How to Budget for a Wedding

Maintaining a budget is one of the trickiest parts of wedding planning. From larger expenses, like booking a venue, to smaller ones, like obtaining a marriage license, the cost of everything tends to add up quickly. 

With the right planning, you can master your budget for every necessary expense. No matter how much you and your spouse plan to spend on your upcoming nuptials, breaking down and managing costs is important.

We are sharing everything you need to know in this wedding budget guide and some tips for sticking to the numbers.

How to Plan a Wedding Budget

Before deciding how much money to allot to the various elements of your wedding, narrowing down a maximum spending amount can be a highly beneficial place to begin. Determining your spending limit will help you work backward and save time looking at venues and vendor options outside your price range. 

According to The Knot Real Wedding Study, the average cost of a wedding was $30,000 in 2022. With that number in mind, you can better understand how much money you and your partner feel comfortable spending. 

You’ll need to do some math to determine the exact amount of cash available to you. Engaged couples typically pay for their nuptials with one or a mixture of the following sources:

  • Savings: Some people set aside money specifically to pay for their wedding.
  • Income: Couples determine if a portion of their monthly income can go towards paying for the big day.
  • Help from loved ones: In some instances, parents or other loved ones help pay for a portion of the wedding.

No matter how you plan to pay for your special day, consider your maximum spending limit with your combined money sources.

Wedding Budget Breakdown

Weddings typically consist of many different moving parts. While you can certainly forgo any of the following elements and incorporate other unique features into your celebration, we are exploring the basic things people spend money on for their wedding. 

Use this breakdown to learn more about how to budget your wedding:

  • Wedding planner: The average cost of hiring a wedding planner was $1,900 in 2022. These wedding experts can help you determine your overall budget and ensure you stick to it. 
  • Venue: Booking a venue tends to be the wedding’s largest expense. Couples who have their reception and ceremony at separate locations tend to spend more. 
  • Catering and drinks: Food and alcohol are another major expense. The number of people on your guest list will impact how much you spend on these things. Other factors include how large the menu is and the type of cuisine you’ll serve.
  • Cake and desserts: Professional wedding cake prices can range anywhere from $100 to $700, depending on the design, size and flavors.
  • Photography and videography: Another significant expense for many couples is hiring photographers and videographers to capture the celebration. Professionals in this field can cost thousands of dollars for the day.
  • Couple’s attire: Consider the cost of your and your partner’s wedding attire. Dresses and tuxes tend to be a significant expense.
  • Music: Many couples hire a live band or DJ for their wedding. Music costs can vary greatly, depending on the popularity and experience of the performers. Opting for a DJ tends to cost less than getting a band. 
  • Flowers and decor: The amount you spend on flowers and decor will depend on a few factors, like the type of arrangements you choose and the size of the space you are decorating. 
  • Stationery: You’ll also want to account for stationery costs, including save-the-dates, invitations and place cards. 
  • Hair and makeup: Hiring professionals to do hair and makeup for the couple — and sometimes others from the wedding party — is another expense to consider.
  • Favors: While wedding favors tend to be inexpensive individually, their costs can quickly add up if you have a larger guest list. 
  • Rehearsal dinner: Don’t forget to account for the expense of your rehearsal dinner. The average cost of this meal is $1,350.
  • Marriage license: How much you and your partner spend on a marriage license will depend on the county you obtain it from.
  • Officiant fees: Consider the fees you’ll pay for hiring someone to officiate your wedding.
  • Transportation: Couples should also factor in how much they’ll spend on transportation for their guests, either from the ceremony to the reception or from the reception to where they are staying overnight. 
  • Wedding bands: Lastly, you’ll also want to consider the costs of your wedding bands. 

5 Tips for Creating and Sticking to Your Wedding Budget 

Explore these tips for creating a wedding budget you can stick to:

1. Start Planning as Soon as Possible

One of the best things you can do to prepare for your wedding and avoid overspending is to start the planning process as early as possible. You can often save money by booking your vendors far in advance. You and your soon-to-be spouse can also be strategic about the time of year you get married and save money by choosing an off-season date. 

2. Create A Priorities List

Making a list of your and your partner’s wedding priorities can help you make better decisions regarding what to spend on and what to skip for your big day. For example, you might find that you would rather pay extra for extravagant flower arrangements instead of having a triple-decker cake. 

4. Track Your Spending on a Spreadsheet

One of the best ways to create and stick to your wedding budget is to track all your spending on a spreadsheet. You can use the spreadsheet to stay on top of what vendors you are using and their fees. This tool also makes tracking who you’ve paid and when easy. 

5. Set Aside Money for the Unexpected

When planning a wedding, there will likely be expenses you did not foresee, such as:

  • Hidden fees
  • Taxes
  • Service charges
  • Tips and gratuity 
  • Insurance

Setting aside a few hundred dollars for the unexpected can help you tackle these costs as they arise without throwing your whole budget off.

Book the Hancock Hotel for Your Wedding Today

If you and your soon-to-be spouse are looking for a charming location in Findlay, Ohio, for your wedding, turn to the Hancock Hotel. We are a AAA Four Diamond Hotel and offer luxurious wedding packages to make your wedding day feel even more special. 

You can work with our designated in-house wedding coordinator to ensure you get everything you need for the big day. Our hotel also features Mancy’s Steakhouse, a high-end restaurant that offers catering for wedding receptions. 

Are you interested in learning more about having your wedding at the Hancock Hotel? Submit an inquiry online today. 

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