What can you start to plan without a budget?

posted 8 months ago in Engagement
Post # 2
697 posts
Busy bee

I would say that you can start to think about a lot at this point, but can’t actually set anything in stone yet. You can think about where you want to get married, what season, what kind of venue you want, who your bridesmaids will be, dress ideas for you, etc. If I were you I would buy a bridal magazine or two and start pulling out stuff that you like and start pinning away on Pinterest for fun until you are able to get an idea of what your budget is.

Post # 3
737 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

Agree with PP! I did a lot of Pinterest-ing. Just getting down ideas of styles of Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses and my dress, flowers, cake, decor, all that sort of stuff just to narrow down what my style was and what I did and didn’t want. You can also start considering if you want to get married in a church, outside, a barn, etc. as well as a season or date you’d like to get married!

Post # 4
9728 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

I did a lot of research before coming up with a budget, personally.

How can you say “I wont spend more than $1500 on a venue” without knowing if any venues under $2000 even exist in your area?

I went ahead and got a feel for the average cost for each vendor so that then when Darling Husband and I sat down to budget we could be like “Ok, so we’ll try to find someone that’s $500 under average here, here, and here.. and then put some of the extra money in to getting an above average photographer”

The more $$ below average you go, the harder you’ll have to look to find *anyone*, must less someone you feel you can trust.  Darling Husband and I went way cheap with our DJ and it took a LONG time to find someone who could fit our budget who didn’t feel like a scammer.  It worked out, fwiw, but it was a lot of work.

Post # 5
1636 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

You can’t actually plan anything without a budget. Everything has a cost. You could choose wedding colors and a theme, but that’s about it. Flowers, cake, catering, venue, guest list, decorations, dress, shoes, accessories, groom’s suit, bridesmaid’s dresses – all require budget. You can dream and look at Pinterest.

Post # 6
678 posts
Busy bee

Start on the guest list! Start with people who you’d REALLY want to be at your wedding, people who “have” to be at your wedding, and then anyone extra. Once you get your budget, you can look at the numbers and know how many people you can add/cut at first glance (don’t count “courtesy invites”, aka people who you know for certain can’t make it to the wedding but would like an invite anyway). You absolutely need to know the estimated number of guests before you go venue/catering shopping. 

Other than that…I can’t think of anything else that doesn’t require a budget, other than picking a color scheme. Perhaps dress/suit shopping, if that’s not included in the budget. 

Post # 7
354 posts
Helper bee

Congratulations, Bee! Take a deep breath and enjoy being engaged for a couple of weeks 🙂

The biggest thing is figure out 1) what kind of wedding 2) what size of wedding 3) date (or season) and time of day, and most importantly, 4) place.

Lots of options to consider: outdoor vs. indoor, daytime vs. evening, rustic, winery, banquet hall, church/place of worship, conference center, mansion/museum, backyard, destination, cruise, garden, etc…Also, how traditional/religous do you want it? How much do you want your family involved? How much do you need them involved (financially or emotionally)?

You can’t really stick up for what you want until you know what you want. Also, the other thing you can do is figure out how much money you and Fiance have saved up vs. how much help you’ll need from parents.

Also, before you go to your parents, be sure that you and Fiance are a united front. I didn’t expect that me and Fiance would have drastically different ideas about wedding planning, and we should have gotten our own perferences squared away before we brought our families into the picture.

Post # 8
3491 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

You can daydream & get a guest list together. But you need a budget before you book anything.

Post # 10
566 posts
Busy bee

I’d make a guest list – split into must haves and “like to haves”. Then when you have your budget you can figure out how to accommodate that list

Post # 11
46897 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Plan the wedding the two of you can afford with your own funds. There are way too many old threads where couples were promised money from one or both sets of parents, and for any number of reasons they never came through with it. Until the money is in your bank acount, consider it money you don’t have.

Post # 12
33 posts
  • Wedding: April 2020

Well I just got engaged too! Congrats! You can plan for your wedding without thinking about how much by thinking of things you might like or need to have. What color flowers would you like? Where would you like the wedding to be where would you be ok with it being? What dress style do you like the most on yourself? What center pieces would you like? What caketopper would you like? You don’t have to start planning right away you can just chill and be happy and do your normal routine. I haven’t talked to my parents about finances yet either. But I have a plan of what I want and I think it’s manageable. 

Post # 13
354 posts
Helper bee

You can start by planning an engagement party if you want a taste of what it’s like to plan a mini wedding ;).

We were so occupied with planning that and a formal Indian engagement ceremony in the first two months of the proposal that we didn’t actually start wedding planning until the fall after our June proposal. It was a good “trial” of seeing how each of us understood each other’s tastes, valued, and preferences, as well as those of our families.

You can also research wedding websites, save the dates, and start thinking of where you want to register for gifts.

Post # 14
2728 posts
Sugar bee

roseandcoil :  You can start making a general guest list of all the people you want there and when you find out your budget, you can make adjustments from there.

Start pintrest boards for everything, look at color schemes, fun ideas you might want to incorporate

I wouldnt look too much into venues yet as you dont want to get your heart set on something that might not be in budget. 


Post # 15
215 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

You can’t do anything unless you know it can be payed for. 

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