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How to Create a Wedding Budget

Weddings are joyous occasions, but they can also be expensive. From the venue to the decorations, every aspect of a wedding comes with a price tag. That's why it's crucial to create a budget to ensure that you don't overspend and start your marriage on the right financial footing.

Setting Your Budget

Before you start planning any details of your wedding, it's essential to determine your total budget. Sit down with your partner and any other contributing parties, such as parents, to discuss how much you're willing to spend. Be realistic about what you can afford and prioritise the elements that matter most to you.

Main Services to Budget For

When creating a wedding budget, it's essential to allocate funds to the main services that will make your day memorable. These include:


One of the most important choices you will make is picking your wedding venue. Consider factors such as location, capacity, and amenities when choosing a venue. A venue with good transport links will make it easier to keep costs down, as will opting for off-peak dates. If you choose a venue that also offers other services, such as catering, then this can help you save money without sacrificing style.

Ceremony Costs

From officiant fees to marriage licences, there are various costs associated with the ceremony itself. Look for ways to streamline your ceremony to keep costs down, such as combining the ceremony and reception at the same location.


Food and drinks can consume a significant portion of your wedding budget. Research different catering options, from full-service catering to buffet-style meals, and choose the option that best fits your budget and vision for the day.


Your wedding photos will be cherished memories for years to come, so investing in a quality photographer is essential. While professional photography can be expensive, look for photographers who offer packages that fit within your budget or consider hiring a student photographer looking to build up their portfolio for a more affordable option.


Decorations and flowers can add beauty and ambiance to your wedding day, but they can also be costly. Get creative with DIY decorations or consider alternatives to fresh flowers, such as silk flowers or greenery.

Entertainment (DJ or Band)

Music sets the tone for your wedding reception, so choose your entertainment wisely. DJs tend to be the more cost-effective of the two options, but a live band really does provide something special. Consider hiring a DJ instead of a live band to save money, or ask friends or family members with musical talent to perform.

Wedding Cake

The wedding cake is a focal point of many receptions, but it doesn't have to break the bank. Consider opting for a smaller cake or alternative desserts to save money without sacrificing sweetness.


Your wedding rings are symbols of your love and commitment, but they don't have to cost a fortune. If you aren’t fussed about the traditional gold rings, shop around for affordable options or consider alternative metals, such as titanium or tungsten, which are both durable and budget-friendly.

Dresses & Suits

Finding the perfect wedding attire can be a significant expense, especially when you also need to shop for the bridal party, but there are ways to save. Look for sample sales, second-hand dresses, or consider renting suits instead of buying.

Hair and Makeup

Professional hair and makeup services can add up, especially if you have a large bridal party. If budget is a concern, consider doing your hair and makeup yourself or enlisting the help of a talented friend or family member.


While it's tempting to splurge on a lavish honeymoon, there are plenty of budget-friendly options available. Remember that you don’t have to jet off immediately after the wedding, so consider destinations that offer off-peak rates or look for package deals to save money on accommodations and activities. 

Including Contingencies

No matter how carefully you plan, there are always unexpected expenses that can arise during the wedding planning process. That's why it's essential to include a contingency fund in your budget. Aim to set aside at least 10-20% of your total budget for unexpected costs or last-minute expenses.

Creating a wedding budget is a crucial step in planning your special day. By setting realistic expectations, prioritising your spending, and including contingencies, you can ensure that your wedding is both memorable and affordable.

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