Determining Your Wedding Budget - Southern California Wedding Photographer

After the question has been popped and answered - let's determine a budget

Getting married is one of the most exciting, and simultaneously stressful, times of your life. You’re preparing to join your life with the person you love most, and that by itself is so exciting! Planning a wedding means not only planning for the actual union of your lives, but also planning the party in celebration of this union. It can be really difficult to plan your wedding; what kind of cake, what colors for the bridesmaids, what style of wedding dress, DJ or band, buffet or sit down dinner, and the list goes on. With all of these decisions comes the most difficult one: what’s your wedding budget? You don’t want to spend too much, you have your entire life after this wedding to plan for as well and you want to have money for that. But all the same, you want to make the day special.  

Average wedding budgets

The average wedding budget in the United States is $26,000. For some people, this may seem incredibly high, and others, it may seem low. Many couples spend between $20,000 and $30,000, but many couples start out with a budget of about $10,000! The reason for this is because there’s a huge difference between what you think a wedding will cost, and what a wedding actually costs. 

The biggest area of spending for a wedding is the venue. A great way to cut down the cost of your wedding is to choose a free or cheap wedding venue. You can opt for a backyard wedding, or try to find a local spot that does weddings inexpensively. 

There are other ways to cut down on spending for the wedding. You can try to DIY a lot of things. For example, make the bouquets yourself, so you only have to pay for the cost of the flowers.

 Determining your wedding budget to start your wedding planning

Achieving your wedding look for less

When you get engaged, a lot of people worry about fitting into their wedding dress and looking good for the honeymoon. It’s important that you feel good about yourself on your wedding day, so you can look back at your wedding photos with confidence and be able to proudly display the photos in your home. But, hiring a private trainer to get your wedding body ready can be expensive, and if you’re working with a strict budget, this may be an area you need to trim. 

There are a few ways to spend a lot less to get the results you’re wanting. Try purchasing a cheap exercise plan, such as Kayla Itsines or Bikini Body Guide. This is a great alternative, as long as you know that you can stick to it. In addition to exercise, it’s important that you get a lot of rest and drink a lot of water leading up to your wedding, as this article states. Even if your body looks great, if you’re tired and dehydrated, it will show.

Unique wedding invitations on the cheap

You want your wedding to be an incredible experience, from start to finish. Being on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t create unique and special invitations and wedding favors. If you have a large, flexible budget to work with, you can consider hand lettered wedding invitations, or even laser printed wooden invitations. If this is a luxury that just simply won’t fit, there are other ways to wow your guests with your invitations. Stamp the details of your wedding onto a balloon that fits your wedding colors, and slip it into the invitation. When your guests blow up the balloon, it will have all the information that they need. This doesn’t cost very much, but it’s interactive, cute, and will be a memorable experience for all of your guests. For more ideas, check out this article.

 Creating your own unique Wedding Invitations

Spend on the things that matter

 Unless you’re an heiress, there will probably be practical cutbacks that you’ll need to make for your wedding; trimming the guest list, checking caterer prices, opting for lilies instead of orchids, and so on. In order to keep your sanity, you need to learn to roll with little changes. However, it’s also important to budget money (even if it feels extravagant to others) on one or two things that feel the most important to you. If your heart is absolutely set on a particular DJ, then cut back on other things and prioritize that. Of course, don’t be precious about every single little aspect, but give yourself the luxury of spending when it’s something that really matters to you. 

For some people, that will be the cake. For others, the dress. Many wedding experts say that if you’re going to splurge on just one thing, make it the photographer, because a high-quality one will make even a slapdash affair look magical. 

Factor in convenience

Most people hit a certain point before their wedding where they’re just fatigued about everything. I guarantee that that phase will be worse if you’re stressing about all the things that cost more than you assumed. That’s why you should always plan with a good cushion for last-minute costs. The extra few hundred dollars isn’t worth ruining your whole day over! 

No matter your wedding budget, you’ll be able to find ways to make your wedding a truly unique experience. Whether you’ve saved up for a long time and are able to spend a lot to make your wedding magical, or if you’re working wonders with a small budget, you’ll be able to create memories that will last a lifetime. 


Guest Post Written By: Aurora M.