The Secrets to Budgeting a Wedding (+ Budget Template!)

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

The Secrets to Budgeting the Biggest Day of your Life

Budgeting a wedding is like an onion… it has layers. 

Learning how to budget a wedding takes time, patience and a clear mind. At one point or another, we’ve all created or at least familiarized ourselves with a budget. Budgeting can be tricky, time consuming and frustrating, but the end result is always worth it if you budget things just right. 

In order to budget your wedding properly, it’s necessary to take some time to really think about the type of wedding you’d like to have, the ideal amount of guests and food, and your venue of choice. There are so many layers to budgeting a wedding, and I’m here to simplify that. 

Determine the type of wedding you want.

Do you want a lavish wedding in a spacious, bright venue with dinner served at the reception? Or do you want an intimate church house wedding? Perhap, you fall somewhere in the middle of those two options. Depending on the type of wedding you and your fiance are envisioning, you’ll be able to confirm the overall amount you’re willing to spend.

How many people would you like to be there?

Some brides and grooms invite everyone they’ve ever known to their special event, others invite close loved ones. I’d say my wedding was a happy in-between; we invited a fair amount of people, but we knew most of them pretty well. The amount of attendees will determine how much refreshments and food you’ll need, the size of your wedding cake, the number of chairs and tables needed, and more. Once you finalize get a rough number of attendees, you can finalize a lot of budget aspects.

The venue makes a difference.

Sometimes, venues will offer multiple services within the reservation package. That is something to consider when choosing a venue, because that may save you more money in the long run. The size of the venue will be heavily impacted by the amount of people you invite, which is why the venue should be discussed after choosing the attendee limit. The bigger and more esteemed a venue is, the higher the price.

How much are you willing to spend on a photographer + videographer?

This price can be a wild card. Depending on who you choose to book and their experience level, you’re looking at the cost of the average media packages ranging from $500-$3500 for photography and $800-8000 for videography. You and your fiance should take some time to discuss what your limit for media is. Feel free to read my blog on wedding photography and videography costs if you’re interested.

Is a Wedding Photographer + Videographer Worth the Cost?

Consider the “attire” budget; wedding dress, groom’s suit/tuxedo.

Let’s face it. Some wedding dresses can cost up to $10,000. Others are less than $500. Where do you lie on the spectrum? Depending on your specific dress budget, you could even order a decent dress online from or for a more affordable rate. Tuxedos can also be costly, so I’d recommend considering renting one because the odds of you wearing the same tuxedo again are slim. However, if your groom chooses to wear a suit, I would recommend buying it because you never know when a nice suit could come in handy.

I won’t lie, budgeting a wedding can be stressful. However, if you create a budget for it, my biggest piece of advice would be: 


It will help keep you on track in so many ways! Additionally, I’d suggest utilizing a budget template like the one I have here:

I wish you the best of luck while budgeting your big day! 

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