Not sure where to start with your wedding planning? We have 10 best tips for plan the wedding for the couples and a budget is the perfect first step! Your wedding budget will help determine what vendors you can afford, your venue and how many guests you can invite. Having a clear budget from the beginning of your planning process can help you more easily make decisions and create the wedding of your dreams.

But how do you determine your wedding budget? We’ve put together a short guide to help you get started!

Wedding budget tips #1: talk to your partner and families

No one likes to talk about money, but doing so is the best way to figure out how much you have available, and thus what you can afford to spend. Sit down with your fiancé and your families (if they have offered to contribute funds) and determine how much each person will contribute.

Parents may want to pay for specific parts of your wedding, such as your food or gown, or they may just offer a blanket sum for you to use as you see fit. Ask everyone how much money they are willing to contribute and then determine how much you and your partner can afford to spend. The total will be your budget.

Do your research

Next, look into wedding venues and vendors in your area. Costs will vary widely depending on whether you are planning to have your wedding in a city or in a rural or suburban area, as well as what part of the country—or what country in general—you plan to tie the knot in. Look up various vendors online, such as photographers, caterers, florists and more to get an idea of what the average cost for each is in your area.

According to Business Insider, the average cost of a wedding has changed a lot in recent years. While couples spent an average of $28,000 in 2019, the average spending plummeted in 2020.

Wedding planning at downtown Seattle

Determine what items matter most to you

Every couple is different, and wedding items that may be essential to one couple can easily be skipped by another. You and your partner both likely have visions in your head of what you want your wedding day to look like, so sit down and talk them out.

What traditions do you absolutely want to include? What can you do without? Figure out where you want to focus your budget. For example, if flowers are especially important to you, you may want to prioritize that part of your budget in order to have the funds to get the blooms you want for your wedding day.

Crunch the numbers

Once you have a budget in mind and you know what each item costs on average in your area, it’s time to establish how much you can afford to spend on each line item. These individual smaller budgets can help you determine what vendors are right for you and will make it easier to cross some off your list right away because they are out of your price range.


The majority of your budget (usually around 40%) will go to your reception. That includes your venue, music, food, dessert and other items that go along with the big party to celebrate your marriage. Your ceremony will actually cost less than you may expect, as you will have to pay for your marriage license, officiant and any décor for your ceremony venue.

How much you will allot to each budget item will depend on what items are most important to you. If you want a professional makeup artist and hair stylist, you may want to allow for a higher budget in this area. But if you decide to do your own makeup or have a friend do it for you, you can get away with a much lower budget.

Talk it over with your partner and use your research and your own list of priorities to determine how much you can spend on each item.

Business Insider broke down the number for wedding in 2019 bases on several categories.

Wedding ExpenseAverage cost
Wedding and reception venue$10,500
Rehearsal dinner$1,900
Tuxedo (rentals)$280
Wedding photographer and videographer$4,200
Wedding planner$1,500
Catering (for 50 guests)$3,500
Reception DJ/band$1,200 to $3,700
Wedding day transportation$800

Be flexible and adjust as you go

Remember that your budget is not set in stone. The goal is to estimate your costs as close as possible, but also remember that there will likely be additional fees or other items that you may not expect. That’s why it’s important to think through every aspect of your wedding and budget for even the small things.

For example, items like stamps may seem inexpensive, but when you’re sending out multiple save the date cards and invitations, this item can really add up. So, be sure to budget in everything you will need to make your dream wedding day a reality!

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