How To Create a Wedding Budget That Works for You

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How much does it cost to say, “I do”? If you or someone you know are looking to tie the knot, chances are that you’ve been haunted by the thought of how you’ll manage to afford the wedding you want with the budget you currently have. According to a 2015 study, Americans spend an average of $31,213 on a wedding.  This amount is much more than a typical wedding in other countries and this number has been increasingly on the rise, up $5,500 over the last five years. How does that break down exactly?
The study also breaks down the most expensive cities for weddings, with New York, ($82,299 average) taking the cake. Included in these totals is just about everything minus the honeymoon: the dress, venue, catering, photography, invitations, florist, engagement rings, transportation and other typical expenses. If you’re like most people looking to not break the bank, you know that $30,000 is a little out of range. Luckily, there are many ways to enjoy the happiest day of your life, without going over your budget.
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide the kind of wedding you want to have; do you want small, quiet and intimate, or do you want a huge event with all of your family and friends? Making this decision first will allow you to determine the general feel you want for your wedding, and allow you to make easier decisions down the road in regards to the other aspects.
Next, you’ll need to crunch some numbers with your partner to figure out how much money you are actually able to spend for the whole event. Not having that number in the beginning can lead you to spending too much, which is why this step is so important. This is a necessary conversation you’ll need to have with your partner, because chances are you may not agree right off the bat. You’ll need to decide how much money overall you’re ready, willing and comfortable spending on your big day. Once you have that number, you can create a realistic budget to follow when planning the different aspects. It isn’t necessarily an easy conversation to have; talking money almost never is. However, it’s a conversation you’ll be happy you had later on, and it can also help lay some important groundwork into how you and your future spouse will discuss finances.
Next on the agenda is prioritizing! This is another step where you find you and your partner may have different ideas, which is alright. It’s another great opportunity to work on compromise and make the process more intimate and exciting for the both of you! Whether you decide the priorities lie in an open bar, delicious food, an excellent live band or a rockin’ dance party, figuring out what is most important to the both of you is crucial to creating your wedding budget.
Now that you’ve gone through all the steps to create your wedding budget, you get to the most important part; sticking to it! It is incredibly important to keep a clear head when making wedding decisions in regards to your budget. While keeping this in mind, it is also important to understand that you may go over budget in some areas, or you may be hit with some hidden expenses you did not account for. There are simply too many variables to fully budget for in the beginning, but you can keep yourself accountable by trying to stick within a range. Overall, remember that you shouldn’t feel locked in by your budget; know that it is a great tool to help keep your wedding affordable but at the end of the day, you have the room to adjust it to fit your priorities and your event.
Included will be a few tips for helping to keep the cost of a wedding affordable. However, here’s an example of a wedding breakdown at a total of $10,150 (well below the national average).

  • Venue:$2200 including chairs and tables
  • DJ:$800
  • Food and Alcohol:$3800 (Food at $30/person, booze at $20/ person, with 75 guests)
  • Attire:$350 dress; $150 suit
  • Decor:$500 for string lights purchased on sale and DIY flowers
  • Photographer:$1200
  • Day-of Wedding Coordinator:$900
  • Dessert:$250 for cupcakes

Tips for keeping the big day affordable!

  • Cut down the number of guests
  • Compare your options, shop around
  • Stay in-season for your flower selections
  • Do-it-yourself for invitations, save-the-date  notices, use Pinterest for ideas
  • Use outdoor areas for reception like municipal parks or beaches
  • Keep the food casual
  • Book the event on Friday night or Sunday afternoon (Saturdays are the most expensive)

Worried about adjusting your budget for your wedding?  Contact Apprisen to see how our certified counselors can help you create a budget and discuss finances.
To schedule an appointment call 1-800-355-2227 or visit our website to chat with a representative.

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