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Creating A Wedding Budget You Can Afford

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    Creating A Wedding Budget You Can Afford

    By Alan Allport

    The most important part of planning a wedding is setting your budget. Your budget is important because it is next to impossible to know what you can afford for each major part of the wedding if you donít set an overall cost that is comfortable for you. You will probably find that deciding the budget is the hardest job to do because, of course, you want to have the best and most memorable wedding you can possibly have.

    The days when the wedding was paid for by the parents of the bride are almost gone now. Parents will often contribute to the wedding cost as a gift to the couple, but it is pretty rare for parents to cover the whole cost of the wedding.

    Usually this is because the parents simply canít afford it. But couples today often prefer to pay for their own weddings because it ensures that they can plan them the way that they want to without interference.

    These days, 4 out of 5 couples pay for their own wedding and it helps to know how your budget should be broken down.

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    When creating your budget, you will first begin with the overall amount that you can afford to spend. The average wedding today costs approximately $19,000. This is not a definite, but this is what the statistics currently show.

    Now you will need to take that overall budget amount and split it percentage-wise for each major aspect of your wedding e.g. how much to spend on the wedding clothing, the rings, catering, decorating the venue etc. If you are not good at percentages, you can always utilize the Internet and check with the various websites that offer you free or cheap wedding budget calculators that will do it for you.

    With these calculators, all that you have to do is input the total budget amount and then they will calculate for you how much money in dollars you will be able to spend on each component of your wedding.

    Once you have figured out the dollar amount that you can spend on each component of the wedding, you can then begin to create a list itemizing everything.

    You will need to put together a list of all the areas of your wedding that are important to you and make sure that you allocate a sensible proportion of the total budget to each.

    This is necessary so that you can see if the wedding of your dreams is a realistic expectation given what you can afford to spend. If you come up short, here are some ideas to enable you to trim the expenses:

    ēReduce the size of the guest list
    ēForego some of the services
    ēReduce the size of the wedding party
    ēForget the extras like limos

    It is only by setting down on paper a budget you can afford and listing all of the areas that you have to spend money on that you can begin to refine your ideas on the type and scope of wedding that it is realistic for you to aim for.

    Afterall, you will have plenty of expenses to cover after the wedding when starting out on your married life together. It just doesnít make sense to create problems by over-stretching financially on the wedding.

    Alan Allport is Webmaster at <A HREF=""></A> where he has published a FREE Online guide to planning the perfect wedding on a budget

    I have a guest list with a max of 160. We're getting married at his grandparentís home so that takes care of the venue. But as far as costs go... How much is food for a buffet, at least 20 rental tables, a dance floor, a bar. Is 5000 realistic? I'm not including the rings or the honeymoon in my budget just the ceremony and the reception. Any money saving, do it yourself tips will help. Thanks! Oh and I live in central California if that helps.


      My fiancť and I did a combination of both of your ideas. We knew that we didnít want to spend more than 10k, and so we made a list of everything like: the church, reception site, cake etc... And gave each item an approx. of what we thought it was going to cost or what we thought we should spend. It turned out that when we totalled everything up we were over our initial budget by 2k. Now that we are actually spending money on things we are finding ways to save money here and there. For example we are hand making our save the dates and invitations. We are also finding that some of the things on our list we budgeted too much for and thatís not what we ended up spending. So when everything is said and done it will be right around 10k. I hope this helps!!


        I am currently planning and we have found that there is no such thing as "average" cost. Banquet weddings can "average" $15,000 - $50,000. Cost depends on more than just on number of people -- location, day of wedding, open/closed bar, cost of catering etc -- all these items can balloon costs.

        What we did instead is set a budget that we could afford, then we are planning around our budget. If you are really set on a set number of guests, you may want to create a wedding budget. Create an excel spreadsheet and plug in some numbers. Or you can plan the wedding that you want and adjust your guest lists based on what you can afford.