Day 2 : Set a Budget

The biggest mistake I have seen as a wedding planner are couples that do not have a budget. I know…it is not the most exciting thing you want to do after getting engaged. The budget is where dreams and reality meet for the first time and force you to prioritize what’s truly important to both of you. There is no “right” amount for a wedding budget; it all depends on you, your family, your priorities and your tastes. What makes this tricky is that there are two of you, two families, two sets of priorities and two sets of tastes and preferences. The most important thing to remember through all of this is that your wedding day is only one day, but your lives together are forever. So, when it comes to wedding planning, this is the one area that deserves the highest priority. If you create a realistic wedding budget, a lot of unnecessary stress can be avoided in the entire wedding planning process and in your marriage to follow.

Things that Most Impact Your Wedding Budget

Your Guest List

This adds up! You budgeted a maximum of 100 guests for your dinner reception. Then your families start adding additional guests. Before you know it, you’ve added 50 more people…OK 50 more mouths to feed, no big deal, we can arrange for that. But that actually means you now have 50 more chairs, 50 more chargers, 5 more centerpieces, etc. to add to your budget. It adds up very quickly and makes a huge impact!! 

Spending slightly over what you budgeted for…in every category! 

If you find the perfect item/vendor for your wedding but it is over your estimated amount, by all means it’s okay to get it and move forward! BUT, remember to adjust for that amount in another category or two.

“In whatever budget you decide on, make sure you and your fiance are clear with each other on what is important and stick to it. This in turn will help you prepare for your upcoming financial journey together as husband and wife..”

Wedding invitation suite display

Not doing your research. 

Make sure to compare styles of vendors, reviews, and prices. If you are equally interested with two very similar vendors, they both have great reviews, but one charges more money,by all means hire the less expensive one. The point is, do not think that being more expensive automatically=better. Do your research. Book your vendors based on their work, their personality and how you feel about them being part of your day, not solely on price. 

Making quick decisions. 

Feel free to explore a little. You need to ask the right questions and read the small print on all contracts and see which options are best and within your budget before making a decision. 

Modern bride & groom enjoying their wedding day in Waupaca, Wisconsin

Where to begin?

Determine what kind of wedding you both want. 

An important first step is talking about your expectations for the wedding with your fiancé(e). Do you envision a large, formal wedding, or a small, intimate one? Will it be local or destination? How many attendants will make up the wedding party? Talk about what your priorities are before you start budgeting—as all of these decisions will affect your bottom line. 

Crunch some numbers. 

Sit down with your partner and figure out how much money you are ready, willing, and comfortable spending on your wedding. Are there other people that are going to be contributing financially to your wedding?

Don’t forget the small stuff. 

When you create your budget, it is good to have a category set aside for miscellaneous expenses. This will be for the small expenses that you forgot about or never knew you would have. If not accounted for, will cause you to overextend your budget. 


You and your partner should each pick your top three priorities for the wedding day. Having a list of priorities is just a good idea so that you can focus a little more money, or time, or energy, on the things that are most important to the two of you. For example, a groom that really wanted a band and not a DJ, which in turn, was a much higher price. So they had to adjust in other areas that were less of a priority. 

Day 2:  Conclusion

In whatever budget you decide on, make sure you and your partner are clear with each other on what is important and stick to it. This in turn will help you prepare for your upcoming financial journey together as husband and wife.

A wedding budget is another vital step to the success of your wedding that we put together a Wedding Budget Guide for you. Just add your email address and it will be delivered right to your inbox. 

If you have any questions or need some guidance with your wedding planning.  Please contact us below.

Happy Planning,



Day 2:
Budget Guide

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    Marsha VanArk, Wedding Planner at Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events