How To Budget for a Wedding with Ask Maggie

Table of Contents

Q&A Guide on Wedding Budgeting 101

Certain factors need to be considered when planning your special day, such as finding your dream wedding dress, coordinating with vendors, and creating the overall vision for the day. In addition to that, Budgeting is without a doubt a crucial initial step of the wedding planning process. A wedding budget is unique to each individual couple so before diving into wedding planning, the first step is figuring out what your wedding budget will be. Have questions on how you can save and budget for your big day? Maggie Lord, Head of Wedding Planning, has answered some of the top questions real brides have asked when planning. Keep reading to learn more!

Overall Wedding Budget FAQs

bride and groom kissing in front of wedding venue
@spark.weddings, @mrs.clanny

Q: Why is budget planning for a wedding important?

A: Wedding planning is stressful and budgeting your big day is super important to help allocate funds for your big day. It helps plan for all of the expenses the bride and groom will have and allow them to enjoy the overall planning process more.

Q: When should I start planning my wedding budget?

A: Earlier the better. Couples should start planning their wedding budget 2-3 weeks after they get engaged. It’s nice to have the budget planned and vision board before going out to find venues or dress shopping.

Q: Is it possible to get married under $10,000?

A: Yes, you can plan the most incredible wedding for under $10,000. You can save up to 30% of your overall budget on a free or affordable venue. Save there and you’ll still have plenty to cover your dream dress and all of the extras.

Q: What is the one thing that people forget to budget for their wedding?

A: Postage is the #1 thing that couples forget about budgeting for their big day. Stamps are needed when addressing your save the dates, invitations, and thank you cards.

Ways to Decrease Wedding Budget FAQs

brides smiling and laughing while holding hands
@britt_riff @jenoceanaphotography

Q: How do I cut my overall wedding budget?

A: Cutting guests! We know that is one of the hardest things for brides to do but it is the easiest and fastest way to save on your big day. Almost everything you buy for your wedding is a multiple of your guest list. Food, Bar, Cake, Party Favors, ect. all will go down (or up) with your head count.

Q: What is the first step in creating a budget for a wedding?

A: Couples should sit down and talk about the top 3 areas that are important to each one of them. While the music, theme and location might be important to one, the other may find that the flowers, guest count and videographer are important to them. So figure out what is most important to you and your partner and this is a great first step on where to start.

Q: How to reduce our wedding budget without cutting our guest list?

A: Party favors and transportation (party bus, limo, etc.) are two of the easiest areas to cut without guests noticing. One other money saving tip is the “EVERY OTHER” table trick. This tip is to put centerpieces on every other table instead of all of them. This hack will allow for you to save in your overall budget but won’t alter the way the decor looks and feels at your reception.

Q: What’s the most expensive part of a wedding?

A: Your venue will take up most of your wedding budget and you should earmark around 30% of your total budget for your venue. Right behind the venue is the catering which is roughly around 20% of your overall budget.

Q: Is it more expensive to get married on Saturday?

A: Yes, it is more expensive to get married on a Saturday. This is because it is the most popular day of the week to say “I do” so wedding vendors can charge more on this day. To save, you can plan a weekday wedding!

Wedding Destination & Dates that Increase Budget FAQs

wedding party posing in front of tropical backdrop
@solomiophoto, @tiffani.y.carrascostovall

Q: Are destination weddings cheaper?

A: A destination wedding can be a cheaper option, but you will need to factor in travel costs which you might not have to if you were to host your wedding more locally. Many destination weddings have all-inclusive options which help to lower the overall cost.

Q: Does the season impact the wedding budget?

A: Yes, Summer and Fall are the most expensive seasons to get married. Many venues will have a slightly lower cost for Winter and early Spring weddings (especially if the venue is in a colder climate!).

Wedding Vendors & Favors that Increase Budget FAQs

Q: Are wedding videographers worth the cost?

A: At the end of the day, your images and videos are what will be left so I do think it is worth the investment for a videographer, even if it is for only part of the wedding day.

Q: Should I give wedding favors?

A: Wedding favors are a nice way to thank your guests for coming to your event; however, you aren’t obligated to give them out. If you are trying to stay in a tight budget wedding favors would be the first thing I suggest cutting.

Wedding Bridal Party Budgeting FAQs

Q: Does the bride and groom have to pay for their bridal party?

A: No, the bridal party is responsible to pay for items they will need for the wedding day along with travel and accommodations. If you have it in your budget to cover the cost for your bridal party that is great, but it is not a must and the bridal party should not expect it.

Q: How much should a couple save for last minute wedding changes?

A: If you can save between 3-5% of your overall budget for last-minute changes or costs, you will be good to go.

Q: Who pays for the bachelorette or bachelor party?

A: Traditionally the bridal party will pay for this event.

Wedding Seasons that Increase Budget FAQs

bohemian inspired bride standing in field
@l.jozefina

Q: What are the most expensive seasons to get married?

A: Summer and Fall are the most expensive seasons to say “I do” — this is because these months are the most popular seasons to get married.

Q: Which months are the cheapest to get married?

A: December through March are typically a tiny bit cheaper.

Q: Which months are the most expensive to get married?

A: Between June and October are the most expensive months.

Wedding DIY Budgeting FAQs

wedding sign, diy wedding decoration
@laurieashleyphotography @twinoaksgardens

Q: Do DIY wedding decorations really save you money?

A: They can if it is a skill that you or someone you are close to has a talent for. One tip for DIYing is that I don’t suggest taking on a new skill like arranging all the florals just to try and save money — this can lead to frustration and may even cost you more in the long run if you have to redo the project multiple times to get it the way you want.

Q: Do you hire a decorator or DIY wedding decorations?

A: A bride can really go either way on this depending on the style and theme of the wedding and the budget.

Rehearsal Dinner & Honeymoon Budget FAQs

bride and groom kiss as confetti is thrown
@hardenwesley

Q: Who pays for the rehearsal dinner?

A: Traditionally the groom’s family would pay for the rehearsal dinner but it can also be worked into the overall budget if the couple is paying for it themselves.

Q: Should the couple add their honeymoon to their wedding budget?

A: Yes, the honeymoon should be added to the wedding budget for sure. This can also be an addition to a wedding registry where your friends and family can gift money to go towards your honeymoon budget.

Other FAQs

bridal party in blue bridesmaid dresses hug bride and groom
@brandiallysephoto

Q: What’s a realistic budget for a wedding?

A: The average cost for a wedding is around $27,000 but the budget will really depend on where and when you host your wedding along with the amount of people on your guest list.

Q: What is a good wedding budget for 50/100/150/200/250 people?

50 people $10,000 to $16,000
100 people $17,000 to $23,000
150 people $24,000 to $32,000
200 people $33,000 to $41,000
250 people $42,000 and up

Q: What is the groom’s family supposed to pay for?

A: The groom’s family is supposed to pay for the rehearsal dinner and sometimes will also pay for an engagement party. Along with those two events a groom’s family might be able to pay for the wedding band, some of the florals and perhaps even the entertainment at the wedding reception.

Q: Who typically pays for a wedding?

A: Traditionally the bride’s parents would pay for the wedding but today we see a wide variety such as the couple paying for it themselves or a combination of both the couple and the families.

Q: What is the cheapest day to get married?

A: Any day between Monday and Thursday will usually be cheaper than a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday event.

Q: How much to budget for a rehearsal dinner?

A: The rehearsal dinner usually is a smaller number of people as the guest list should be just people who have a role in the wedding ceremony plus any VIP’s such as grandparents or close friends. A typical rehearsal dinner generally falls within the $2,000 to $5,000 mark depending on location and number of guests.

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