Wedding Checklist

The Proposal:
  1. Should I Propose?
  2. When to Propose
  3. The Marriage Talk
  4. Asking Permission
  1. Wedding Budget
  2. Venues & Destination
  3. Design & Decor
  4. Timelines & Checklists
  5. Roles & Responsibilities
  6. Guest List
  7. Invitations
  8. Websites & Registries
  1. Venue
  2. Catering
  3. Entertainment
  4. Photos & Video
  5. Florist
  6. Wedding Cake
  7. Event Rentals
  8. Lighting & Audio
  9. Transportation
  10. Guest Accommodations
  11. Childcare Services
  12. Dance instructor
  13. Hair and makeup
  14. Planners & Coordinators
Wedding Attire:
  1. The Bride
  2. The Groom
  3. Bridal Party
  4. Guest Attire
  5. Special Roles
Pre-Wedding Events:
  1. Bachelor Party
  2. Bachelorette Party
  3. Rehearsal
  4. Rehearsal Dinner
Wedding Ceremony:
  1. The Procession
  2. The Vows
  3. Ring Exchange
  4. Readings & Rituals
  5. The First Kiss
Wedding Reception:
  1. Grand Entrance
  2. First Dance
  3. Speeches & Toasts
  4. Dinner Service
  5. Cake Cutting
  6. Party Time
  7. Bouquet Toss
  8. Farewell
  • Farewell Breakfast
  • The Honeymoon
  • Anniversaries
  • Traditions & Keepsakes
  • Marriage License & Certificates
  • Name Change Process
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Finances & Taxes
  • International Weddings
  • Immigration Issues

Wedding Budget 101: How to Allocate, Save, and Finance Your Dream Wedding

Picture this: it’s your wedding day and you’re walking down an aisle sprinkled with rose petals, surrounded by your best friends. You look towards the front, and there’s your partner, beaming under a canopy of twinkling fairy lights. Cue the soft, heartwarming music. Stunning, isn’t it?

But how much did it cost? Let’s acknowledge one undisputed truth: weddings can be pricey affairs, and organizing that perfect “I do” moment could potentially leave a seismic crater in your pocketbook. But they don’t have to!

Real talk: budgeting for your nuptial extravaganza isn’t the stuff of cotton candy dreams, but there’s no step in the process more crucial. Think about it: no one wants to start their journey to forever mulling over looming debts and unanticipated costs, right? Right!

The Importance of Budgeting Your Wedding

Your wedding is the day where love becomes legendary, but without careful planning, it can also become legendary for all the wrong reasons. Budgeting ensures you and your beloved can dine, dance and dash off into the sunset without a debt monster creeping behind.

This article aims to be your reliable sidekick in the first escapade of your marital journey. We’re going to arm you with the knowledge to allocate, save, and finance your wedding with the precision of a superhero! A superhero who’s really good at budgets, that is. Brace yourself for a whirlwind tour of practicality and penny-pinching, all in the name of crafting that dreamy, wallet-friendly wedding.

Understanding Your Wedding Budget

You might be tempted to think a wedding budget is as simple as “venue, dress, done.” But oh, brace yourself for a grand revelation, my fellow love-struck planners. A wedding budget, like a well-constructed tiered cake, comes together piece by piece. This enticing and complex mixture is comprised of:

  • Venue & Catering: The magical kingdom where your nuptial fairy tale unfolds, plus the scrumptious feast you’ll serve (It usually gobbles up almost half of your budget! Munch, munch).
  • Photographer & Videographer: The wizards who’ll document your day and capture your everlasting love in pixels and frames.
  • Wedding Clothing & Accessories: Your glamorous attire, which serves as the sartorial standout worthy of your dream wedding.
  • Music & Entertainment: Because who wants to skimp on the funky beats that will have Granny gyrating on the dance floor?
  • Flowers & Décor: It’s all about transforming a venue into YOUR dreamy royal ballroom, woodland fantasy, or whatever tickles your fancy.
  • Stationery: From eye-catching invitations to sweet ‘Thank you’ notes.
  • And Miscellany: For those sneaky little budget gremlins like tips, taxes, and heeding Aunt Sally’s demand for imported chocolates.

Yes, indeed! Your wedding budget is a universe unto itself, filled with galaxies of expenses you never knew could exist.

Your Financial Landscape Before Wedding Planning

Gather around, future brides and grooms, and let me drop a truth bomb. Knowing your dough is JUST as vital as knowing your heart before you embark on the voyage of life-long love. Mapping your financial landscape might not have the romance of a moonlit proposal, but it’s more important than you might think.

Ahead of planning your big day, you need to dive deep into your funds, understanding every nook and cranny of your financial position. This means accounting for things like your income, savings, investments, and all those debt monsters lurking in the shadows.

Weddings are wonderful, love-filled, champagne-toasting celebrations, but they’re also major investments. Fully understanding your financial picture before you start planning ensures that you don’t take one step down the aisle and three steps back into debt. Remember, Cupid doesn’t have an expense account!

How to Allocate Your Wedding Budget

Queue fanfare, dear brides-to-be and grooms-in-making, it’s time to pop the question that, honestly, might just be more critical than, ya know, the “Will you marry me?” one. And it goes… “What’s our wedding budget?” Yes, much like the picking of the perfect bridal gown, allocating the budget for your wedding carries an immense amount of significance.

Set a Maximum Budget for Your Wedding

In uncontested tandem with deciding on your ‘I do’ date, brewing up your budget plan should make an appearance right at the top of your wedding planning checklist. Why, you ask? Well, chalk it up to the reality that an effectively set wedding budget works like a humble wedding godparent. It guides you not only to avoid spending your first-year-married eating beans on toast but also to prioritize your dream features and ditch what’s simply not worth your bucks.

Allocating your Wedding Budget

By now, you’re likely saying to yourself, “How the heck do actually go about budgeting this shindig?” Fear not my financially-frustrated friends, I’ve got the steps to success:

1. Determine Your Priorities: Not all weddings are created equal, and that’s because not all couples are either! As strange as it is, your soon-to-be spouse may not share the same tear-in-the-eye reaction you have to releasing doves post-vows—Gasp, I know! Begin your budgeting bonanza by making a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves. When you’re both on the same page, it’ll be easier to align your finances with your vision.

2. Do The Math: You know the total amount you’re able to spend, now it’s time to simmer it down into categories. Generally, expect to allocate 50% of your budget on the reception. The rest? Well, this can be split into photography (10%), attire (10%), flowers (10%), entertainment (10%) with the delicious icing on the cake—a miscellaneous 10% for those just-in-case moments. Remember though, this is your wedding. If a live band or a prime rib dinner is more your style, skew the numbers in a way that reflects your priorities.

3. Set Aside a Slush Fund: Uh-ohs happen. And when they do, it’s helpful to have a stash of cash just waiting to save the day. Consider putting aside 5-10% of the total budget to cover any last-minute expenses or emergencies. Trust me, your future-self will thank you.

Congrats, cost-conscious comrades- you’re on your way to dancing down the aisle without the worry of what’s in your wallet. Just remember, how you allocate your wedding budget should make your hearts flutter—not your bank account shudder.

Breaking down the average wedding cost

Let’s break the big, scary numbers down into cute, manageable chunks, starting with a point of reference: the cost of an average wedding in the U.S. is $34,000. Remember, this includes the price of the engagement ring, not just your Big Day expenses. If you ask me, that’s quite a hefty sum, but each couple and their situation is unique: you do you!

This is your financial fairy-tale and you deserve a happy ending. Typically, here’s how it rolls:

  • Venue: This usually eats up the lion’s share (or should I say, the bridezilla’s share?) of your budget, averaging around 40-50%. That includes any rental fees and, often, the cost of catering.
  • Wedding Attire: About 10% of the budget goes to making sure you rock that aisle. Don’t deny it–all eyes will be on you two!
  • Photography and Videography: This is usually another 10% of your budget. After all, what’s a wedding without an Instagram-worthy tale to tell?
  • Entertainment: Around 5 – 10% for the band or DJ who’ll ensure your guests boogie the night away.
  • Flowers and Decor: Another 10%. From centerpieces to wedding arches, these details will add that wow factor to your Big Day!
  • Wedding Planner: If you’ve decided to hire a fairy godmother (AKA wedding planner) to whisk away your worries, they typically cost around 10 – 15% of your budget.
  • Invitations and Other Stationery: Save-the-dates, invites, thank yous – usually about 2 – 3% of your budget.
  • Wedding Rings: Better start saving the pennies for those pretty bands because they typically account for around 2 – 3% of the pot, too.
  • Transportation: Not the most exciting part of the process but necessary, nonetheless! This usually absorbs around 2 – 3% of your cash.

Remember, though, that these percentages can — and probably will — vary depending on your priorities. There’s no hard and fast rule but this might give you a sense of what you’re contending with. Game on!

How to Distribute Your Budget Effectively

Once the cake’s been tasted, the venue pics pinned to your ‘Dream Wedding’ board and you’ve practised IG-worthy hashtags that marry (pun intended) your names, it’s time to bring the budget into the picture, also known as the much less fun part of wedding planning. But have no fear, dear readers, just follow these tips to put your budget to work effectively:

1. Cost Per Plate

So you’ve got $20,000 bucks and 200 guests. Do the maths – that’s 100 bucks per guest (Maths isn’t my forte, but even I’ve got that one down). Now, before you start ordering edible gold leaf napkins, be sure to allocate a chunk of your budget to your absolute must-haves. Maybe it’s a mind-blowing photographer, a five-tiered fondant dream, or a honeymoon involving zero camping. Get those priorities worked out and paid for, so you’re not scraping the bottom of your budget barrel come crunch time.

2. Contingency Planning

Plan for the unexpected. As much as we hope for a hitch-free wedding (unless you count getting hitched, of course), contingencies do happen. In fact, let’s be honest: they’re almost a given. Catering can surge, that bargain bouquet might wilt, and Aunt Ethel just might bring her ten cat ‘plus ones’. To stem the tide of the unforeseen, set aside around 10% of your budget for surprises. It’s like a seat belt for your wedding finance – let’s hope you won’t need it, but it’s there just in case.

3. Be Flexible

Flexibility is the key to (financial) happiness. The ability to adjust your wants and needs according to your budget is a skill in itself. Swapping out peonies for equally gorgeous hydrangeas? Winning! Choosing DJ Playlist over a live band? Budget-friendly and no risk of aggressive tambourine playing. Think of it as creative problem-solving meets financial savvy. You’re basically becoming a finance superhero.

4. Regular Budget Check-ins

Remember to check in with your budget every now and then, as you do with your betrothed-to-be. Be it weekly or monthly, pick a schedule and stick to it. This helps flag any potential overspend early on, giving you plenty of time to course correct before the final countdown. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse for more wedding chats?

Remember— your budget isn’t the bad guy. Used effectively, it’s the trusty sidekick in your mission to plan the Super Wedding of your dreams!

Saving Tips for Your Dream Wedding

Picture this: As the sparklers fade away and you wave goodbye to your loved ones, you hop on that vintage Volkswagen van without a penny of wedding debt in sight. Doesn’t that sound like a dream? We’re chasing just that – how to save money for your wedding without shedding any tears.

A. Tips on How to Save Money for Your Wedding

Roll up your sleeves, cue the financial symphony, and let’s discuss how to stash away that sweet cash for your big day.

1. Wedding Piggy Bank: Begin by setting up a separate savings account specifically for your wedding budget. Yep, you’re serious about this thing now.

2. Automate Savings: The digital age is upon us, folks. Use it well. Schedule automatic contributions to your wedding savings account. This way, you’ll save without even thinking about it – quite literally putting your future marital bliss on autopilot!

3. Stow Away Bonuses and Tax Returns: Those sweet end-of-year bonuses and pesky tax returns are a great opportunity to nest away something extra for your big day! Way better than investing it all in that trendy avocado toast, am I right?

4. Keep Track of Expenses: Keep a tab on your expenses. Better yet, why not get a bit crafty and make a physical ‘money map’? This will not only let you visualize your spending but also add a bit of DIY to the financial process. Hipster and efficient – now that’s a marriage made in heaven!

5. Cut-back (temporary) Luxury: Think about non-essential spending that can be put on hold. Love eating out? Why not have some fun testing potential wedding recipes at home instead? You might uncover some seriously savoury skills, and hey, that Pot Roast might just make a great wedding entrée!

Remember, lovebirds, saving for your wedding isn’t about depriving yourself of all fun things in life – it’s about strategic planning, some seriously savvy moves, and being a little bit crafty. Now let’s get saving for those “I Do’s” that won’t undo your bank account!

Ways To Reduce Wedding Costs (Without Sacrificing Quality)

First things first—tighten up that guest list! Look, I love Aunt Edna as much as the next guy, but if she still thinks I’m in grade school, do I really need her at my wedding? Think quality over quantity—smaller can often be sweeter.

Next up, consider your venue options. Jill and John next door managed a picturesque garden wedding right at home! Kill two doves with one stone—yes, that was a wedding joke—by saving on venue costs and transportation. Earthy, personal, and cost-effective!

Flowers tend to wolf down your wallet like there’s no tomorrow. Try substituting expensive flowers like peonies with cost-effective yet elegant alternatives like carnations or baby’s breath. And remember, in-season flowers are budget-friendly flowers!

Advantages of Early Planning

If you’ve started humming wedding bells the moment you said “YES!”, then my friend, you’re on the right track. Early birds definitely get the worm when it comes to planning a successful yet affordable wedding.

Starting the planning process early allows you to scout for deals and promotions. Bargains are like elusive unicorns; they are tough to find, but oh-so-satisfying when you nail one. This goes for everything from your dream dress to the photographer.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither can your wedding fund be. Start saving early to give you ample time to build a healthy nest egg. This will lessen the financial tension as D-Day approaches, allowing you to focus on what’s important—enjoying your day of love and celebration!

Remember, how you start your marital journey is far more crucial than how you wed. Keep your financial health in check by planning ahead, and you can thank me when you are sitting on the sunny beaches of your honeymoon destination lava-lamping margaritas!

Financing Your Dream Wedding

With the all-too-important wedding budget freshly set and your saving tips coming in hotter than a summer’s day, the time has come to delve into the dreamy world of wedding financing. In reality, unless you’re a member of the royal family or a fortunate lottery winner, you’re likely to require some form of financial fairy godmother to help bring your dream wedding to life. Let’s explore the key players in this game of matrimonial money.

Personal Savings

First up, we have Personal Savings. Yes, you heard right, those coins rolling around the bottom of your purse, or digital digits in your bank accounts might just come in handy. Stashed away, unnoticed, they may not seem like much, but combined over a period of time, you’d be surprised how quickly they tend to multiply like bunnies.

Pros: Using your personal savings for your wedding gives you total control and freedom. There’s no debt to repay, and no interest to worry about. Confetti drop!

Cons: The downside? It can deplete your savings faster than you can say “I do”, leaving you feeling financially vulnerable. Also, you might have to say ‘adios’ to that Europe trip you’ve been saving for years.

Family Contributions

Next in line are the Family Contributions. The people who’ve loved you since you were little can often be a considerable help in this situation. However, this doesn’t mean you should expect your dear Aunt Gertrude to fork over her life savings. These contributions, much like your favorite slice of wedding cake, should be carefully savored and accepted with much gratitude and humility.

Pros: Family contributions can significantly lessen the financial burden. Plus, it’s a beautiful way for your loved ones to be part of your big day. Cue the group hug!

Cons: On the flip side, accepting family money can sometimes come with strings attached, like them inviting Aunt Sally’s entire book club to your intimate affair. The word “compromise” will surely join your vocabulary.

Credit Cards & Loans

Ever wondered how Cinderella got her fabulous gown and glass slippers overnight? Well, she most likely didn’t have a loan or credit card, but in today’s world, they can be an essential part of your wedding financing toolkit. Just remember, with great credit comes great responsibility. So charm your inner Prince Charming or Cinderella, and make wise decisions when considering these options.

Pros: Credit cards are a convenient method, and if you choose wisely, you can earn benefits and rewards points (honeymoon flight, anyone?). Wedding loans can provide you with quick access to funds and can be a lifesaver when you’ve found that perfect but expensive dress.

Cons: However, the high-interest rates can lead to a debt spiral if not managed well. Remember, loans require repayment with interest, which could carry on into the early years of your marital bliss. Nobody wants that post-wedding gift, trust me.

Alternative Financing

Last but not least, you could look at alternative financing options like crowdfunding. Because let’s be honest, who needs a Blendtec Blender when they could chip in to get you that gorgeous floral arch you’ve been Pinteresting about for months?

In all seriousness though, financing your wedding isn’t as scary as it sounds, provided you’re realistic about your budget and make wise financial choices. So, shall we begin fitting that glass slipper?

Factors to Consider Before Deciding on a Wedding Finance Option

You’ve set a budget, cut back expenses, but you might be facing the question – Where is all this doughnut (I meant dough, but doughnuts are always on my mind) supposed to come from?

Sugar-Coating Ain’t Sweet: The Real Cost

Remember, every dollar you borrow will come with a price tag – interest! Like unwanted confetti, this can add up quickly. Make sure you understand how much you’re borrowing, the interest over time, and what your monthly repayments would look like. Wouldn’t you rather spend extra cash on a luxurious honeymoon than on repayments?

Your Financial landscape

Take a quick stroll through your current financial landscape – Do you have any standing debts? How is your credit score looking? Your answers might affect your eligibility for credit and the interest rates you could face. Keep this in mind, because your money selfie might have more filters than you think!

Uncle Sam’s Share

Sometimes a chunk of your wedding budget could come from good ol’ Uncle Sam. Depending on where you live, there could be tax benefits associated with getting hitched. Explore this before committing to a loan or credit card. It’s like finding out your wedding venue offers a surprise discount, score!

Emotional Debt

Avoid starting your newlywed life under a mountain of debt. Yes, weddings are important, but they’re the start of your journey, not the destination. Emotional stress from debt can take a toll on your happily ever after. Choose a finance option that keeps your peace of mind intact. After all, you want to remember your wedding as a beautiful day, not a financially draining project.

Give these factors a good think before you dive into financing your wedding. Like the perfect wedding gown, your decision should be a balance of comfort, style, and affordability. Make your choice, count your dollars, get the cake – and eat it too!

Role of Technology in Wedding Budgeting

Alright lovebirds, it’s time to dive into the wondrous world of wedding tech. Not just satisfied with infiltrating our social lives, technology has wonderfully wormed its way into our fiscal affairs as well – including your wedding budget planning.

Wedding Budget Apps & Tools

Once upon a time, people had to use stone tablets or, God forbid, spreadsheets to keep track of their finances. Now we’re living in the end credits of the Jetsons, where we have a galaxy of online tools and apps to help you manage and track your wedding budget right at your fingertips – all that’s missing is a robot maid!

Apps such as Mint, WeddingHappy, and Zola Weddings can help organize your wedding budget down to the smallest detail. These handy digital buddies will even provide you with templates, track your spending, and inform you when payments are due. You’ll be so on top of your budget, you’ll feel like a financial Sherlock Holmes.

These apps aren’t just gadgets with pretty interfaces. They’re like your pocket-sized personal finance managers. Want to categorize your spending so you know exactly where your money is going? You got it. Want reminders for when the cake payment is due so you don’t end up dessert-less? Sure thing. How about a visual representation of your spending so you can see if you’ve allocated enough for Aunt Maude’s special dietary needs? No problem!

By using these tools you’ll worry less about dollars and that makes sense!


Well, there we have it, folks! From the mammoth task of setting a budget for your wedding to the nitty-gritty of saving and financing, we’ve strolled down that not-so-romantic, yet absolutely essential, financial planning lane. Together, we’ve reckoned with the realities of ribbon-wrapped deposit boxes, wine-induced wallet woes, and savings strategies capable of stretching every hard-earned penny into a dazzling dance floor or a mind-blowing multi-tier wedding cake.

The crux of all this numbers-crunching and budget-busting? Well, it’s about ensuring your dream wedding doesn’t turn into a financial nightmare. It’s about acknowledging that although a wedding may be a day of fairy-tale come true, the ensuing married life isn’t about dragons or wicked witches – it’s about reality, balance, and understanding that having a solid financial backbone is actually pretty sexy!

Check Your Financial Pulse

Steer clear of financial stress by planning a wedding wholly within your financial capability. Not only will you be able to strut down the aisle without the weight of a second job – you’ll also kickstart marital bliss armed with a stash of healthy money habits. Trust me, your future selves (probably sipping Pina Coladas on a beach somewhere) will thank you.

So scribble your budgets and save like there’s no tomorrow, because at the end of the day, it’s not about financing the biggest party of your life… it’s about investing in a lifetime of happily-ever-afters. And that, my friends, is priceless.

Your Two Cents on Wedding Budgeting

We want to hear your stories and top tips too! Spent less on flowers and more on food? Found a genius way to slash the price on your bridal frock? Maybe you picked up a part-time job to grow your wedding fund, or started selling stuff online for some extra bucks. Whatever your experience may be, sprinkle us with your wisdom by commenting below. Your tips could turn someone else’s champagne dreams into reality!