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Can You Have Your Dream Wedding On A Small Budget? Of Course You Can!

Dec 6, 2007
Deciding what your budget will be is the most important part of the wedding planning. Your budget affects everything from how many guests you can invite to what you will serve your guests to...well just about everything you can think of.

These days weddings are financed by not only the brides family, but the grooms family now pitches in and the bride and groom themselves are also contributing. You will need to get everyone on the same page and figure out what finances you have available before you can decide your location and it will also even influence the time of year you set the date for.

There are lots of ways to save money on your wedding, but you need a starting point first and that starting point is the budget. Once you have a total of what you can spend, then you can make a plan as to how the total amount will get divided.

Once you have decided the total amount that you can spend on your wedding, you can start budgeting how much you want to spend on what. You need to break your total amount down into categories. My suggested general categories should cover everything you will need, not including the ring. When my daughters were planning their weddings the guys took care of the ring costs themselves, so we didn't put them in the overall budget.

So here are my suggestions for the budget categories. The percentages listed are just suggested starting points and can be adjusted to your needs.

Ceremony (3%): Location fee, marriage license, officiant fee, musician's fee, ring pillows

Wedding Attire (11%): Dress, Headpiece or veil, shoes, jewelry, hair and makeup, Groom's tuxedo or suit, shoes, tie, etc. Flower girl and ring bearer clothing.

Reception (49%): Reception site, food, drink, cake, favors, rentals

Flowers (9%): Brides's bouquet, maid-of-honor bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, centerpieces, flower girl basket, ceremony

Music (8%): Band or DJ, ceremony musicians, sound system rental

Photography (12%): Photographer and videographer's fees, albums, additional prints, disposable cameras for candid shots

Transportation (2%): Transportation for wedding party, guest shuttle and/or parking attendants

Stationery (3%): Invitations, thank you cards, response cards, postage, calligraphy, guest book

Gifts (3%): Bridesmaid and groomsman, flower girl and ring bearer

Keep in mind that these are suggestions to give you a place to start. Depending on what type of wedding you want, you need to decide where and on what you want to spend your money so you need to adjust the individual categories up or down according to your needs.
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