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Here’s How to Set a Wedding Budget


July 24, 2023

A newly engaged couple walking on the beach holding hands. In the frame is just of the arms reaching out and holding hands.

Here’s How to Set a Wedding Budget

Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an incredible journey of love and happiness—arguably the biggest celebration of your life. But before diving headfirst into the world of wedding planning, it’s essential to determine a budget to keep your financial ship sailing smoothly. In this article, we will help you get started on the right foot.

Open Up A Budget Discussion With Your Partner

First, grab a pen, a notebook, and maybe a cup of tea (or champagne if you’re feeling fancy). Sit down with your partner because budgeting is a team sport. It’s time to assess your financial landscape and determine your wedding planning timeline and how much you can comfortably allocate to your wedding expenses.

1 | List Your Income Sources 

Start by listing all your income sources. Include your savings, contributions from your family, and any other sources of financial support available to you. Take a deep breath, and remember, it’s essential to be honest with yourselves throughout this process. This will give you a clear understanding of the financial resources you have at your disposal.

2 | Create A Checklist 

Now, let the adventure begin! It’s time to create your ideal wedding list—a magical inventory of all the elements that will make your wedding day extraordinary.  Here’s when you will decide the must-haves, nice-to-haves, and not-so-necessary wedding traditions. 

3 | Ask For Advice

The internet can be a useful resource for all things wedding planning, from venues, food, and flowers to photographers, videographers, and DJs. However, connecting with your network of people can be one of the most helpful steps in the planning process. Consult with friends and family who have previously planned a wedding. As you uncover their wedding essentials, jot them down on your checklist.

4 | Estimate Your Dream Wedding’s Cost

Ah, the sweet satisfaction of estimating! Armed with your budget and checklist, it’s time to assign realistic cost estimates to each item (read: realistic). Remember, this is where your expertise comes into play. If you’re a frugal fiend who can sniff out a bargain from a mile away, put those skills to good use. If you have a flair for detail and can calculate prices precisely, embrace your inner accountant. Together, you and your partner will create a realistic and tailored budget to your unique vision.

5 | Expect The Unexpected

Prepare for the unexpected and create a safety net within your budget. In all of history, we can bet that almost zero weddings have gone perfectly to plan, from staying within the budget to every detail of the wedding day. So, add a category for “miscellaneous expenses” to account for potential surprise costs. This way, you’ll be ready to tackle any financial surprises that come your way without breaking a sweat. Think of it like a contingency budget. Hopefully, you don’t have to use it, but the money is there just in case. 

6 | Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize 

As your budgetary journey progresses, you’ll discover the invaluable power of prioritization. Sit down with your partner and determine what matters most to both of you. Is it that dreamy venue nestled amidst nature’s embrace? Or maybe it’s a show-stopping band that will have your guests dancing until dawn. Allocate more funds to the elements that ignite your passions while being mindful of budget-friendly alternatives for other aspects.

7 | Negotiate With Vendors

With your budget and checklist in hand, it’s time to contact vendors. Do not hesitate to negotiate! You’ll be surprised by how willing many vendors are to work within your financial constraints. Be confident, kind, and don’t hesitate to get creative. Sometimes, a little flexibility or a tweak to your vision can open doors to better deals and incredible savings.

Bonus: Download Our Wedding Budget Checklist PDF 

Need a wedding budget checklist to get you started? Remember, this list serves as a general guide, and your actual costs may vary. It’s crucial to prioritize your expenses based on what matters most to you as a couple and to allocate your budget accordingly.

As you approach your big day, take a moment to appreciate the journey you’ve embarked upon. Once a daunting task, your wedding budget has become your trusted sidekick—a guiding light leading you to financial bliss. It has empowered you to make informed decisions, stay within your means, and craft a wedding celebration that best reflects your love story. If you are looking for the perfect wedding venue, we would love to have a conversation with you. Our 13 indoor and outdoor venues in North County San Diego are sure to dazzle any guest.