How to create a wedding budget. Almost always the first thing couples think about before they start the planning process. Creating your wedding budget will always be a challenge. Most of all because you are personally connected to it. Writing a budget in a professional capacity is so much easier because you can use objectivity to cut, move and add where you need to. This is one of the biggest reasons why a wedding planner can be your best friend when it comes to planning. Even if you only need a few hours of their time.
When you are planning your budget, it always helps to work backwards. In other words, start with the end in mind.
Think about the magic number you want to stick to.
Everyone has a number (even if you tell your vendors you don’t!). You reach that point where you say, well instead of spending this on the wedding – I’d rather by a house / car / study / live etc. It really helps if you are honest with yourselves about what this number is. Once you have this number in mind, shave 20% off it. And that’s your budget. You wouldn’t believe how many times you will change your mind about things, add things on, or things will pop up. All these hidden extras and sundry items cost money. And the best way to plan ahead is to set aside a little slush fund to save you scrambling for dollars later on down the track when your vendors are all asking you for final payments.
You don’t need an app, you just need a spreadsheet.
When you go to create a wedding budget, sometimes all the bells and whistles on some apps around these days are distracting you from the job that you have ahead of you. Planning to be on budget may not be as fun or as pretty using just a basic spreadsheet, but it keeps you focused on the bottom line. XL is really as complicated as it needs to get when you create a wedding budget. I would suggest listing out all your vendor categories, some of the most obvious ones below.
- Ceremony Venue
- Reception Venue
- Decor & styling
- Entertainment & Musicians
- Guest Transport
- Wedding Party Transport
- Make Up
- Wedding Party Attire
Once you have your vendor categories in place, plug your budget into the top row, and highlight it in red.
Prioritise what you need, planning your first draft wedding budget.
Look at the categories that are most important to you. Usually the location of the ceremony and reception are most important. Plug these numbers in first. Then in order of preference allocate budget to your other categories. If you end up spending more money than your budget, look at everything again.
Adjusting your first draft wedding budget.
Before you start to panic because your first draft wedding budget is about $20 grand more than you wanted to spend, just sit back for a minute and think. You want to get to the same outcome but perhaps you might have to be a bit more creative on how you get there. The most expensive line items in a wedding budget usually involve the reception venue, the photographer and possibly decor depending on the venue. The easiest way to free up the budget will be:
- Review your guest list. Anyone you don’t think you’ll know or see in 10 years, delete. Work colleagues, a great example.
- Consider the timing of your wedding. We have always been able to have success in negotiating a good deal during the winter months. Lunch time receptions are always shorter too and cost less than an evening event.
- If you are trying to save money, booking a blank canvas venue (room only) is a mistake. Venues like this need a lot of time and money thrown at them. While the room hire may seem cheap, the end result is usually more expensive.
- Remove the things that would be nice to have, but that you can do without.
If you don’t know how to create a wedding budget because you don’t know how much things cost.
You’d be surprised to learn just how many couples don’t know how to create a wedding budget because they have no idea what things cost. It really is worthwhile speaking to a professional wedding planner so that they can cast their eye over your draft budget and advise you on what’s what. There are plenty of occasions where we have couples over booking suppliers. Overbooking suppliers is an easy mistake and a huge waste of money. It happens when you are paying delivery or loading fees to more than 1 vendor, when you could have hired just the one vendor to do the same thing. You may as well just shred your money. Even though this seems like an obvious thing to catch, unless you are in the industry and know all your suppliers – there is no way you’d be able to figure this out yourself if you’re a novice planner.
Email our wedding planners if you’d like us to review your wedding budget. For those busy couples you don’t even need to come into the office, you can email us wherever you are. You might also like to read a little more on finding out if you need a wedding coordinator or a wedding planner. You might also find some of other articles helpful:
- Avoid These Wedding Planning Mistakes
- Handmade With Love. Wedding Ideas for Reception Centrepieces
- Plan Like A Wedding Planner
- All You Need to Know About Planning Your Outdoor Ceremony
- How To Reduce Wedding Anxiety