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Just wondering what everyone's budget is for their wedding... Even thought it is like the 1st thing on the checklist... we don't have one yet. We are saving and we talk about wedding expenses but we haven't settled on a set amount. Not even like a ballpark figure! It's always this imaginary figure somewhere out there. I honestly don't think we will know what our budget was until the day after the wedding. It kinda makes me nervous but on the other hand... I'm like oh well, whatever will be will be. Plus...I don't know if I want one... the budget idea totally limit$ my creativity if you know what I mean. lol The first things to go when I start trying to save money are the all pretty things I want.So I just wanted to see what everyone else  is budgeting for her wedding... maybe it will help me settle on an amount.
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Re: Budget?

  • edited December 2011
    things to consider first: 1. how many people are you talking about? (big difference between at 25 person intimate dinner and a 300 person party) 2. how formal are you going? (again - is this cocktails and appetizers or is it a 5-course sit-down meal?) 3. what are your priorities? (do you want flowers everywhere? do you LOVE a certain photographer?) 4. what sort of location(s) are you looking at? (fire-hall that you set up? country club? resort during peak vacation time? hotel banquet room?) i have a good friend who is doing 75 people, sit-down dinner, at a nice resort for $15,000. i did a 140 person dinner with stations at a resort for $30,000. i had another friend do a 100 person fire-hall wedding with a catered buffet for $7,000. it really depends on what you want. advice: answer the above 4 questions. then start looking at what things cost. then figure out what % of a budget things will be :: here was mine :: (don't use it exactly, because we might have different priorities -- such as, i didn't want flowers, so that part of the budget is small) :: - ceremony cost: 2% of total budget - catering/bar/rental of reception space cost: 70% of total budget - decor costs (centerpieces, flowers, etc.): 3% of total budget - DJ cost: 4% of total budget - printed materials (invites, STD, etc.) costs: 3% - photography costs: 4% - attire costs (gown, etc.): 7% - "other" costs (shuttle for guests, OOT gifts, etc) 7% once i figured this out, i saw what things actually cost and put together a working budget - (ie: we decided how many people and looked at venues and figure out how much that would be. if that's 70% of the budget, we can figure out what the other 30% would be and add those two figures together to get a total budget) best advice: STICK TO IT! yes, there are amazing $40,000 dresses - but that was not in the budget. i came under budget by about $800. i didn't get everything i wanted - but i made it work and loved it and don't regret anything. don't go into debt for one day.
  • edited December 2011
    I don't really have a budget. That doesn't mean I am willing to spend all the money in the world on the wedding. I am trying to keep things within a price range.For instance:Dress: I wanted to spend around $1000. I broke the bank and spent $1500, but this was very important to me so I was willing to go over budget (plus I LOVE my dress.)Flowers: Budgeted about $1200, spent $800Venue/drinks/food etc: Wanted to spend $70/person--It'll be about $60/person but it looks like we might have more guests than we planned.I don't know what the ceremony will cost yet so that isn't even in my budget plan.Like PP said, look at what is important to you and spend it accordingly.
  • pantsarellapantsarella member
    edited December 2011
    Our budget was $15,000 for 75 people. I know we went over slightly, but we were alright with being just a little bit over. We had what I referred to as a "country-garden-chic" wedding in the Pocono Mountains, but it was an intimate, afternoon wedding. I DIYed almost all of the decoration (luckily the venue didn't need much).

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  • edited December 2011
    My grandmother bought a wonderful book/binder that has been a real help while planning my wedding... it's called The Bride's Essential Wedding Planner (Deluxe Ed.) by Amy Nebens.  Look on amazon to see the reviews and what it has (way to much to write on here right now).   Anyway, there is a section in the beginning about budget.  It has a suggested breakdown of how much of your budget should go to each area of the wedding... 50% for the reception (food, bar, location, rentals, etc.) 10% for music (for both the reception and ceremony) 10% for flowers/decorations 10% for the photography/videography 10% for attire/beauty (for you and the hubby)10% for all other expenses (ceremony, rings, marriage license, stationary, transportation, gifts/favors, rehearsal dinner, etc)Of course, if something is really important to you, feel free to tweek the percentages a little bit to make it more presonalized for your needs.  For example, pictures are very important to me, so I might need to borrow a little bit from the music section because I came in under budget for my dj/band.  As tempting as it may be to go without a budget, you should really have at least a ballpark figure so you don't get too out of control.  My budget is $20,000 (but I'm prepared to go over a little bit if needed, although with some searching, phone calls, and emails I was able to find really good deals that have or will save me a bunch of $$$).  In order to get a good idea of where to start, look online at venues that interest you and see what they charge since the reception is a huge part of the budget.  However, before you can really do that, you need to start working on a guest list so you have an idea of how many guests you will be paying for... my original guess was far less than what it actually turned out to be once you add in all of those aunts and family friends that you sort of forgot about or that your FMIL insists you invite.Good luck, and if you need any help, pleae feel free to ask!
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone. You've all been really helpful. I think part of my problem is that numbers like $20,000 - $30,000 scare the crap out of me. I guess in my head it seems less scary if I think of little numbers like $1,000 for a DJ and $2,000 for a photographer rather than $20,000 for the whole wedding. The nickel and dime way of thinking will probably get me in trouble though so I guess the best way to handle it would be to have a big number and just break it down into percentages like you've all done. Then the little percentages will be easier for me to deal with mentally and I won't go overboard. We originally planned on having under 100 people however our numbers are slowly escalating. I think my budget will have to fall somewhere between $15,000 - $20,000. I guess that's about average... maybe alittle on the low end. Thanks again! <3
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  • edited December 2011
    Megan, If you take your time and do plenty of research, you can have a beautiful wedding for 15,000-20,000.  Everyone told me that my 150 guest list would be around 30,000, but that worried me (not to mention me fiance!) so I've been looking for deals and using the book I told you about and so far things are going wonderfully.  Remember, don't be afraid to haggle a little bit... the economy isn't great right now and people in the wedding business know you could just as easily have you wedding with them or with someone else (did I mention I work at a banquet facility?).  Trust me, they want your business so if they are really a legit company, they will work with you to make your dreams come true.  Good luck!Heidi
  • edited December 2011
    def. figure out the whole number -- i found a great "deal" for a photo booth, a great price for OOT gifts, a good price for custom made shoes, etc....but added together i couldn't afford all of them. i had to decide my priorities. it's easy to get deals on things, but sometimes you don't need all of those things.
  • meganjane86meganjane86 member
    edited December 2011
    our budget will probably be somewhere between 18,000 and 20,000-- I didn't do the percentages, but that sure would have been helpful! I know we went over on some things, like the photographer, but we saved in other ways.  For example: - my dress was bought at a consignment shop- we're not using limos, or any other type of transportation service (just good ol' fashioned decorated cars with tin cans trailing behind!)- our flowers are mostly "greens" and inexpensive, even though there's a lot of them- we purchased all of our centerpiece holders (mason jars) at thrift stores and flea marketsthat way, we're able to have a candy buffet and a polaroid guestbook...
  • edited December 2011
    Honestly... I am not willing to pay more than 10 grand when bf and I get married. NO WAY! We are trying for between 6-8 grand and probably have no more than 100 people (I'd rather keep it down to around 70).
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