Once you have a solid wedding budget, your immediate next steps should be to set estimates for some of your expenses so that you have a better idea of what you can afford in each category.
This takes a bit of research because prices will vary widely based on what you want and where you’re located.
But I want you to keep up the momentum! So here’s a super rough breakdown for you – it’s very basic, but it’ll give you a better idea of how to move forward quickly.
The SUPER Basic Wedding Budget Breakdown
- First off, you WILL run into unexpected costs, so set aside about 5% of your budget for these types of expenses – think of this 5% as your “emergency fund” for your wedding.
- In general, about 50% of your total wedding budget will go towards the venue, food, beverage, entertainment and decor.
- Finally, allot the remaining 40% of your budget to everything else.
Next, you’ll categorize your budget even further beyond these three basic categories – and budget according to your priorities.
Allot more money towards the things you care about the most, and less towards the things that you don’t care about so much. If you need help with this part, I wrote a guide (plus a free downloadable worksheet) to help you figure out your priorities: http://planningwithpoise.com/list-of-wedding-vendors-needed/.
Be Open to Change
Let me warn you – your budget allocation WILL CHANGE. That’s just part of the process. So be open to making as many adjustments as needed.
Your budget will change, but you can start shopping, browsing, and collecting estimates.
Soon you’ll figure out what kind of vendors you can afford to hire based on your estimates – you’ll also learn how to cut costs, if needed.
So shop around, get estimates – and make adjustments to your budget estimated categories as necessary.
Stay Within Budget
Don’t get discouraged if everything seems to be out of reach for your budget – there are SO many things you can do to stay within budget like:
- shopping around for the best deal – always get at least three estimates from each vendor
- hire freelancers – because they typically don’t pass on overhead expenses to you
- shorten your guest list – because headcount has a major impact on your bottom line
- choose a strategic wedding date – you’ll save the most money if you get married during the off-peak season on a weekday
I think keeping the momentum going is super important to keep things moving along at a steady pace. So I hope you’ll take these immediate next steps to help you keep the ball rolling 🙂