Wedding expenses getting on top of you? Eliminate the stress and use this Free Wedding Budget Calculator
What's the trickiest part of wedding planning? Is it deciding between an A-line or a ballgown? Three tiers or four? Maybe who exactly should be in your wedding party? These are all pretty heavy, undeniably, but there is one task that's trickier still. And that's working out the wedding budget. A job that not many of us are prepared for! Organizing an event for 200+ people is not something we all do regularly. And neither is calculating the cost of such a large celebration. All of this is new, and somewhat bewildering. Which is why it's so important to surround yourself with tools to help you succeed, such as a wedding budget calculator!
We know that amidst the euphoria of engagement, the last thing you want to do is think about your wedding day budget. But once you've celebrated with your loved ones, and the excitement of getting married has sunk in, it is a good idea to start to create a wedding budget. And to talk to your partner about finances. Ask each other what your big day ambitions are, and discuss the must-have elements you both believe have to be present. It is only after talking about priorities and working out just how much each of you want to spend, should you get started working out the cost of your ceremony and reception.
- Who is Paying for the Wedding?
- How Many Guests Would You Like to Invite?
- The Wedding Budget Always Comes First
- Create a Wedding Budget Breakdown
- Use a Wedding Budget Estimator to Work Out Costs
- Embrace Free Wedding Planning Tools
Who is Paying for the Wedding?
Once you've figured out what you both want out of this wedding, it's time to figure out how you're going to pay for it! For many couples, that means talking to family members and hoping their generous spirit will bless them with some wedding-related funds. While others will need to work out ways to save for their big day. Generally, it's a combination of the two, with both sides of the family typically contributing these days. Contrary to tradition.
If you are hoping to get financial support from loved ones, don't avoid having that conversation with them. Ask them early, and nicely, if they would be able to contribute to the cost of your wedding. And how much. It's only after you've had these chats, and found out specifically how much they're willing to give, can you really put together a wedding budget planner.
How Many Guests Would You Like to Invite?
The size of a guest list very much dictates wedding cost. A large celebration will require a bigger venue, higher catering costs and more staff to care for all the guests. There are, of course, exceptions, such as the 2023 trend for ultra-luxurious intimate celebrations that cost as much as 500+ guest events. But, on the whole, the more people you invite, the more you'll need to budget for.
When thinking about guest count, think about how you want your celebration to feel. Do you want the vibe to be busy, and a little crazy with plenty of people all around you. Or is your perfect wedding maybe a little calmer, a little smaller? Don't feel pressured into inviting your entire family and circle of friends if you don't want to, and/or don't feel your budget can stretch to that kind of large celebration. It's your wedding after all.
The Wedding Budget Always Comes First
The perfect wedding is one that doesn't break the bank. You should feel comfortable with the amount that's being spent, and assured that following the big day you're not going to be left with a crippling bill. That is the last thing you should be worrying about on your honeymoon. But things can quickly get out of hand if you don't set a budget before looking at venues, vendors or even seriously thinking about what kind of wedding dress you'd like!
Knowing how much you can spend will filter out the vendors who cost too much, and leave you with the professionals you should be talking to. Without that information, there's no way you can stay on track, and you'll undoubtedly hire the wrong people.
Create a Wedding Budget Breakdown
It's tempting to compare your wedding budget to those around you, or judge yourself based on figures you see online. But doing so will not help you budget for a wedding. Every wedding is different, and while average wedding costs are useful to get an idea of overall cost, they are just an average. And not necessarily comparable to your celebration.
The easiest way to create a breakdown of costs is to use percentages. This is what a pro wedding planner would do, and it's what we would strongly advise you to do. In fact, we've put together our own breakdown of wedding costs right here, which should help you work out the percentages for your own wedding day.
Use a Wedding Budget Estimator to Work Out Costs
Now you know how much you can spend, and where that money should be allocated, it's time to drop all the information onto a wedding budget tracker. Such as ours! It's the best way to stay organized, and it'll help you avoid any financial faux pas's during the planning process.
When starting out with a wedding calculator tool, begin by entering your total wedding budget at the top of the page. Then methodically go through each category, adding in how much you can spend in each area, based on the percentage of your overall budget. These numbers will change over time as you do more research, but for now, it's just good to get some numbers down and see what you're working with.
From day one of wedding planning, you should be referring to, and updating your wedding budget spreadsheet. Every time you sign a vendor contract, or pay off a bridal bill, it should be instantly recognized on your wedding report, with actual costs. It is only by doing this, and being diligent in sticking to that bottom line, will you succeed in planning a wedding that suits you, and your budget.
Embrace Free Wedding Planning Tools
Weddings are expensive, there's no getting away from that. But the actual act of planning one, needn't be. We have created a whole suite of free tools to help you plan the perfect day, no matter your budget, and experience using online planning programs. And our wedding budget tool sits very much at the heart of that suite. Guiding the seating chart, informing the wedding website maker, and helping you understand which of our listed vendors is right for you.
Every planning tool we've created, including our wedding cost estimator, is completely free, with no need to sign up or give us your details. Everything is there, and ready for you to use to plan your wedding.
Explore other topics related to wedding budgeting
The online Wedding Planning Assistant offers a comprehensive suite of professional tools and a budget calculator carefully curated to assist you in orchestrating and organizing your celebration.
We offer an international wedding planner service, open to all. Soon we hope to make our software available in all languages, so far, we have created versions for these languages: