Posted on: April 29, 2023 Posted by: Julie Johnson Comments: 0
Photo – Juston Follis | Unsplash

Congratulations!  You two have decided to tie-the-knot!  You’ve announced your engagement to the world and have finally set a  wedding date.  Now what?  Whether you’ll spend $5,000, $50,000 or $500K, you’ll need to set-up a budget to stay on track of  finances.  

Who’s Paying for the Wedding?

One of the first things to establish is who will be handling wedding costs.  Traditionally, the bride’s family is expected to pay for the entire wedding.  But, today many modern couples opt to cover  — or at least pick up a sizable share of the tab.  A recent survey by The Knot suggests couples and parents are sharing the cost almost 50/50.

According to Zola, about one-third of couples pay for the wedding themselves.  Whether you’ll receive a financial gift from family or you’ll be managing all the expenses, the key is to plan a wedding within the means available to you. You don’t want your parents to mortgage their home to cover the wedding. At the same time, you don’t want to max out credit cards or become ladened with debt that lingers like a dark cloud over your marriage for years to come.  

Photo | Hayley Kim Design @ Unsplash

The Art of Allotting Money for Your Wedding

Reuters recently reported that the average wedding in the US costs $29K.  In cities like NYC and DC those projections climb to $45K-$65K.

However, with a dose of creativity it’s very possible to have a beautiful celebration on any budget.

There’s a rather simple formula for putting together a financial plan. Let’s imagine an allotted budget of $30,000. The draft of your plan may looking something like this:


$30,000 Wedding Budget Breakdown

45% Wedding Reception | $13,500

Venue, rentals, food, staffing, cake, misc.

10% Flowers & Decor | $3,000

Bouquets, boutonnieres & corsages, florals for ceremony and reception centerpieces, decor, lighting, misc.

10% Attire | $3,000 

Gown & bridal accessories, grooms attire & accessories, hair & make-up, misc.

10% Music | $3,000

10% Photography & Videography | $ 3,000

3% Favors & Gifts | $900

Bridal party gifts, wedding favors, gift baskets for out-of-town guests, if applicable

3% Honeymoon | $900

2% Ceremony | $600

Site fee, Church donation, Officiant fee

2% Stationery | $600 

Save-the-date, Invitation suite, programs, place cards, menu cards, postage, misc.

2% Transportation | $600

3% Miscellaneous Expenses | $900

What’s Your Wedding Day Vision?

Get a piece of paper and make two columns. In the first column, list items that are not important to you. For instance, you may not want a wedding cake or even centerpieces on tables.  

In the other column, list what you want at your wedding. What do you envision? What’s most important to you? Perhaps, you want to take your guests on a culinary journey by featuring a sumptuous epicurean menu. Perhaps instead of chauffeured transportation, you want to arrive in an iconic NYC yellow taxicab.

This exercise will help you recognize what you can eliminate from your budget, freeing up cash for elements that express your individuality and imbue your day with meaning and joy. 

Savvy Secrets to Help Save on Your Wedding

One of the most obvious ways to save on your wedding is to trim your guest list. Here are other ways to save:

Get Fresh at Whole Foods Market

Did you know Whole Foods can create centerpieces and bouquets for a fraction of the cost of a florist? Find fresh, seasonal flowers — often locally grown. Visit the florist at your local store to discuss your wedding.

Don’t Leave your Flowers at the Alter

Assign a family member or friend to bring the flowers from your wedding ceremony to adorn the entry at your wedding reception.

Search: “White Dress”

Before heading to a bridal salon, peek at what big-box retailers like Nordstrom offer when you search “white dress” on their websites. Each of the above Mac Duggal dresses retail for $398!


Wedding Picnic

Your Wedding can be a Picnic in the Park!

Kantha quilts create a stunning visual against a lush, green lawn. After the ceremony, serve fruit and vegetables on platters, sandwiches and wedding cake.

Skip the Caterer

Check out the catering menu at your favorite restaurant. Many offer menu items as platters. When food arrives, display on platters or transfer into quality chafing dishes.


Paperless Post Digital Invitation


Paperless Post Digital Invitation

Save Paper and Postage

PaperlessPost and Greenvelope offer digital stationery with animated presentations that mimic the opening of an actual envelope.


Three-Layer Mint Chocolate Chip Cake @ William Sonoma
White Rose Four-Layer Fresh Strawberry Cake @ William Sonoma

Mail Order Desserts

William-Sonoma sells beautiful gourmet foods and desserts that are perfect for entertaining. Order a pretty Three-Layer Mint Chocolate Chip Cake or buy multiple White Rose Four-Layer Fresh Strawberry Cakes to display on cake pedestals.

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