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How to Set Your Wedding Budget

When it comes to planning your dream wedding, there are many details and expenses to plan for. From finding the perfect venue and delicious food to your dream florals and decor, it can all seem very exciting, but those price tags can add up quickly! This is why it is very important for you and your partner to set up a budget early on in the planning process.

Before you sign your contracts and swipe your credit card, read these tips to help set you up for success:

Determine Who Is Contributing

Whether you have family or other loved ones contributing to your special day or it’s just you and your partner, factoring in contributions will help you determine your overall budget.

While the money conversation can be a bit uncomfortable, approach the task in a respectful and friendly way. Discuss how much they are wanting to spend or what category they would like to help with.

budgeting for a dream wedding

Estimate Your Guest Count

Most of your wedding expenses will be determined by the total number of guests in attendance. This means everything from the size of your venue to the number of tables and chairs needed, how much food and alcohol should be ordered, the number of invitations to send, and more.

Even though you won’t know exactly how many guests will be attending at this stage of planning, you should still create a rough guest list with your partner. Why? Many vendors will request a rough guest count so they can give you an accurate quote or estimate. For couples looking to save, it may help to keep the guest count limited.

Pick Your Saves and Splurges

Every couple has their own idea of what items are worth splurging on and saving on. Whether it’s an open bar, a live band, or a second outfit change, discuss what items are top priorities and what you both are willing to sacrifice as needed.

Divide Your Expenses

Once you crunch the numbers and determine your total wedding budget, it’s time to figure out how to spend that money wisely. At Incorporate Joi, we help our couples divide their budget into percentages based on the different spending categories. This breakdown will look a bit different for every couple, but here’s a peek at how much you should set aside for each wedding expense:

  • Venue: 25%

  • Food and Drinks: 15%

  • Wedding Dress and Formal Attire: 10%

  • Flowers and Decor: 10%

  • Photo and Video: 10%

  • Ceremony and Reception Music: 10%

  • Invitations and Stationary: 2%

  • Party Favors: 1%

  • Officiant: 3%

  • Cake and Desserts: 5%

  • Transportation: 4%

  • Gratuity: 5%

Hiring a wedding planner can help you set expectations and use their network to connect you with the best vendors that fit within your spending limit. Get in touch with us today at Incorporate Joi so we can work together to make the most of your wedding budget and create your dream wedding!


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