Setting Your Wedding Budget: Things To Consider

Everyone knows that weddings can be crazy expensive. However, they don’t necessarily have to be. It is so very important to sit down with your groom or family members, who may be financially helping, to discuss exactly how much you can or are willing to spend on your big day.

Once you have set that budget, keeping track of what you spend can also be a tedious task. The best way to ensure you don’t go over the limit is to do one of the following:

  • Use a computer program such as Excel or Google Spreadsheets.
  • Record every single dollar that is spent—they can add up quickly!
  • Keep a written log. Keep it on hand at all times so that you don’t forget anything.
  • Keep all receipts in one place.

Many couples don’t realize every little detail involved in planning a wedding until they actually start doing so. Below are expected wedding expenses (of course some are optional, so you need to narrow down what is most important to you and assign a dollar amount to that area.)

Stationary (all paper-related costs that could apply)

  • Announcements
  • Invitations ( a must, but some couples are doing e-vites now
  • Programs
  • Save the date cards (also can be done online)
  • Place cards
  • Menus (not needed if you are having a buffet)
  • Thank you notes
  • Postage


  • Site fee (this can be a large cost—consider carefully)
  • Rings
  • Officiate cost (may not apply)
  • Marriage license

Clothing (another one the most expensive aspects of your wedding)

  • Bride’s attire (wedding gowns vary in prices widely—keep this in mind as it usually another large expense)
  • Groom’s attire (usually rented and affordable)
  • Wedding party attire (if you are paying)


  • Bouquets
  • Boutonnieres
  • Decorations
  • Centerpieces (many couples are going for non-floral centerpieces to save money)


  • Ceremony music
  • Band or DJ for reception
  • Cocktail hour music


  • Beverages (open bar or cash bar? Alcohol or no alcohol—an open bar is VERY pricey)
  • Cake
  • Food and service
  • Reception site fee
  • Rentals (chairs, tables, linens place settings, tents, lighting, etc.)
  • Favors

Transportation (Possible fees)

  • Limousine
  • Parking
  • Guest transportation

Miscellaneous expenses

  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Honeymoon
  • Photographer (to save money, couples are opting to let friends and family members be the wedding photographers)
  • Videographer