(Closed) Paying for the wedding yourselves… figuring out a budget?

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 3
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

I started out with an overall budget. From there, I checked websites like theknot and weddingwire to figure out what % of my total budget I should be putting toward the venue, dress, photographer, etc. Of course, I didn’t stick to their numbers 100%, I just used it as a guideline. And then I started to search for venues that were within our budget. And then the photographer. And then the dress. I pretty much tackled the big ticket items first. Hope this helps! Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions or would like for me to share my budget excel sheet…

Post # 4
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

The first step for us was to set a monthly savings goal we could reach. The second step was to have that amount automatically deposited into our “wedding account” monthly. Next, we guestimated limited parental support and any other random gifts we would get. That’s pretty much how we did it. We also thought, realistically about how much a wedding costs, and that determined our budget. My best advice is set the date enough in the future that you can just about cover all the expenses with your savings so reality can match your dream. Parents can hit hard times, and suddenly that’s $2000 you’re short. Good luck!

Post # 5
7581 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

@bas0587: I know this may sound insane. You need to get the money from your parents before you start this or don’t depend on their money at all. Have you read all of the posts on here about parents not paying or backing out paying what they had originally promised. It happens all of the time and the added stress if they can’t pay may kill you if you spend it before you have it.

You need to create a monthly spreadsheet and figure out how much you can save. Then take the average of the first 90 days of savings and assume that’s what you will save every month. Then you can figure out how much you have to spend. You may want to shop for a high, medium, and low priced option in every category and then make sacrifices after you determine what’s most important, or if you fall in love with a photographer for instance, you may be willing to sacrifice money from your dress or cake budget. You have time to do this. Make sure you leave yourself a cushion too in your budget for unseen expenses.

Post # 6
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Duh, agree with PP, first step is to figure out how much you can save every month. To help you figure out your monthly expenses/savings, I have a detailed budget excel…Let me know if you’re interested… 🙂

Post # 7
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I would leave taxes and possible money from parents out of the budget for now. Focus on how much you and your fiance can set aside in savings every month. 

Once you got that number down, figure out your top 3 or 5 priority list. For example, for us it was: 

  1. Photography
  2. Videographer
  3. Wedding Dress

Most of your budget should be put towards those areas…

Two FREE websites that were CRUCIAL in me figuring out and maintaining our budget were: http://www.mint.com & http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning-tools.aspx 

Best of Luck!

Post # 9
8 posts
  • Wedding: November 2011

I wouldn’t plan a wedding without any money or savings. In general, you should be able to cover the entire wedding yourself without outside assistance. If you end up getting help, it’s definitely very nice but from a budget point of view, don’t expect it. That way, any extra can go towards padding or savings towards your future. Also, while tax returns are nice, they’re not really going to contribute that much to a wedding (a high return means you’re lending the government money interest free!)

Start with saving as much as you possibly can. It helps if you’re slighly ocd about keeping track of all your expenditures. It is ok to splurge once in a while. I usually go with an expensive smaller item (starbucks or ice cream) rather than a cheaper larger item (clothing and apparel).

Based on how much you can save per month, estimate a rough timeline for 1 year or so if you want to get married soon or 2-3 years if you’re ok with a long engagement. You must be realisitc about what you can afford to pay. Expensive tastes means extra cost. Hotels, museums and wineries are more pricy. Restaurants slightly cheaper. Public parks and backyard is probably the cheapest.

I use google doc to estimate my expenses. I emailed vendors for cost estimates (no hurt asking anyways) and craigslist for service estimates. It’ll get you in the ballpark.

My parents and FI’s parents both contributed equal amounts. They pretty much did a bank transfer/check and let us decide what we want to do with it. Even without, we’d both still be able to afford the wedding, continue living our current lifestyle, have enough for our future, etc. It’ll put a big dent in my savings but nothing we can’t recover in 1-2 years if I return to being thrifty.  

Post # 10
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Tons of good advice above.  I would also start coming up with a ballpark idea of head count.  The number of guests REALLY drives the dollars.  Call some venues, photographers, florists, etc and ask for pricing (trickier with florists unless you know what types of flowers you want).  I had a good understanding of how much venue and catering was going to cost.  Photographers were an unpleasant surprise. 

Research these boards–there are lots of Boston Bees so probably lots of pricing info.

I agree with the other bees about parental support.  Take that number out of your equation in case it doesn’t happen.  The worst thing that happens is you under-estmated your savings and have lots of cash left over:)

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