Hello future bride (and groom)!
First of all, congratulations! You’re engaged and ready to start planning – or at least looking into the basics. Today I want to touch on setting a budget for your wedding. The last thing I want to do is throw a bunch of budgets at you or scare you about what the cost of your wedding might end up being. Here are some general statistics based on a few different countries:
- The average wedding cost in the United States for 2017 was $25,764. Couples, on average, spend between $19,323 and $32,205 but, 50% of couples spend less than $15,000. This does not incude their honeymoon. Check out the sources to see where this information came from. Cost of Wedding also has a calculator you can use.
- Many New Zealand sites confirm that the average cost of a wedding here is about $35,000 but I personally have seen several people online state their budget for their NZ wedding was $5,000-$10,000.
- This is Insider states that the average wedding in the UK comes in at $35,005 (£27,161). That’s according to a 2017 Hitched survey of about 4,000 brides.
- Honey Nine says that Australian weddings in 2018 were usually around $51,245.
- Our budget: We are having our wedding in California (USA) and have our budgets worked out in NZ dollars (where we live and make money) and US dollars (of course this changes based on exchange rates at the time of purchase). At the end of our wedding, I will let everyone know how much we spent in total. Currently our budget is NZ$20,000 which is about US$13,000. This is the cheapest we found we could do it in order to have the wedding we wanted.
The most important thing about setting a budget is feeling comfortable. You should never go into debt to have a wedding. Sit down with your partner and discuss when/where you think you’d like to have your wedding, how much you have in savings that could go towards your wedding, and how much you can save per week / month by your wedding day. Although it can be a tough question, if you think either of your parents are planning to contribute to paying for you and your partner’s wedding, it is important to factor in those amounts before you start planning. Also make sure that you know if they plan to give you the money as a gift after the wedding or before to help pay for things upfront (I am saying this from personal experience). Keep in mind that many, if not all, vendors will require a deposit or even your full payment before the wedding day.
When asking other brides how they came up with their budget they said things like:
- Do research for venues and vendors in your area to get an idea of roughly how much things will cost
- See how much you can set aside weekly or monthly up until your wedding
- Get a detailed budgeting worksheet/to-do list that includes all the little details you may forget about (speaking about this one here’s what I am using for my wedding and I created myself because I couldn’t find a list that “had it all” – All You’ll Need Wedding Planner / To – Do List)
- Make sure you’re being realistic with what you can afford and save – Don’t budget as if you’re not going to do anything that costs money in the coming months
- Number of guests you’d like to invite
- Time of year / time of the week (weekday or weekend)
- If you’d like to provide alcohol or not
- Factor in your honeymoon if you’re going to travel right after your wedding
- Cut out any unnecessary expenses that you currently have (subscriptions, eating out often, trips, etc.) in order to save
Many brides and grooms go over their anticipated budget so it’s important to know if you really can do that financially or if you’ll need to cut out some of your “wants” that might not be necessary. Look out for another blog post about the wants versus the needs when it comes to planning your wedding!
I hope this has helped you get a few ideas of how to start the budgeting process! There will be more blogs about other money and budgeting related topics.
Mary Taylor <3