One of the hardest – and most important – parts of planning your wedding is determining your budget. All other major decisions should be put on hold until your budget has been properly determined. While we can’t tell you what your budget should be, we can help you with how to determine your budget. Here are 5 easy ways to determine your wedding budget:
1. Discuss who will be contributing to the budget – Sit down with your family and discuss who will be contributing to your wedding budget, and how much they will be contributing. Sometimes parents contribute to a couple’s wedding budget and sometimes the couple pays for the entire wedding themselves. It’s best to have this conversation from the start to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding later.
2. Determine how much you and your fiance(e) can contribute to the budget – Unless your family is 100% paying for your wedding, the next step is for you and your fiance(e) to take a good look at your funds, which means looking at the following:
- Savings – Ideally, you and your partner each have three months of living expenses set aside in case of a job loss or health issues. You will want to subtract that amount from what is in your account. The amount that is leftover is what can be put toward your wedding budget.
- Monthly Income – Subtract your monthly living expenses (utilities, debt, rent, etc.) from your monthly income to determine how much you can save each month between now and your wedding. Ideally, you would each contribute 10% of your monthly income (20% of your combined income) to your wedding budget.
Consider looking at expenses that you can cut without dramatically changing your quality of life. For example, canceling monthly box subscriptions or skipping your daily Starbucks order and opting for homemade coffee are small changes that won’t make huge impacts on your daily life, but over the timespan of planning your wedding, the savings add up!
Add the funds from savings and what you can contribute from your income and you have how much you can contribute to your budget.
3. Open a “wedding bank account” – This is something we highly recommend! Separating your wedding funds from your regular bank account helps keep you on track for saving the amount we calculated in step 2. If the money isn’t sitting in your regular bank account, it reduces the temptation to spend it on other things.
4. Create your preliminary guest list – Once you have a budget in mind, it’s time to put your guest list together. Usually, parents or anyone contributing to the wedding budget is included in this step.
Set a deadline for everyone to turn in their guest lists. You don’t need to worry about gathering addresses at this point, just names and a headcount, you will want to identify how many of your guests are adults vs children vs infants. Infants don’t require a seat and some caterers have cheaper meal options for children so it’s helpful to do this from the start. Review everyone’s guest list and calculate the total headcount. It’s important to remember that your guest list directly impacts your budget.
While you may want everyone in your life to share in this special moment, it is important to be selective with your guest list. It can be difficult to try to decide who makes the cut, so to help with that, think of each added guest as an extra $180 to your budget. According to valuepenguin.com, that is the average cost per guest for a wedding in Texas. So, if you have a 200 guest count, you can expect to spend at least $36,000.
5. Determine the style for your wedding – Remember that average number I mentioned above? That number can go up based on the style or “theme” you are wanting for your wedding. A ballroom wedding with lush full blooms, a live band, and a 6-tier cake will dramatically change that number. It’s important to talk with your partner and decide what your “must-haves” are.
So now that you have the magic number, how do you know that the budget you have lines up with the wedding theme or style you and your partner want? That’s where Jessica Deltoro Weddings can help. We review your budget, your must-haves, and wedding style and help guide you through the entire planning process to create a unique and memorable wedding experience for you and your guests. Contact us today to start planning your dream wedding.
Photography Credit: Emily Chappell Photography