Brilliant Wedding Pages The Cost-Effective Bride  
Brilliant Wedding Pages May 7, 2001

You look nervously down the endless aisle...

Wasn't it just yesterday that you thought this day would never come?
Share Your Wedding. Share Your Life.
Quality Wedding Websites
"I have been searching the internet regarding wedding web pages and I have to say that your site is most impressive one I've seen..." - Becky, Fredericksburg, VA

Find Out Why Our Wedding Websites Are the Best
Bridal Bargains

Bridal Bargains

Buy This Book Now
Planning a Wedding to Remember

Planning a Wedding to Remember

Buy This Book Now
 Volume 2      Issue 2
How to Make a Wedding Budget in Percentages - Part 2 of 3

I can't guarantee your sanity

Okay, so let's be completely honest - making a wedding budget is difficult. As far as wedding stress goes, I would rank it right up there with making your guest list (for those of you who have not experienced this joy yet, don't worry, you'll soon understand). Now, I am not trying to get you down, and I certainly would not want you to go into this with a bad attitude - I just want to warn you that creating a budget is not what I would call fun. But as I said in the last newsletter, it is very important.

What is going to make this a little more difficult for you is that I am going to share with you one way to create your wedding budget, but you are going to need to change and adapt this to your situation. I mean, let's face it, none of us are in the exact same situation. Some of us have parents who say they are going to pay for everything. Some of us have divorced parents where the mother wants to pay for the dress, the father wants to pay for the dinner, his mother wants to pay for the flowers, and his father wants to pay for rehearsal dinner - and they all want to pay for cake. Each of you is going to need to figure out what is best for you. But here is a place to start. (By the way, no matter how frustrated you may get, don't give up! It truly is important, you will survive, and you can accomplish this!)

First, and possibly the hardest part, decide the total amount you would like to spend on your wedding. The national average is around $20,000. But, if you are having 75 guests this is probably an obnoxious number. If you are inviting around 200 guests, it is not out of the realm of possibilities, however you may want to challenge yourself and say "Then I am going to try to only spend $14,000," - or less! Many of you know right off the bat that you only have $7,000 to spend on your wedding - and that could really be to your benefit to have that cut-off point! But, for those of you who have been given free rein, I would suggest to try and go easy on your wallet and your parents'. It may seem like your wedding is the most important thing now, but someday you may find yourself wishing you hadn't spent quite so much money so you could afford the house you want, etc.

Once you have picked the total amount you want to spend on your wedding, I would recommend taking $2,000 off that total. If you said $9,000, change it to $7,000. If you said $15,000, change it to $13,000. Of course, if you said $2,000 this is going to be difficult - instead, take off $200 or so. The reason I recommend doing this is because of all of the last minute expenses that you aren't going to think of right now. For example, are you going to remember to budget in money for fancy nylons? How about new makeup? Or, a rehearsal dinner dress? There are things that you may not think you are going to want or need now, but once you throw so much money around, it becomes very easy to throw more around, and you will need to be careful. So, if you take off $2,000 now, all those little expenses that add up quickly will still fit into your budget.

Next, communication, as always. Sit down with your fiance and decide what the most important parts of the day are. Do this by first making a list of all of your expenses. Here is a list of the major expenses to help you out:

  • Wedding and Engagement Rings (15%)
  • Wedding Dress and Veil (5%)
  • Reception (Site and Catering) (35%)
  • Photographer/Videographer (10%)
  • DJ/Band/Entertainment (4%)
  • Invitations/Stationery (4%)
  • Flowers (10%)
  • Cake (3%)
  • Wedding Party Gifts (2%)
  • Rehearsal Dinner (2%)
  • Officiant/Ceremony Fees (1%)
  • Decorations (3%)
  • Limo/Bus/Car (2%)
  • Tuexedos (1%)
  • Pre-Wedding Parties (3%)

Now decide, of these things, which are the most important to you - pick 2-3. When my fiance and I did this, for us the flowers and musicians were very important. We really wanted a beautiful ceremony and to us that meant flowers and music. And for you, it may be the dress or the photographer that is really important. But, make sure to decide this together and to talk about why it is important to you.

Once you have picked the 2-3 really important things to the two of you, decide a percentage to assign to them. In parenthesis after each of the major expenses there is a percentage that is national average*. Please understand that just because something is the national average, does not mean that it is the right amount for you - you need to decide this for yourself. And, this is why I had you choose 2-3 very important things for you. If you feel that they are so important that they merit a slightly higher percentage, go ahead and change that. But, for every percentage point you raise, you will need to lower something else by the same amount. In the end, your percentages should add up to 100.

But, before you get too into that, I would like to point out a couple of things that the national average did not take into consideration, but that you definitely should:

  • Honeymoon
  • Marriage License
  • Soloists/Musicians
  • Dress Alterations
  • Favors
  • Jewelry
  • Stamps for Invitations and Thank You Notes
  • Hair/Nail Appointment
  • Gift for Bride/Groom
  • Dry Cleaning of Wedding Gown and/or Preservation
  • Keep thinking, I'm sure there's more!

With all this in mind, begin forming your budget - and make sure to write it down or type it! At the top of your budget write the total amount of your budget (minus $2,000). Make three columns:

  1. The Expense Item
  2. The Percentage
  3. The Amount (multiply your total budget by the percent to get this number).

Make adjustments where you feel necessary, until you have your finished wedding budget.

Congratulations! You will have completed a major hurdle for most brides and you should be very proud of yourself! In two weeks, I will give you some advice on what you should now do with this budget - and you thought all you had to do was write it down!

I hope this article is a source of help to you and your wedding planning and I wish you much happiness always!

Kelly Kons,

Copyright (c) 2001 Brilliance Web Design, Inc.

If you enjoy this newsletter, we would be honored to have you forward it to your friends, however, we ask that you only reproduce it in its entirety.

Subscriptions to this newsletter are free. The Cost Effective Bride is published monthly.

Brilliant Wedding Pages
P.O. Box 667
Hales Corners, WI 53130


More Articles

Wedding Websites

Sign Up