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Wedding Budget Priorities

When it comes to wedding planning, first thing’s first: budgeting. Your first order of business is to break down the cost of the event in an effort to identify your budgeting priorities and to determine what you want to splurge on, what realistic expectations are, and how much money you’re willing to spend on each component of the planning.

Before you begin experimenting and estimating with numbers and approximations, write down five things that are most important to you. It could be the rings, the venue, the flowers, the dress, the honeymoon… it could be a variety of things. This list will become an essential to your wedding budget as it will allow you to gage what you’d like before defining what’s realistic and what’s not.  Have you and your fiancé take the time to write down what’s most important and then go from there.

Then Wedding budgetidentify nine categories of wedding planning:

  1. Pre-Wedding: The rings, marriage license, consultant, rehearsal dinner
  2. Wedding Attire: bridal grown & veil, accessories, gown preservation, groom’s formal wear, bridesmaids attire, flower girl attire, formal wear, beauty
  3. Ceremony: ceremony site fee, clergy, musicians & vocalists, decorations, rental items, accessories
  4. Reception: reception site fee, catering, beverages, wedding cake, music, decorations, rental items, wedding favors, valet service
  5. Honeymoon: flights, hotel & accommodations, special activities, food and beverage
  6. Invitations & Stationary: wedding invitations, wedding programs, engagement announcements, postage, calligraphy
  7. Flowers & Decorations: ceremony flowers, reception flowers, bride’s bouquet, bridesmaids’ bouquets, flower girls’ bouquet, corsages, boutonnieres
  8. Photography & Video: photographer, video services, other
  9. Other: transportation, guest accommodations, attendant gifts

Now, review these categories with a highlighter in hand. For every category that you initially wrote down on your list, highlight 2-3 components that you most value. For each category that was not previously written on your list, highlight 1-2.

Lastly, take a look at the highlighted details and assign a formal wedding budget estimate to each group. This will allow you to visually analyze what your budgeting priorities are and what details you might be better off to without.

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