Budgeting and Saving for a Wedding

June 28, 2012

By Katie Bryan, America Saves communication manager

pigwithringsA recent article revealed that the average couple spent $27,000 on their wedding in 2011. No matter how much your wedding will cost there are two important steps in keeping your costs to a minimum. Like planning for any large purchase it’s good to

Create a Wedding Budget and a Savings Timeline.

Setting a date and making sure you have enough time to save for your wedding are important first steps once you get engaged. You may want to pick a date and venue as soon as possible but take some time to figure out what kind of wedding you want to have and how much you want to spend.  Be sure to give yourself time to save enough money for whatever kind of wedding you want.

Soon after you have had some conversations about what kind of wedding you want to have (local vs. destination, small vs. big, day vs. evening) sit down and take a look at the numbers. It’s hard when you start with an “ideal” vision in your head and then realize the cost is out of your budget.  So before you make too many plans, sit down with your future partner and talk about how much you want to spend on the event. You may find it helpful to write out a range of the costs associated with all the different elements of your wedding. It’s amazing how quickly all the little items add up.

Download this Wedding Expense Spreadsheet to get started.

Find Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding Budget

Once you have a draft wedding budget written out, find places to cut money. Here are some suggestions on how to cut costs.

  1. Invitations – Design and print your own save the dates and invitations. Better yet, email them.
  2. Flowers – Make your own wedding bouquet and centerpieces by buying bulk flowers and assembling them yourself OR reuse bridesmaid’s flowers and centerpieces during the reception.
  3. Food – Do heavy appetizers instead of a full meal or a hold your wedding during the day to save money.
  4. Attire – Find cheaper alternatives in local department stores, or by buying used.
  5. Reception – Recruit crafty friends to make unique homemade centerpieces.