The Husband of the Wedding Planner- How You Should Budget for A Wedding

Photo Credit: Social Squares

Hey Everyone, as a lot of you know, I am doing a guest series for my wonderful wife- owner of WBE. She is recovering from having our first child. She is doing great but is enjoying seeing me do some of these blog posts for her. This week I will be discussing How You Should Budget for A Wedding.

As many of you know, Kelsey has a lot of experience in the wedding industry dating back to her days working for Marriott doing events. She has been doing this long enough that she and I have regular conversations about the wedding world. I have talked with her daily about her business because not only is it part of our livelihood, but it’s something that gives her joy, and if you don’t know it yet, that’s one of a handful of keys to your marriage. It is a little thing, but those are the things that mean the most.  

While the event industry isn’t exactly my area of expertise, I have been married, I have attended many weddings(and do I have some tea to share) and I married a very great wedding planner, so I know enough to be dangerous when it comes to the how to budget for your wedding. Per Goldman Sachs, 60% of couples will underestimate the budget they need to throw their perfect wedding. With that in mind lets dive into some budget pitfalls and how to avoid them.

#1 Start with a Good Baseline Budget

So as I mentioned earlier, about 60% of couples will under budget the cost of their wedding and according to the same data by Goldman Sachs, the average wedding is just over 33K, and this number continues to increase year after year. Maybe this has to do with the ornate lifestyles of those on Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok, or it could be the economy as a whole and the desire to pay at least 15$/hour to employees (especially with the national push to move in that direction) but don’t be surprised to spend at least 40K to have your big day in major metro area. Work up or down from there.

#2 Estimate Percentages and Be Realistic

Certain areas are going to be the driving the cost of your wedding. Things like your venue and food packages will likely each account for nearly a third of your total event cost. If the average wedding has 167 people(as per, expect to spend about $90 per person on food and drink, or 15K. This breaks down to about $30 a person on food, $45 on drinks(if you haven’t by now, you are going to discover how much your friends drink when its an open bar), and $15 in the way of a mandatory gratuity/service charge. Venues generally charge at least 10K for Saturdays, but that doesn’t mean you cant do a Friday or Sunday wedding (just prepare for many upset people who would prefer not to have the weddings on these days).

#3 Prioritize which things you and your Partner Value Most

I learned from a manager early in my sales career “Communication cures all ills”, and it turns out this is true in relationships as well. Talking to your partner on what their wedding priorities are can save you both a lot of headaches later. If you are going to try to save money, start by looking at the big ticket items mentioned above. Do you have a big backyard for a backyard wedding? Are you willing to consider a cash bar? Do you guys have family willing to help buy supplies like candles which can rent for a fortune? Are you both really into large floral arrangements or do you prefer smaller table arrangements? Talking about these things together and with a talented planner like everyone on her team(I know that’s a plug just go with it), can save you trouble later on.

Photo Credit: Elyse Hall Photography

Now all of the above this doesn’t mean you wedding will cost you that much, it could certainly cost more or less depending on the market, but ultimately if you start from the right place, it makes budgeting a lot easier. In later parts of this guest column(assuming I don’t get put in the doghouse for writing all of this), I will go into detail on little things you can do to save money without losing the vision of your day, but for now look at my adorable daughter, take a deep breath, and talk to your partner about this column.

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