The Average Wedding Budget in the US- according to www.costofwedding.com the average cost is $26,645.
Lots of blogs will give you specified percentages you “should” spend on each category.
I say make a list (both of you!) of what you need for the wedding, starting with your most important at the top. This will help you know where you are both willing to give a little to save.
For example: say the invitation suite is really important to the bride but neither of you care about a 5 course meal, so you save a few bucks by doing a buffet style meal freeing up some of the budget to do custom designed invitations. This is just one of many examples.
List out your most important to least important to YOU
If you are having a hard time with your budget, don’t be afraid to make cuts. As guests of course we are all excited to know there is a full bar, but as a B&G feel free to just pay for your “signature” drink, or a few types of beers and maybe a red & white wine instead of the whole bar as an example of one way to cut costs. Think hard about your wedding party, having a large party means spending money on gifts for them all, narrowing it down to your very best friends may be the answer to freeing up a few hundred dollars. Simplifying your design, whether that be the linens or florals. A good florist can help you come up with an elegant design to fit your needs!
Things you should have no matter what?
Coordinator. I encourage every bride to have at least a day of coordinator, if they can’t afford the whole shebang. Coordinators really are the backbone of your wedding and you will not regret having one…in fact you may regret NOT having one!
Florist. Flowers are expensive but oh so worth it! If you have to pinch in this area, I suggest making sure your venue can stand alone with little to no florals, but also searching for a florist that can work with any budget! The one thing I wouldn’t skip on is the bouquet and boutonnieres! There is something about having that gorgeous bouquet on your wedding day.
Photographer. (oh you didn’t see that one coming?!) The dress will fade, the flowers will die, the food will be long gone, but the pictures will be the only thing that keeps the memories alive! These pictures will be what your children, and your children’s children look at with love as they get to see their grandparents in a way they never knew them. I love seeing my parents wedding pictures, it’s so sweet to see them looking at each other with love in their eyes. To compare who of us looks like mom more, etc. A good wedding photographer will preserve your day for the generations to come.
Wedding Album. I cannot emphasize this enough! You put so much time and effort into your big day. You have a gorgeous bouquet, with flowers you specifically chose for your wedding. You have the most expensive dress you will ever wear chosen, that fits you like a glove. You pay a professional to do your hair and make up. Your groom is dressed to the nines and is looking oh so fine! Your reception is decorated with care. Your friends are all there to witness you both taking this step into a life together, and then to dance the night away to celebrate! The memories that are captured at your day are not meant to just sit on a USB thrown in a drawer somewhere to maybe be pulled out every few years if that! All of those gorgeous images need to be put into a book that you can have out to look at! These are the memories when your marriage gets hard, you can pull that book out and remember how happy and joyous that day was. You can look at the image of you two exchanging vows and remember the words that were spoken…it can breath life into your marriage!
It will also be the way your grandchildren will be able to see the day! My husband recently found a family album from the 1920’s, and it was so fun to go thru and watch him figure out who everyone was. His eyes lit up when he recognized someone or figured out a connection to a family member. To look at it and say, wow that’s where my daughter gets those eyes, etc.
There are so many ways to have an amazing, beautiful, elegant Wedding no matter what your budget. Just make sure you are talking about your budget with all those involved with the money, whether that’s parents or just the two of you.