, as opposed to a display of glitzy trims. Is you wedding or your marriage be happier if you wear designer shoes? Answer these kinds of questions now, and be frank about your needs for a cookie-cutter wedding, or if you can skimp on some aspects to make it more about you, and less about the details.

3. Distribute the balance between all remaining areas

Once you have made initial financial plans of the first chapters of wedding planning, it is time to figure out what goes into the rest of the day.

So now you have the list of essentials and you more or less know what you can spend. The remainder will now be split between your dress, grooms clothing, entertainment, bridesmaids outfits, decor, flowers, stationery and a long list of smaller costs – everything from gifts to families, tips, ushers, confetti, chair decorations, ring cushion and your manicure.

Alcohol is a big expense – are you having an open bar?  Will you serve cocktails or just wine and beer? An open bar with spirits will definitely end up wondering if you need to sell a kidney – at least it feels that way anyway when the bill arrives. so how you choose to serve your booze – and what time of day your wedding is – can have a significant impact.

There are so many ways to make your wedding more affordable so be sure to check out our budget-savvy posts:

25 Ingenious ways To Save On Wedding Flowers

Free Budget Planner to download

Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Details Without Compromising on Style

4. Track all expenses

There will be a lot of payments to keep track of – so start a spreadsheet as soon as you start paying for things. We recommend you to download our Budget Tracker here – why we love it so much is because it not only lists all areas and keeps track of what you have left to spend, it also suggests how to split the budget in between the various areas. Check it out!

By having an overview of your budget with the approximate amounts you can expect to pay for each wedding day aspect, you can keep track of actual costs, paid so far and amounts due and easily figure out where to save. So clever and FREE!

5. Staying budget-wise

We have many budget tips listed on this blog, but just some quick food-for-thought as you get started, these tips will definitely be worth keeping in mind when setting the budget and going forth into wedding planning.

Be wise with wedding-related social media time.


Inspiration overload is a real thing. Gorging in beautiful wedding inspo is great and fine for the first couple of weeks of being engaged, but try to set your limits or your horizon will be too broad. Tune out and ask yourself what you really need – ask your heart, your Groom and not Pinterest. Consult with your spouse to what details are necessary and which are maybe-maybe nots.

Be smart with the guest-list

Guest list is the easiest way to control your wedding budget. Whilst this sounding brutal and selfish,  your wedding day is not a high school reunion. It is gonna be a busy day either way – wouldn’t it be nice to be able to talk and catch up with every guest for a few minutes? Intimate weddings are often the most memorable, and by far more affordable which means you can fulfill other must have-elements.

Be a team

Remember to involve your partner and family if they will be paying. This is not the right time to have disagreements with your loved ones so discuss the expectations and limitations as soon as possible. Sharing a Google document with all of those involved is a great management tip and can help to prevent overspending. 

As in all happy marriages, remember to be honest with yourselves, communicate and compromise as you plan your budget. That is what love is all about, in the end of the day 🙂

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