How to Budget For Your Wedding

The royal wedding is around the corner and as curious planners we decided to see how much the wedding is going to cost for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. When I looked at the number, I (Parth) was completely mind blown. $45,585,682 USD, according to the wedding experts at UK-based wedding website Bridebook. After finding this out, I decided to write to our readers about the importance of creating and sticking to your wedding budget.

The venue for the Royal Wedding- Windsor Castle

You’ve decided that you want to get married, but have no clue where to start. The first question you might ask yourself is how much is this wedding going to cost me? Did you know that a traditional American style wedding costs an average of $29,000 and has around 140 guests, but the average cost of an Indian wedding in America is upwards of $65,000 with 500 guests. These numbers can seem daunting — especially if you’re just starting your career and are looking to pay for your own wedding. The entire process of a wedding is long and tiring, but itcan be fun as well. It would be even more fun if you’re able to save money while planning. When we first started, a mentor told us “The difference between an average wedding planner and a great wedding planner is being able to work with all budget sizes and still execute at a high level.” It’s very important to us that our clients are satisfied with the end result, regardless of how much they decide to spend.

This Genesis Bride (left) had a very well-planned and organized budget, which helped immensely when we provided our day-of coordination services.

Why is getting a planner before selecting your vendors a great idea? Planning your wedding is not easy, especially when you’re trying to stay within the constraints of a budget. As wedding planners it’s our job to help you create and stick to your budget. Generally you will require 15–20 vendors minimum in order to have successfully executed a wedding. Venue, caterers, photographers, décor, florists and the list goes on. Many times, exceptional weddings planners will build relationships with their vendors in order to get preferred vendor discounts for their clients (more savings for you!).

So how do you start budgeting? You’ll have to know exactly what kind of wedding you want. Before you do anything at all — figure out how many people you want to invite to celebrate your big day. The number of guests will be the deciding factor for a majority of your costs. Your venue, catering, photographer, and even entertainment will need to know how many people are attending to get an accurate estimate. After you’ve figured out a tentative number of guests, and have received estimates from vendors, figure out where you want to host your wedding. Venues usually are the highest costs of a wedding. You’ll easily be able to see where a majority of your budget it going. Next, make a list of you must-haves on your big day (Brides- please try to include the grooms in this process, you’d be surprised with how creative they can get…sometimes). This can include outfits, jewelry, extras, production, DJ, etc. And last, but not least, leave some room for miscellaneous/unexpected expenses. We recommend 5%-10% of your budget should be for unexpected expenses. This might sound high, but trust us — this emergency fund can make or break a lot of budgets. Things that you never thought about will come up, and you will definitely thank yourself for already considering these unexpected expenses.

At this point, you have a rough outline of what your budget looks like. You can start cutting down, or adding, depending on what you wanted to spend. Finally, your budget is finalized.

As a couple, starting a new life together is one of the biggest steps you’ll take. Having a budget will mean that you are able to get more bang for your buck. It also gives you the ability to use the money you saved to start a life together as a married couple. This is what planners are all about. They can show you venues that are able to host your guests and stay within your cost range. They can provide you with discounts because they build relationships with their vendors. Hiring a good wedding planner to help you with the entire process is going to save you money by the time you‘re on your honeymoon. We’re sure of it.