6 Essential tips for setting your Wedding Budget.

There is no doubt that crafting a wedding budget, and a favorable one for that matter, is not an easy task. It is never a leisurely walk in the park because there are many things that you will need to keep in mind and many things you will most likely forget trying to develop a wedding budget.

6 Wedding Budget Tips

All of this is fine and is manageable but you must keep in mind that your wedding and your wedding budget will require intense concentration and planning to ensure that all bases are covered and you stay within your budget.

Lets look at some basic statistics. It’s estimated that roughly 50% of the cost of the wedding is paid for by the wedding couples themselves. Another 25% pay just a portion for their wedding and the last 25% are mixed between those who go the traditional route of the parents paying for the wedding and those who elope.

These stats are a bit shocking but here is the real shocker – three in ten couples end up overspending on their wedding.

Don’t fall into that bracket by making sure that you’ve set a realistic wedding budget. One that keeps what is important in mind.

So, when it comes to your wedding budget lets go over a few important tips that you will need to consider. These tips include but are not limited to the following:

Wedding Budget

Set Dollar Amount – Be clear on how much you want to spend on your wedding.

How much do you want to spend on your wedding? You should answer this question even before doing anything else. Your answer will give you a rough idea on how to set your wedding budget.

I get it, this is not an easy thing to do, especially when you don’t know the average cost of a wedding.

That is really not a problem. Setting a dollar amount gives you a good start on what you can and cannot have. Or rather it tends to zone into what you really want for your wedding.

A typical Bahamian Wedding consist of 4 parts;

  • Getting dressed
  • The Church or marriage Location
  • Garden location for photos
  • The Reception.

Knowing what you want for each of these sections will no doubt set the tone for the overall cost of your wedding and make it easier to set a dollar amount for you wedding budget. Consider these points on each section of the wedding event.

Getting Dressed

Getting dressed comprises of course on the clothing that you will wear, the make up, hair style, flowers, your rings, dressing location and transportation. This is the preparation before you arrive at your wedding location or church.

Having a good idea of what you want for each of these portions will give you a good start on what the budget should be for this section.If you are not sure of the cost of items its easier to now make a few phone calls to get a base line cost to get prepared for your wedding.

Marriage Location

Where you get married is just as important as any other part of your wedding and wedding budget. If you go the traditional route know the rules of your church if they charge to use the building and if there is a charge for the officiant.

If you choose a different location, make sure you know if there is a charge to use the space. Beaches are not always free to use and then you must consider things like chairs, tents, flowers, a dj with speakers and microphone etc.

Choosing your wedding location before hand will also help you decide on a budget by making a few calls.

Garden Location

This is often the location you should discuss with your photographer but also make the location a memorable one that you like and don’t mind having amazing photos taken there.

There are many free locations to have your photos taken but for certain special places there is a charge. Make a decision on where you want your wedding photos taken and then find out if it is free or if there is a cover charge.

Here is a quick resource you can use to help you decide Choosing the perfect location for your garden photos

The Reception

Many newlyweds go broke in this portion of the wedding because they want a big wedding that is out of their reach. Keep in mind that the reception is often based on the amount of people you invite to the reception.

You dont need a free for all and at the same time you may just want to have a major party. This all boils down to what you want. Set a budget for this portion based on what it is you want. Make the calls and get a base line amount for this section of your wedding budget.

There you have it, just following those tips alone you can set a good dollar amount for your wedding budget and then work with vendors to find not the cheapest price but the best price for what you want.

Wedding Budget

Save – Set aside funds towards your wedding budget.

Knowing the exact amount that you and your fiancé have set aside for your wedding and how much that you’ve received from family or friends is a good start to making sure you can afford the wedding you want and ensuring you dont go over your wedding budget.

Ideally, you and your fiancé should start saving for your wedding months before your actual big day. The besttime to start this is the day after the proposal.

Sit with your fiance and discuss what type of wedding you both would like. Make adjustments and a few compromises to come to an agreement on something that you both will enjoy and remember for years to come. This will be the first of many compromises you will have to make in the journey of marriage.

Family Contributions

Do not fully rely on contributions from family and friends as things do happen and donations can fall through at the last moment. If a family member of friend offers to donate money or items, get them as soon as possible in your possession so you can account that to your budget or your supplies.

Its good to note here that sometimes persons may donate items such as drinks for the reception or offer to pay for one of the vendors. The same concept applies. Have them purchase the items and delver to you for safe keeping or book the vendor ahead of time so you can mark it off your list.

Anything you do not have in your possession means you will have to purchase yourself. Start putting monies aside for each item, vendor or venue to be paid of in stages.

Saving one huge lumpsum and then getting things done is not a good strategy because again… Things happen.

Be sure to save for your limo and then book and pay for it. Save for your dress then buy it and so on and so forth. Save, book, pay and then tick off your wedding list.

Wedding Budget

Develop an expenses spreadsheet for your wedding budget.

You should be in a position to track your spending by creating a spreadsheet that will have in it three things: Estimates, modified and the actual expenses.

The estimates will be informed by the research that you will carry out. On the other hand, the modified costs will be informed by the proposals from vendors and finally, the actual costs will be amount that you are willing or are going to spend in your wedding budget.

The estimates should be adjusted after calling the vendors and knowing their costs. For instance, start by calling the venues you have in mind and get their pricing. You can discuss your needs and in some instances see where you can make a deal with them, if possible.

Most often venue managers may have a list of other vendors that will help you with your wedding. Ask if they know any caterers, photographers, disc jockeys etc. They may be able to save you a few dollars by recommending reputable persons.

Another important thing to include in your spreadsheet is what is commonly known as extras. Extras should amount to at least 15 per cent of the total wedding budget. This will take care of the unforeseen expenses.

Things happen and we are all human, there will be something that is overlooked by yourself or one of your vendors and they will come to you requesting more money for a mistake. Yes it frustrating but its best to be prepared than angry.

Wedding Budget

Prioritize your wedding budget – What is most important to you?

Prioritization comes as you consider what is to be the most important things or parts in your wedding.

Knowing what is important to you will help you to forgo anything that is not really essential. For example do you need a bouquet of flowers every 6th aisle in the church or would you prefer a simple cloth with bows on the pews?

Develop a wedding services list or vendor list with varying cost and overall service. For instance, you might be willing to hire an top notch professional photographer but decide to settle for a wine only reception as opposed to treating your guests to an open bar scenario.

Juggling what you want will be the most difficult part of keeping to your wedding budget in tact. Difficult because you have to adjust based on both you and your fiance wants and desires.

When it comes to weddings some person may decide to go for a luxurious wedding gown. There is nothing wrong with this but if the wedding dress is the most expensive item in your budget then the rest of your wedding will be centered around the dress.

Ask around to friends and family members who are married or have been married within 5 years of your planning. This will give you an idea of the cost of items but mainly you will hear what their regrets were and learn to avoid them while making necessary adjustments to your prioritization.

Wedding Budget

Estimate Guest – How many persons can your wedding budget accommodate?

The wedding budget is, undoubtedly, pegged on the number of people who will attend your wedding, by this I mean to say that the guest list will directly impact the size of the wedding venue as well as amount of food and drinks needed.

Notice that your guest list is more centered around the reception? As mentioned before the reception is where many couples go for broke because there is so much involved.

How much can one person eat and drink. How many people can fit in a venue comfortably and will there be a charge for extra tables?

The wedding budget should ideally be approached from a per-person angle because that will provide a closer estimate to the actual amount that will finally be spent. 

A great example of this is to consider this formula. One guest equals;

  • Table space
  • Chair
  • Food
  • Drinks

The size of the venue and the size of your tables will dictate how many person can fit in that location. Then you must figure out the cost of a plate of food or the meal for each person that can fit in the venue.

If the caterers offer a meal for $30.00 per person and the venue can hold a maximum of 150 guest not including the bridal party, then you have a base cost of $4,500.00

You now add in drinks which can be anywhere from fruit punch drink to mixed drinks, wine or champagne. If you estimate 1 person can drink one bottle of wine and estimate that at least 60% of your guest will drink wine.

You are at an average of 90 guest who will consume at least 1 bottle of wine then you need a bare minimum 90 bottles of wine which translates to about 8 cases of wine.

These numbers are base line which means they are extremely low. Weddings are massive parties that guest look forward to. What ever your baseline amount is you may want to factor in double to be safe.

With all this in mind, chair and table space, meals, drinks and not to mention the dance floor and your bridal party it is critical to be more specific on the number of people that you will invite to your wedding and adjust accordingly.

Wedding Budget

Final checks – What are you forgetting?

Once you are done with everything as far as your wedding budget goes, it is advisable to go through everything and do final checks to make sure that you’ve captured what is in your mind.

Take a birds eye view of your wedding plan. Consider each part of your wedding and then double check them to ensure that you did not leave anything out.

Show your plans to your best man or maid of honor to go over and check your work. Sometimes we can get caught up that we miss out simple but very needful things.

Walk yourself through your wedding day in your mind using your wedding budget and ensure that every vendor is paid, every item is accounted and paid for and ensure that you have your 15% extra funds for any miscellaneous mishaps that may occur.

Go through these 6 Essential Tips for Setting a Wedding Budget and make sure that you have a great time planning and executing your wedding day event.

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