A Guide to Setting a Wedding Budget

A Guide to Setting a Wedding Budget

Around 2.3 million couples tie the knot every year in the US, averaging around 6200 weddings each day. As one of the most important events in your life, it stands to reason you want the best possible wedding budget. But did you know that does not always mean the most expensive?

Your wedding day should be about you and your loved one, not the amount you spend.

Read on as we discuss how to plan your wedding budget.

How Do You Create a Wedding Budget?

How to Create a Wedding Budget

Creating a budget for a wedding is tough. You may have a vision of what you want your perfect day to look like, but it may not align with your current financial situation.

Alternatively, you may have the financial means to set a sizable wedding budget but be conscious the cash may be better used elsewhere.

Work Out How Much You Can Afford:

The first step is to determine how much you and your partner can realistically afford within certain time frames.

Take into account your everyday expenses, then work out how much you can save between now and your wedding day.

Don’t forget to leave a contingency for emergencies or unforeseen circumstances.

Add Contributions:

If you are lucky, there may be friends and family who want to make financial or practical contributions to your wedding day.

This can help bump up your total, giving you access to things you had not thought possible before.

Although it may seem rude, make sure you establish how much, or what, they want to contribute and add it to your total.

Family may give you a set amount of cash to be used where you see fit.

Friends may have a skill such a being a musician or makeup artist and offer you their services – either for free or at a discount. You will need to confirm what the offer is so that there are no surprises for either you or them.

Some people may wish to buy certain items for you, such as a wedding dress or pay for the hire of a wedding car. If so, you can remove this from your list of items you need to buy.

What Is the Most Common Budget for a Wedding?

The average wedding budget is about $20,000.

The average spending on a wedding is $28,964.

Remember, this does not mean you have to spend anywhere near that amount! It all depends on the type of day you want and how many guests you will have.

While the amount above is average, if you can afford it, then it is a good starting point for your wedding budget. If you budget around $30,000, most couples will be able to get a venue and have the wedding day they dream of.

If $20,000 – $30,000 is not a realistic wedding budget for you, you may need to re-imagine what your wedding will look like or delay the wedding date until you have accumulated the funds.

Some couples manage to get married with a budget of only $1000! Just remember what’s essential, what’s important to you and what’s realistic for you as a couple.

Three Tips for Lowering the Cost of Your Wedding:

Wedding Money Tree

If only we had our very own wedding money tree!

It is easy for even the most realistic wedding budget to begin spiraling out of control. However, there are ways to keep the costs down. Our most important tips are collected below.

Be Flexible With Dates:

By moving your dates around, you can get cheaper deals on everything from catering to venues. A typical wedding season goes from April to October. Out of these months, you may find that discounts are added to attract your business.

Certain days of the week are also more popular, with Saturday and Sunday being the most in-demand. If you can have it midweek, you may find even more discounts can come your way.

Refine the Guest List:

A smaller guest list less costly, it may also end up  leading to a more intimate and enjoyable wedding day.

When you have a huge wedding, you have to take the time to speak with everyone. You end up spending more time mingling, leading to you having less time with the ones who matter most.

Another way to cut the size of the guest list down is by limiting plus ones. If a person is not in a long-term relationship, and they know other guests invited to the wedding, then they really don’t need an invite for an extra person. This can also cut your budget down a lot.

Select the Right Venue:

Choosing the right venue can help with lowering wedding costs.

If you find somewhere that looks great without adding decoration, then you don’t have to pay for the frills and additions.

You can also save on costs by having the whole event take place at one location, instead of switching between two. This can be extremely fun, as you can begin to consider venues that would not normally host weddings. Parks, beaches and even museums are great ideas for this.

What Are the Biggest Wedding Expenses?

Setting Wedding Budget

There are usually several major expenses when it comes to organizing your wedding day. However, with a few changes, these can be manipulated so that if you save on one expense then you can add the savings to the budget of another expense.


The place you choose to have your wedding will have a huge impact on your wedding budget. Unfortunately, as soon as the wedding word is attached to a booking, prices generally go up. You can expect to spend around 30% of your budget on the venue.


Food and drinks are the next most important expense on your list and should take around 25% of your budget. This may increase depending on whether cake and alcohol are included in the package.


Entertainment can make your wedding a fun and memorable one. Be it a band or DJ, you need to make sure the songs you love are played to get the party started after the formalities.

Around 15% of a wedding budget can go toward this… or you can save that 15% and DIY your own playlist and ask a friend to take care of it.

Video and Photography:

Video and photography are a great way to look back on and  remember your wedding day. Again, around 15% of a wedding budget is often spent on video and photographic services.

To save spending in this area, you might ask family or friends to record your wedding day for you.


While you may want the perfect dress for your big day, it helps to stick to a budget of around 5% of the total costs.

Remember that your wedding dress will probably only be worn once so it is not realistic to spend more than this.

Or, you may opt to wear a non-traditional wedding dress or outfit that you can wear again!

How to Set a Realistic Wedding Budget

A Guide to Setting a Wedding Budget

Now you know how to set a realistic wedding budget, you can start your wedding planning.

It might help to play around with a Wedding Budget Cost Calculator online to experiment with different cost senarios.

If you can’t afford the wedding you desire right now, it may be worth putting the date back so you can save more money. With some adjustment, it won’t be long before you get the wedding you want.  

If you are planning your wedding day, then Fabulously Frugal Bride help. We have everything you could need, from gifts to dresses, shoes or makeup.