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Wedding planning guide

- Venue - Suppliers - The dress - Bridal party - Stationery - Final touches -

how to create a wedding budget

A wedding is a once in a lifetime event, but too many couples end up paying for their big day for years after and end up spending more than planned.


To avoid falling into this track, scroll down for quick tips to make your wedding budget without any hassle.

how to create a realistic wedding budget

how much money do I need to save for my wedding?

Every wedding is unique, but it is recommended to budget for at least £16,000 if you are keen not to cut too many corners.

For couples who are willing to make significant compromises and do more themselves, a budget of £10,000 - £12,000 (or even lower) is realistic for a rustic wedding.

Weddings that exceed £22,000 will often include additional elements such as videographers, fireworks, other food services or higher cost venues.


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how to create a realistic wedding budget

wedding budget percentages

Once you have an overall budget, it is wise to proportion out the costs, so you do not overspend on specific items and then cannot afford others. The below wedding budget percentages give an estimated spend for each element of your big day.


Wedding budget percentage breakdown

Wedding venue (40% if including food and catering)
Wedding dress/suit and accessories (15%)
Photographers (10%)
Entertainment (8%)
Wedding bands (8%)
Wedding party attire/gifts (4%)
Transport (3%)
Wedding license/registrar/formalities (3%)
Florist (2%)
Cake (2%)
Wedding stationery (2%)
Makeup artist/Hair (1%)
Wedding favours/table decorations and small details/misc items (2%)

how to create a realistic wedding budget

wedding budgeting tool

The easiest, cheapest and most versatile wedding budgeting tool to use is an excel spreadsheet. Here you’ll be able to breakdown the above wedding budget percentages and also give yourself a monetary amount for each item.


how to make a wedding budgeting tool in excel:

    1. Copy the items above into a column and add any other wedding items that are crucial to you as a couple
    2. In the next column to the right add in the percentages in decimal form (all percentages combined should add up to 1 for this to work, for example, 40% venue would be 0.4)
    3. To work out the budget for each item, multiply your total budget by this percentage. For example; 20,000 total budget X 0.4 = venue budget.
    4. Save the excel sheet and make it accessible to both you and your partner as a reference guide that can then be used to add up total actual costs.

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how to create a realistic wedding budget
creating a wedding venue budget

Wedding venues will often come with additional extras, or be a venue only cost. Here’s how to separately work out how of your overall budget to proportion to your venue:


wedding venue costs: Inclusive packages

Expect a full package venue will exhaust around 40% of your budget, and an average budget to expect will range from £8,000 to £12,000.

Wedding venue packages offer a complete package including items such as catering, reception venue/equipment and entertainment for a set number of people at a fixed price. These packages can initially look pricey but save time and effort shopping around for all the individual wedding suppliers.


wedding venue costs: venue only

A venue-only package should use approximate 25-30% of your wedding budget. Expect to spend approximately £3,500 to £6,000 for venue only hire.

Some wedding and reception venues, do not provide food, catering or entertainment or give the option to not use in house services. Venue-only packages are a wise choice for those who may already have catering or entertainment connections or the time to spend on planning. The extra effort can increase savings.


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