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How to Budget For a Wedding

Budgeting For the Big Day, Part III

So you've come up with a figure for the overall price tag on your wedding, but how will you spend it all? First you need to figure out what your priorities are in terms of each category — if you know that you want a band instead of a DJ then you might need to save in other areas like your dress or the number of courses served at dinner. And if it's important that 300 people can attend your wedding and eat during the festivities, you might need to consider doing a buffet-style rather than sit-down dinner. To find out what else there is to know about buckling down on a budget just


Because every bride has different wedding details that are important to her, and the varied cost of living from city to city, I can't tell you exactly what percent you should expect to pay for everything. Give yourself plenty of time to research the venues in your area and take advantage of all the extensive online resources. Once you've researched your options for the big-ticket items and book your venue, you can start getting more specific in allocating portions of your budget to certain categories.

The general rule is that about half of your budget should go towards venue, food, and beverages, but obviously that wouldn't hold true for all weddings. Create a spreadsheet for yourself with all of the specific categories, right down to the welcome baskets for out-of-town guests. Start by assigning percentages of your budget for each item, and as you check things off your list enter the amount that you actually paid. That way, there won't be any surprises at the end!

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