Get ready because today, we’re talking about the “B” word. That’s right – the Budget.

Arguably, the wedding budget is the most important factor when it comes to planning your wedding. It is the ultimate guide that will help you make all of your wedding day decisions. Figuring out your wedding budget can be really stressful and overwhelming but it’s honestly the most HELPFUL thing you can do. (So we’re here to help you get started!)

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The #1 thing you need to know to get started with your wedding budget

The very first thing you’ll want to do is figure out your guest count. How many guests you have at your wedding will either make or break your budget. The number of people that you are planning for affects the price of almost every category in the budget. 

It can be really hard in the beginning of your wedding planning process to sit down and really hash out a list. We recommend listing people by groups. Start with an “A” list of people who you know are going to be there for sure. Then move on to your “B” list, which will make up the people you would like to come. And then finally, the “C” list, which will make up the people who it would be nice to have there. 

Once you have an approximate guest count, then you’ll be able to start compiling a list of possible venues that will have the right amount of space for your event.

You’ll end up paying a lot more money for a venue that can hold up to 300 people, so knowing your guest count will help put a filter on what you realistically need, which will also help keep you within your budget. And while we are on the subject of venues, if you haven’t yet, check out our post on 9 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Wedding Venue

There is another way you could pay for less people without completely having to make cuts to the guest list. . .

The two of us (Dominic and Serena) don’t really see eye to eye on this method but technically, you could plan food (which is usually one of the more costly wedding expenses) and the ceremony for the A and B lists and then only invite the C list to attend the dance party towards the end of the event. That way you are kind of getting the best of both worlds.

What do you think about this budget strategy? Let us know in the comments below! 

Help your venue be more budget-friendly by getting married on a weekday or Sunday

One way you can usually save some money on your venue is by booking the space for a weekday or a Sunday. This will vary depending on the specific venue you are looking at but it is common for venues to cost more to book on a Saturday. Especially during peak wedding season.

You could also save some money by choosing to get married during a less desirable time of year. Venues usually have more availability during these times and some may even offer discounts to book their space.

When you are shopping around for venues, be sure to ask if they offer different rates for weekdays or during the “off” season.

What you should and shouldn’t DIY to save a little money

The benefit of having professional wedding vendors is wonderful. But hiring a professional for every category really starts to stack against the budget. This is an area where it’s going to be important for you to prioritize what’s most important to you.

If serving a delicious 3-course plated meal is important to you, plan your budget so that you can do that! Same goes for the entertainment, or whatever else you really want! It’s your day!

But we do always recommend that you at least hire a professional caterer for the food. Trying to do your own food for your wedding (or asking a family member or a friend) can be a huge undertaking and in most cases, the amount of time that it will take to prep, serve, and bus the food on the day of is way underestimated. 

So to say the least, there’s a lot of ways doing your own food can end up diastorours. Professionals know all the tips and tricks for how to get in, feed everyone, and get out within an hour (if that’s what you want). And that’s 100% worth the money!

Some of the best ways you can save money on your wedding

Consider hiring a wedding vendor that is newer to the industry

If you can find someone who is just getting started and is working on building a name and reputation for themselves, they will most likely charge a lesser rate. 

It’s beneficial for them to gain the experience and to use that experience to build their portfolio but it’s also a smaller hit to the budget for you. Of course, we always recommend that you do your due diligence when it comes to hiring vendors, but you can definitely find some amazing up and comers that will fit within your budget!

Consider what additional options your venue may offer

Some venues may offer additional servies in addition to just renting out the space. They may offer bar packages, setup and teardown services, decoration rentals, and a wedding coordinator.

Yes those things do usually come with an additional cost. But if you were planning on hiring out those services anyway, it may actually save you more money to hire through the venue.

Don’t shy away from buying second-hand!

You can find some really amazing things like signage, centerpieces, decor, (or even your wedding dress!) by shopping around for gentle used items.

Check your local Facebook resale groups to see what others may be looking to get rid of. A lot of times you can find barely used items for half the original price (or even free!) This is also a fantastic budget-friendly way to DIY your own centerpeices.


And if you are looking for a stunning designer dress with a less stunning price tag, we recommend checking out Stillwhite.com(This is not an affiliate link! We just think it’s a really great resource!)

Why planning for a wedding planner or a coordinator is worth it

No matter whether you choose to hire a professional or not, you need someone that will be in charge of the timeline and making sure that everything happens according to plan. 

When the actual day comes, you don’t want to be worried about making sure the caterers know where to go and when to be ready by or if the correct number of tables and chairs are set up. And you don’t really want someone from your family or a close friend to be in charge of those kinds of things either. 

When the day comes, your only focus should be to enjoy every single minute of the day. Which is why we always recommend hiring a professional wedding planner or wedding coordinator to take charge of your event.

Tips For Planning Your Wedding Budget
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator comes down to how involved you want to be in the wedding planning process. 

A wedding planner can help you make planning decisions from the very beginning. For instance, helping you find the venues and the vendors that will fit within your budget. Then on the day of, they will be the one to make sure that everything is executed as planned. 

A wedding coordinator is mostly responsible for coordinating everything on the day of, with a little less involvement before hand. 

Both are extremely beneficial to making sure that all you do on the day of your wedding is marry your best friend and celebrate with all your family and closest friends.

How to keep yourself from getting too stressed and overwhelmed with the budget

Planning your wedding budget can be stressful and overwhelming. There’s a lot of moving parts and a lot of things to shop around for and make decisions on. Here’s how we recommend approaching your budget (and wedding planning in general).

  • Start early with you guest count
  • Get organized and write everything down
  • Start with a total amount and then prioritize allocating money to the categories that are most important to you first
  • Start adding in the costs as you make decisions so that you always know where you are at in your budget
  • Take breaks from wedding planning and enjoy your time being engaged

Wedding planning goes in peaks and valleys

There will be a point where you are picking the date, looking at venues, buying your dress, picking your bridal party, etc. etc. and it’s going to feel like everything is happening at once. 

After those initial things are purchased and planned, there will be a lull in your wedding planning. Enjoy that lull. Put the binder aside and let your mind and your emotions take a break. Let yourself rest for a couple weeks or a month or however long you can, before you dive back in. 

But when you allow yourself to take a break, you can dive back in feeling regrouped and refreshed and ready to tackle the next several things on the list. 

Just remember, this is your day. Don’t let anyone talk you into something you don’t want to do or talk or out of something you have your heart set on.

Before you go check out our brand new Music Planner! It’s the perfect thing to help you pick and organize the music for your entire wedding! The Wedding Duo Music Planner is available now!

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After 10 years in the wedding business, we know what it takes to plan a wedding without overlooking any details. We’ll help you do the same.

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