How To Avoid Blowing Your Wedding Budget

Feb 13, 2024 Family & Finances

Planning a wedding? Read our blog for tips to help you stay on budget and avoid additional stress as the big day approaches.

A woman trying on a bridal dress with a sales associate.

Planning a wedding can be an exciting yet daunting experience for engaged couples. Often, you don’t even know where to begin. Whether you’re planning an intimate ceremony or the event of the year, a good place to start is with your wedding budget.

As a couple, it’s important to discuss what you’re able and willing to spend as well as learn what each of you envision for this joyous occasion. Once you’ve come to an agreement, it’s time to let the good times roll.

Use these helpful tips to stay on track and focus on what’s most important.

Stay On Budget

Choose Your Date Wisely 

Try to be flexible when choosing your wedding date. Timing is everything – consider off-peak months and look at different days of the week.

Also, don’t be afraid to have a longer engagement if it means you have more time to save.

Decide What’s Most Important

Planning a wedding involves making several decisions and with all the items you can opt into, it’s easy to start saying yes to everything. Should you have a destination wedding or stay local? Separate or same venue for the ceremony and reception? Live music or a DJ? Seated dinner or buffet? The list can be daunting and seem endless.

It’s important you and your partner take the time to discuss what your must-haves are for your wedding. This will ensure you invest more in the things that really matter instead of getting carried away only to have to compromise on what matters most.

Create Your Guest List

Be selective with who you choose to invite because your guest list impacts many areas of your wedding budget – such as venue, food, favors, invitations, etc.

If your preliminary list is too long, think about making some modifications. Reducing your guest list by just 10 guests can save you hundreds of dollars. Once you’ve established a count, stick to it!

A couple on their wedding day
Life Guidance for:

Getting Married

Tying the knot is a joyous occasion – but it requires careful planning. Keep these considerations in mind to prepare your finances for the big day and beyond.

Stop, Negotiate, & Listen 

Do your research and become familiar with market prices for services you’ll need. This will help you know what a reasonable quote looks like and what your negotiating power might be.

Price out multiple options to negotiate. If you’ve fallen in love with a particular venue but it’s over your budget, don’t be afraid to let them know there’s another venue you’re considering and see if they’ll match their pricing or provide a discount.

Read The Fine Print 

When must you pay balances in full? Can you make modifications? Are there any fees you should know of? If you need to add anything, what’ll it cost?

Knowing what’s in the contract you’re signing and being aware of all the policies is extremely important in keeping unexpected costs from creeping in – cancellation, contingency, bad weather, etc. Ensure everything agreed upon by both parties is clearly stated in writing.

Put Talent To Use  

Know someone who’s good with graphics? Have them help with save the dates or invitations. Have a friend who’s into photography? See if they’re willing to take your engagement photos for a discount.

Doing it yourself or having someone help you is more cost effective than paying someone else to do it. Take advantage and think crafty. Check out this guide for inspiration.

Shop Sales & Wedding Hand-Me-Downs  

Getting a head start on planning allows you time to wait for seasonal or holiday sales that could help you score items at a fraction of the cost.

Another savvy way to save is to buy used. There are several resources and online groups that offer everything you need for the day – from accessories to décor. If you’re willing to be flexible, this is an option that could save you a lot of money.

Have A Contingency Plan

Things don’t always go as planned. While it might not be necessary, it’s best to leave about 5% of your budget intact for items that may have been overlooked or unknown.


Your wedding day should be one of the happiest days of your life without costing you everything you have. With some careful planning, you can have the wedding of your dreams while staying on budget.

A couple hiking on a hill next to an ocean.

Savings Calculator

Plan your wedding budget and calculate your monthly savings with the help of our free resource.

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