Understanding Wedding Costs & How to Plan on a Budget

Your wedding is a life-defining event. Few other moments may be as memorable and well-attended as your wedding, so it’s common to run up some costs around the occasion. In this current economic climate, however, budgets are tight, and for many people, a budget-friendly wedding is the only option. 

Fortunately, weddings don’t need to break the bank to be unique and memorable. Let’s begin by looking at the budgetary allocation for each element and then find out how to keep that budget as tight as possible! 

Budgetary Allocation for Wedding Costs

When planning your wedding budget, consider the following categories in determining how much to spend on each: 

  • Venue & catering costs – approximately 40% of the budget
  • Photos & videos – around 10% of the budget
  • Attire – around 10% of the budget
  • Music & entertainment – around 10% of the budget
  • Wedding flowers – around 10% of the budget
  • Gifts for the bridal party – around 2% of the budget
  • Transportation – around 3% of the budget
  • Stationary – around 3% of the budget
  • Wedding cake – around 2% of the budget
  • Décor- around 10% of the budget

Not everyone’s wedding looks the same, so some of these categories may not apply to your unique plans. 

Consider an Off-Season or Weekday Wedding

Consider marrying out of season or on a weekday to reduce the cost of your wedding. 

The peak months of September, October, and November are the most expensive to host a wedding. However, couples can save a lot of money by marrying in February, March, or April instead. 

You can also save by choosing a day of the week to get married, as opposed to the traditional Saturday or Sunday. 

Choose Home and Outdoor Venue Options

Most people tend to spend the bulk of their budget on the wedding venue. Hosting the wedding at a cost-effective (or even free) venue can significantly reduce your overall costs. Consider if you might be able to host your wedding at a public park, your home, or a loved one’s home. 

The most important thing is that the venue is special for the couple getting married. Some couples may hold a public place near and dear to their hearts because it’s where they met or experienced some other significant moment together. Just remember – if you’re planning to use an outdoor venue, have a backup plan for inclement weather. 

Exchange Skills for Presents With Your Friends and Family

If you have family or friends with creative or organizational skills, ask them to use their talents instead of giving gifts at your wedding. Many people tap friends to perform live music, photograph the event, or decorate for their weddings. 

Take advantage of your network. For example, do you have an aunt who is an amateur florist? Are you friends with any photographers? Could you borrow space from a neighbor who owns a restaurant? Even though they may not provide you with free services, you may enjoy a discount. At the very least, you can rest easy knowing that your big day is being handled by friends and family. 

Don’t forget that you have skills to barter with, too! Consider how you might trade your services for discounted or no-cost items and services.

Whenever Possible, Do It Yourself

If you and your fiancé decide to DIY together, you can save a lot of money, but only if you know the results will be worthwhile. So make sure you plan for any DIY projects you want to complete. Many aspects of a wedding can be DIY-friendly, from invitations to centerpieces and bouquets. 

Your wedding day should be the beginning of a happy and prosperous life together. Reduce the financial stress around your big day with these wedding budget ideas that ensure this momentous event takes up a big space in your heart and a small space in your wallet.

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