Wedding Planning Step One!


Congratulations! You’re engaged! You’ve shared the great news with friends and family and now every comes with the questions. Have you set a date? Where will it be? Am I invited? Can I bring a date?! But those aren’t the questions you need to worry about yet. The first decision to be made – after you have taken time to enjoy the moment – is what is your budget!

              Budgets can be a seriously touchy subject or it can be super easy, it all depends. Some things to keep in mind when deciding your budget:

–          How much do you currently have saved?


–          Is anyone else contributing financially? If so, how much and for anything in particular? (Also keep in mind, if the money comes with strings you need to decide if it is worth it to you.)

–          What other big purchases are coming up that are important? Are you planning on buying a house soon? Want to go on an extended honeymoon?


–          How much could you put on a credit card and pay off within a certain amount of time?

Your wedding day should be one of the best days of your life, but it absolutely should not ruin you financially for the rest of your life.

              Now that you have a maximum dollar figure in mind to set, my first step is always to shrink it down just a bit. There are many times through the planning process where you may change your priorities a little and which you had some extra to spend, that’s where this bit of money comes in. From here, you need to break where you’ll be spending the money. A rough idea would be –

Reception Site, Rentals, Food, Drinks, Desserts – 50%

Wedding Dress & Formalwear – 10%

Flowers & Décor – 10%

Photographer & Videographer – 10%

Music & Entertainment – 10%

Invitations & Guest Details – 5%

Ceremony Site & Officiant – 5%

This is a great starting point, but that’s what it is, a starting point. From here you need to decide what is most important to you. My system is easy, number each category from one to seven in order of what you care the most about. Whether it is the food, entertainment, florals, it is your day and you should have what is the most important to you.


              Once you have decided what you care most about, your wedding planning will be the best help. You need to now redistribute your budget – meaning maybe you decide that the invitations aren’t a concern for you, but the entertainment is, so you need to move some of the budget from one category to the other. In order to do this in a useful way, it is best to have an idea of how much things actually cost of the things you want to have. Your planner is the best for this. While it is easy to shop around and get quotes for ideas, there is also the risk of finding something you LOVE that is completely outside of your budget. You could have your family or friends help, but it’s never fun when they find something, they think you have to have and try to convince you to stretch your budget.

              The step by step breakdown to create the best budget: 1. Decide a maximum budget 2. Consult your wedding planner! 3. Create a rough distribution together 4. Pick what is most to least important 5. Redistribute the funds 6. Start planning! Now you have a place to start and you can start working on answering everyone else’s questions!