Budgeting for a Wedding


One of my 2017 Goals is to cash flow our daughter’s wedding.  When I wrote about my 2017 goals, I wrote that we wanted to cash flow the $12K for the wedding.  The wedding budget amount, $12,000, was just an estimate.  Basically the venue cost for 100 guests is $8300, so I figured we might have a little over 100 people and then estimated the cost of our daughter’s dress and a few other items and came up the the GUESS of $12K.

This week I was watching one of my favorite YouTube channels, Freedom In a Budget.  Kelly is sharing her debt free journey.  I enjoy Kelly’s transparency as she shares her budget monthly.  She shows her excel spreadsheet of exactly how much she spends, her debts and how much she is applying to debt.  This week, Kelly showed her wedding budget excel spread sheet.  It really inspired me to make a spreadsheet for our daughter’s wedding so that we could have a better idea of all of the expenses and really how much the wedding will cost.  Kelly shared that her first wedding budget was an estimate of $15K, but now she has actually doubled her budget.  Kelly says she has been diligently paying down her debts and now is a super saver and she wants a beautiful wedding.  I think that is totally her choice and she deserves it.  She is being responsible and paying CASH.

I made our spreadsheet very similar to Kelly’s.  Fortunately, the wedding venue we have chosen includes all food, flowers, decorations, and the DJ.  We could use their photographer (for an additional cost), but we may use our own.

Here is the image of our spreadsheet.  Actually putting it down on paper helped us to realize that $12K is not quite going to be enough.  The budget is realistically more like $15K.  We are also expecting the happy couple to pay some of the expenses and you can see that on our spreadsheet, as well.   The columns to the right are how much we have been saving towards the budget this year.  There is also a line below that table of expenses that we have already paid.

Please let me know if you think I have left anything out.  Also, if you have any suggestions on getting some of the costs lower, please leave a comment. Any great ideas for nice favors that we can DIY???

Some of the numbers are estimates, so they may change.  Becca is going to ask her Aunt to make both the wedding cake and the grooms cake in lieu of a shower/wedding gift.  Her aunt does cakes as a side business and I have a feeling she will be honored to make the cakes.

I know this budget will be changing and I will post updates.

I want to say a big thank you to so many wonderful readers from my last blog post!  After getting a really nasty comment about spending $12K on a wedding, it was refreshing to get positive, supportive feedback.

Have a great week!







Previous Story
Next Story

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Juls Owings
    March 13, 2017 at 10:53 am

    increase the amt for food/beverage for guests. You might want appetizers if it’s late meal time for those that are diabetics (like most of our family) ….

    My daughter did pint canning jars with their names and date on a tag for gifts for everyone. She gave flower girl a tiara for her gift and the ring bearer was given a coin purse (wallet if he had been older)

    Grow at least part of the flowers yourself. We did planters , hanging baskets and then vases from the flowers we grew for the wedding. Even the flowers for the guys and bride and maids were grown. Wrapped in tissue paper in wedding colors.

    I bought the 2 liters of pop (all else was from venue) and got them on sale.

  • Reply
    March 13, 2017 at 11:26 am

    The wedding favors what are those ? It seems that might be an area to cut cost . Also, Hair and Makeup can be done very very cheap but I also understand if this is a one time splurge.
    It looks very very well thought out and very well planned out. We cut cost by decorating the tables with old books instead of flowers but with your all inclusive venue that would not be worth even the mention I just did.

    Some folks cut the cost of invites and Thank you etc by doing it all via email again this is a personal call.

    The only other mention I would say we bought groomsman one six pack of crystal shot glasses and then had them engraved it cut cost on that gift . The girls got a six pack crystal heart I found them all on craigslist. I strung the girls hearts on ribbon and got special boxes for all of the gifts and it really cut cost I spent about $40 total for 12 gifts.

  • Reply
    Willow Grace
    March 14, 2017 at 1:01 am

    You could do a cupcake favor for each guest with a name tag , so it doubles as a seating placement card. The lady making the wedding and grooms cakes could make them, to help keep costs down, and use an icing colour that matches the wedding colours.

    Alternatively you could put Hershey’s kisses into little inexpensive favor boxes.

  • Reply
    March 14, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    For my wedding 13 years ago, we did cookie cutters. I ordered heart shaped ones in bulk from a baking supply website for less than $0.25 each. I needed over 350 since we had a large wedding. I tied tags on each one that said “Paul + Dara – Truly Cut Out for Each Other.”

    We did our entire wedding (except rings & honeymoon) for around $7,000. That included a full meal for 350 people, dress, etc.

  • Reply
    Freedom In A Budget
    March 14, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    This is perfect!! I am so glad that my video was able to help you budget your daughter’s wedding! What a special gift that is to her! I’m so excited to be on this journey with you!

  • Reply
    March 15, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    OK! I did it. I wrote a post all about the big wedding spend. http://www.lifefreedomfamily.com/2017/03/wedding-spending-your-dream-wedding-for.html

    We got married 10 years ago and we spent a fair amount on our wedding. Looking back there are a few things I might change, but I certainly don’t regret anything we did. Set priorities and enjoy the big day!!

  • Reply
    Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker
    May 29, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    I found the exact dress I bought on Ebay in a size 6 (that you asked me about on Instagram). I have no idea what size you are. I paid less than half of what they are asking, but here is a link to the dress: http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-ELIZA-J-Navy-Blue-Nude-Lace-Faille-3-4-Sleeve-Illusion-Lace-Ball-Gown-NWT-238-/311851288651?hash=item489bc9084b:g:5kEAAOSwmCVY96bW

    And obviously if you are looking for another size you can type in Eliza J navy dress and then the number of the size you want, and it may come up. And if you didn’t see my comment on Instagram, I suggested to also look up Adriana Papell, who designs really similar style dresses (you can get them at Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Dillard’s, etc. as well as on Adriana’s website). Try Ebay for either of these as well.

    Best of luck with keeping it all under budget!

  • Leave a Reply