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Wedding Season Finances: Budgeting for the Big Day Thumbnail

Wedding Season Finances: Budgeting for the Big Day

Wedding season is officially here! For many couples, a wedding is a joyous celebration but can also bring about financial stress. Planning a wedding involves more than choosing the perfect dress and venue; it requires careful budgeting to ensure your special day doesn’t leave you with a mountain of debt.

Here, let’s explore the world of wedding finances and provide tips and tricks to help you navigate the budgeting process and make the most of your wedding funds.

Expenses to Consider

The cost of a wedding can vary widely depending on location, guest count, style, and personal preferences. According to a survey by The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the United States in 2023 was around $35,000.1

Here are some common wedding expenses to consider:

  • The venue for the ceremony and/or reception
  • Catering
  • A wedding cake
  • Attire (wedding dress, suit or tuxedo, bridesmaid and groomsmen attire, etc.)
  • Hair and makeup
  • Photography and videography
  • Flowers and decor
  • Entertainment (photo booth, DJ, live band, etc.)
  • Stationary (invites, Save the Dates, programs, etc.)
  • Wedding rings
  • Wedding planner
  • Transportation
  • Gifts and favors
  • Marriage license
  • Officiant

Of course, this is a non-exhaustive list and can include much more (or much less) depending on the couple and their wedding preferences.

Tips for Budgeting for the Big Day

Now that we know what wedding costs and expenses to consider let’s look at some budgeting tips to prepare for the big day.

Start with Your Priorities
Sit down with your partner to discuss what elements of the wedding are most important to both of you. This could be the venue, photography, food, or anything else. Allocate a larger portion of your budget to these key areas.

Research and Get Quotes
Don't settle for the first vendor you find. Research multiple options and get quotes from different vendors. This will give you a better idea of the average cost in your area and help you negotiate better deals.

Create a Spreadsheet
A spreadsheet will be your best friend during the wedding planning process. List all your expenses, from the venue to the smallest decor item. Include estimated costs and actual costs as you go along. This will help you stay on track and avoid overspending.

Consider Off-Peak Dates and Times
Getting married during the off-peak season or on a weekday can save you money. Venues and vendors often offer discounts for less popular dates.

DIY Where Possible
If you or your friends and family have talents like baking, crafting, or flower arranging, consider doing some things yourself. DIY projects can add a personal touch to your wedding and save you money.

Beware of Hidden Costs
When booking vendors, make sure you understand all the costs involved. This includes service charges, taxes, gratuities, and overtime fees. Read contracts carefully to avoid any surprises later on.

Set Aside a Contingency Fund
No matter how well you plan, unexpected expenses can arise. Set aside a contingency fund of about 10% of your total budget to cover any last-minute costs.2

Track Your Spending
Regularly update your budget spreadsheet to track your spending. This will help you identify areas where you might be overspending and adjust accordingly.

Don't be afraid to negotiate with vendors. Many are willing to work within your budget, especially if it means securing your business.

Be Flexible
If certain traditional wedding elements are too costly, think outside the box. For example, you could opt for a buffet or food station instead of a full sit-down dinner. Instead of hiring a DJ, you could create playlists and rent sound equipment.

Your wedding day celebrates your love and commitment and should be memorable. However, it's crucial to approach the planning process with a clear budget in mind. By setting priorities, researching, and staying organized, you can create the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank.

  1. https://www.theknot.com/content/average-wedding-cost
  2. https://www.wedding-spot.com/blog/wedding-budget-template

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.