Some couples might think that planning a wedding during the pandemic is cheaper. Unfortunately, it’s not. Here are 5 crazy-easy steps to creating your wedding budget.
At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, weddings came to a sudden halt.
According to a survey conducted by The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2020 was $19,000. That was a $9,000 drop from the average wedding costs in the pre-COVID world.
As the wedding industry pivots to get things going again, COVID weddings have become more streamlined. Today, people know how to execute safety precautions like temperature checks, social distancing, and personal hygiene. Despite the uncertain future, more and more couples won’t postpone their weddings anymore.
Therefore, we can expect that this 2021 and onwards, vendors will be stretched to their limits. In most cases, they will need additional staffing and manpower to realize a robust calendar of weddings that were canceled since 2020.
All these will trigger an increase in wedding costs, unfortunately.
Don’t worry, we’ve pulled together five crazy-easy ways to create your wedding budget and lower your costs whatever the situation!
Easy Tips to Save Money on Your Wedding
Consider Your Current Budget
Creating a budget for a wedding isn’t as simple as choosing a figure.
There are several things you should take into consideration. You also have to do some math to determine the actual numbers.
At this point, you should have already identified the date of your wedding. The closer you are to your chosen date, the less time you have to prepare financially.
Ideally, you should start saving after your engagement (or even way before it).
How much should you save from your monthly income? Good question.
This is where the math comes in. After subtracting all your monthly dues (bills, daily expenses, debts, etc.), you can set aside up to 10% of your earnings.
Your current savings is all you have so you have to make it work. When we say “savings” we are excluding your emergency funds. Ideally, you and your fiancé should have at least three months’ worth of your salaries set aside to cover for job loss, a health setback, or other emergencies.
As you move forward to planning your wedding, you might receive financial support from your family or loved ones. But then, never assume that other people will help cover the cost of your wedding. Stick to your current budget.
Itemize Your Wedding Expenses and Plan for Each
Once you have a ballpark figure, it’s easier to conceptualize your wedding.
Your wedding expenses can cover many things, depending on the style or theme you choose.
However, most of your wedding budget will go to:
- Attire – this includes your outfits and dresses for the bridal shower/bachelor or bachelorette parties, and on your wedding day. Industry experts recommend allocating 7% of your budget for wedding attire.
- Beauty – this covers hair and wedding makeup and other salon services. Allocate 2% for this expense.
- Wedding rings – How much to spend on a wedding ring depends on your wedding budget. Discuss with your fiancé what kind of ring you both feel comfortable with: luxurious wedding diamond rings or just 2 pieces of wedding symbols.
- Cake – what’s a wedding without a cake? Again, 2% of your budget goes to this.
- Ceremony – this includes the rental fee for the ceremony site if you’re having a different reception, officiant fee, marriage license, and ceremony accessories. The budget is about 2%.
- Drinks – experts recommend allocating 8% for drinks, which often include bartender service, cocktail hour drinks,
- Flowers and décor – this includes bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids, boutonnières, corsages, flowers and accessories, reception centerpieces, specialty décor rentals, etc. Allocate 8% for this.
- Wedding invitations – These also include wedding ceremony programs, menu cards, favor labels, save the dates, and thank you cards. These expenses can eat 2% of your budget.
- Food – at least 18% of your wedding budget will go to the food, waitstaff service, catering rental, setup and cleanup fees, rehearsal dinner, and food stations.
- Photography and videography – this covers the engagement session, wedding day coverage, and feature film. This can eat up to 10% of your budget.
The percentages given are solely based on industry averages. You may adjust according to your needs and priority. Overall, 50% of your budget will go to the venue, catering, and rental costs.
Talk to Your Planner
Be honest with your wedding planner. Let them know your max budget so they can tweak some details of your event if they have to.
Know your priorities. Some couples like to spend more on videography and are willing to limit the budget on decorations. Others aren’t choosy of the venue as long as the event styling looks fantastic.
Work closely with your planner to ensure that your needs are met.
Prepare for Surprises
Sometimes, even if you think you’ve already covered everything, you still end up overlooking other expenses. Things like rental transport, taxes, service fees, postage stamps, and wedding band service are often missed.
Furthermore, you could have some last-minute changes that can add to your costs.
In a spreadsheet, keep track of your expenses. Create three columns to outline the estimate, modified, and actual expenses.
This way, it’s easier to see where you are overspending or underspending and redistribute your budget.
Find Ways To Lower Your Costs
Learning about some wedding planning hacks can significantly lower your costs and stay within budget.
Check out these money-saving tips when planning a wedding:
- Consider borrowing outfits for your bachelorette party or bridal shower or use a budget-friendly rental service.
- Schedule your hair and makeup trial on the day of your engagement shoot. It’s called dual purpose.
- Hold your ceremony and reception in one place if possible. This way, you can save on rentals, transport fees, and other vendor costs.
- Choose inexpensive yet delightful items for your wedding favors.
- For your wedding food, pick menu items that are in-season or locally grown as they are much more affordable. Skip the hors d’oeuvres. Pass appetizers during the cocktail hour instead of setting up a buffet.
- Find a photographer/videographer who will give you full rights to your photos. This way, you can choose more affordable printing options.
- For the reception, consider getting off the beaten path and utilize not-so-popular outdoor settings. With the right styling, you can transform a boring place into an awesome, picture-perfect wedding venue.
Easy Steps To Creating Your Wedding Budget – Summary
Creating a budget and sticking to it is easier than you think. Hope you find all these tips helpful in planning your dream wedding. For more articles like this one detailing easy steps to creating your wedding budget, check out the financial planning section of our site.