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  • Writer's pictureSara Ricke

Wedding Budget Series: Part 1 Getting Started and Prioritizing Expenses

Hello friends!

So -- I feel like it's been a bit since we've chatted about wedding budgets!?! And I know that it is one of those things that comes up -- or should come up -- very early in your planning process! So -- we are going to do a little series on a few things to consider when you are making these decisions.

First -- let me say that I believe a budget is a very personal process. I am a budgeter. As in, I LOVE to budget.

Now -- I wouldn't make Dave Ramsey proud as I can tell you we've made some miss-steps in our lives budget wise. But -- they are just that. A miss-step and you correct and get back on track! I have a spreadsheet with YEARS of months of budgets. And it's kind of fun to look back and see how far we've come -- how our priorities have changed -- and giggle at some things that made the budget.

So, this is really just all to say, if you've been considering making a budget for your wedding -- and you aren't sure where the money will come from -- you might find that "extra" in your own budget!

If you'd find it helpful for me to tell you about how I categorize our personal budget, then I can do that too! Just let me know!

Back to the wedding budget -- here is the way that we approached it. (Have I mentioned our first daughter is getting married this year?)

We started planning early. Like a couple years before a wedding was in the cards. I was already helping a few brides who were at loose ends on how to figure out WHAT to budget and what they "needed" for their wedding...and the natural progression for me was to make a budget. And of course, if I have the template, then I want to fill it in! That being said, if you are in the wedding planning process already now, no worries! You don't have to have started early in order to benefit from looking at a plan!

We started with a very basic list of what all is included in a typical wedding -- and then prioritized the importance of each thing by ranking them on a scale of 1-5...1 Is a high priority for me and 5 is a nice but not needed. Again -- personal preference -- so you can choose what is important to you! This is what I have shared with brides that have asked! (and the order of priority for me)

Level One:

  • Venue

  • Catering

  • DJ

  • Photographer

  • Cake/Dessert Options

Level Two:

  • Dress

  • Suit/Tux

  • Flowers

  • Invitations and Save the Dates

  • Engagement Photos

Level Three:

  • Bar (decide open or cash, etc)

  • Staff (if you need to staff the venue)

  • Siblings Outfits (because we have 3 girls -- and we'll pay for it all!)

  • Decorations

Level Four:

  • Hair and Make up Day of

  • Church Rental

  • Priest/Officiant Stipend or Fee

  • Church Decorations

  • Ceremony Musicians

Level Five:

  • Transportation/Party Bus

  • Party Favors

  • Bachelor Party

  • Bachelorette Party

  • Rehearsal Dinner/Sunday Brunch

  • Staff for Dinner/Brunch

  • Wedding Showers

That's a lot isn't it. Sometimes if you haven't budgeted much -- writing it all out in one place is a bit overwhelming! However, if you have it all listed out -- then it is easier to actually make a plan and know that you're ready!

Next installment -- will be the thought process in each of these areas -- be sure to follow along and also tag someone you think might find this useful!

Sara <3

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