Setting Your Budget

When it comes to figuring out your wedding budget, there’s no one magical formula. Despite staggering figures that grow every year, your budget should be based on what’s comfortable for you, rather than what you’ve heard is the average cost of a wedding. The figure will likely end in the word “thousands,” but can start with a two, a twenty, or a two hundred. The answer lies somewhere between what you want to spend and what you can actually afford to spend.

Don’t base your budget on figuring out how much your dream wedding will cost then figuring out how to finance it. If you start with what your wedding could cost, you could easily end up trying to live some impossible expectations (“But I really don’t think our marriage will be successful if we don’t serve caviar at the reception!”).
You’ll either have to scale back, in which case the reality will never live up to the fabulousness of your original plan. Or you’ll stretch yourself thin trying to make it work, charging things you really can’t afford that will seem really frivolous later when you’re trying to buy a house.

Instead, start by figuring out what you have to spend and then allocating it properly. Add up what your parents can contribute, and possibly what your grandparents can contribute (if they’ve offered). Then see what you’ve got in savings. Stretching a little is okay, but when it starts to seem uncomfortable, stop. And while a little credit card debt can seem like a small thing in exchange for your dream wedding, you will likely not feel that way six months after the wedding when you’re trying to pay for real-life items like groceries and gasoline.

Oh, and don’t get caught up in the old etiquette rules about who pays for what. Chances are good that the money for your wedding is coming from a variety of sources—including your own joint savings— so come up with a lump sum, then figure out how best to throw your wedding weekend within that budget. It’s more appropriate for a destination wedding, and, besides: It’s easier!


Anonymous said...


I'm addicted to your blog. I go on when work is slow, when I feel like procrastinating,or to check if you've posted something new to inspire me since I'm planning my wedding.Sure, it's crazy but I'm totally addicted.

As a bride-to-be on a tight budget, I recently discovered an online bridal jewelry store called GlamForLess.com.
Though their website is plain and simple, I found some great deals on jewelry sets for me and my bridesmaids.

I think other brides on a tight budget may also find GlamForLess.com to be helpful.
You may want to check them out at http://www.glamforless.com/.

Best regards,
Lisa Bloom

Liene at The Smart Planner said...

This is SO true, especially the part about credit card debt. I wish more couples would take this to heart!

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