Beginner August 2022

Decide on a budget?

Carissa, on May 6, 2021 at 12:00 PM Posted in Planning 0 8
How did everyone decide or determine a good budget for them? And how did you break down your budget?


Latest activity by whirlwind, on May 6, 2021 at 5:32 PM
  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    We came up with an overall number we wanted to spend then created an Excel spreadsheet with a breakdown of how much we wanted to spend per category.
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  • Allison
    Devoted April 2021
    Allison ·
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    We kind of set our budget after we booked our venue. We knew the venue was going to be the biggest cost so once we knew what we were spending there, we were able to determine how much we were comfortable and able to spend beyond that. And then from there, prioritized what was important to us. Spending thousands on flowers held no appeal to me but having a great DJ and photographer were very important. And the budget breakdown on The Knot is super helpful! We also had an Excel spreadsheet to document what we were spending on everything as well.

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  • L
    Lady ·
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    We started with creating a guest list of all the people we absolutely wanted to invite and started pricing different types of receptions and venues based on that number. Then decided what would fit most comfortably for us. The attendees were the most important part for us which is why we started with that and then fit the rest of the event around it. The type of event (place, food, flowers, decor, dresses, formality) are all things that can be done cheaply or elaborately. So to us it made more sense to start with the most important part and price from there as opposed to picking a $ amount and fitting things into that.

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  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
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    Initially my budget was around 10k and then i hiked it to 15k after seeing all the quotes for venue and food.

    when i decided on a budget, it was moreso thinking about what i was comfortable spending. and then after getting all the quotes i realized that i needed to spend more for things that i wanted but yet still had to balance the idea of what i was comfortable with spending. so that was my maximum

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  • Elizabeth
    Dedicated August 2021
    Elizabeth ·
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    We weren't able to set a strict budget until we knew what our "big ticket" items would cost (venue, photographer, food, etc). Once you have those items, it's a lot easier to set a realistic budget. And the budget tool on wedding wire is super helpful!
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  • Nicole
    Devoted August 2022
    Nicole ·
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    We came up with a maximum amount we felt comfortable spending first. Then, we googled some budget breakdowns where they give you a typical % allocated to each item for example venue/catering 40%, photography 15% etc and applied it to our max amount. From there we adjusted each category according to our priorities. For example, removed things we didn't want like favors, increased food budget because it was a top priority, and lowered the stationary budget because it wasn't a priority. And as we started to research venues and vendors we got a better idea of what we could get within our budget and adjust if necessary.
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  • Catherine
    Expert March 2023
    Catherine ·
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    We sort of just picked a number we knew we could easily achieve that wouldn’t break the bank and that would also be realistic for the type of wedding we wanted. We put that number into the budget helper on wedding wire and then moved numbers around until I was happy with how it looked. I knew catering would cost the most, followed by the venue. I knew how much I wanted to spend on my wedding dress. Then we worked out the other numbers from there. I already know what my wedding band and FH’s wedding band will cost, so that didn’t throw me off.
    We also separated wedding cost from honeymoon cost.
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  • whirlwind
    Devoted March 2021
    whirlwind ·
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    We sat down and looked at how much we had. I had saved a little bit before. We had a short engagement, so we did not have much time to save money.

    So, the money we had, became our budget. Then my parents decided to pay for my dress. Someone else paid for our honeymoon accomodation. A friend wanted to pay for and make my bouquet. So slowly our budget increased by a little bit.

    The first thing we did (after putting our guest list together) was to look at venues. And immediately it became clear that most venues would be more than our entire budget. Or at least a big portion of it. So we knew we had to take an alternative route. Our church very generally let us have our reception at their backyard. So with the help of friends and church family we were able to have a beautiful wedding (and splurge on some things like husband's suit for example) within our relatively small budget. For us going into dept for our wedding or waiting until we had saved more was not on option.

    So, as I see it. There are two ways to go about it. Sit down with your fiance (and possibly your families) and see how much money you have and how much of that you want to spend. Also consider things like if you want to purchase a house in the near future etc. Or you can start by looking at prices for the big ticket items (venue, food, photographer, flowers, DJ, DOC, dress, rings, honeymoon) and see how much it will cost. Then think about how much you can save realistically each month and when you reach the amount you'll need that's your wedding date. I guess, most people do a mix between these two.

    As for the breakdown of the budget: I did some research online to see what I would have to expect and from there I decided on the breakdown of our budget. Part of the breakdown is to sit down with your fiance and decide which things are most important to you and what things you are willing to go cheap on. Most people can't have everything they want. Also, do research what normal prices are in your area. But if you find they are to high for you, there are many ways to have a beautiful more affordable wedding. For example weekday or daytime wedding, smaller wedding, ceremony in a park followed by a reception in a restaurant, a pre owned dress, etc.

    I had an excel sheet where I put all our expenses and from there adjusted the breakdown as planning and spending progressed (but not to much).

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