How to Create Your Wedding Budget

Your wedding is the most important party you will ever throw. It’s a rite of passage, a community ceremony, and a chance to share your love with your immediate and extended circles. Whether you want it to be festive and lavish or simple and meaningful, you must set a budget. Before you start creating your seating charts, think about how much you can spend, what’s important, and what you might be willing to do without. We’ve seen a lot of weddings since we purchased this property in 2011, and Mowfield Farm has borne witness to every kind of wedding under the sun (and rain). Here are a few tips we’ve picked up along the way.

Who’s Paying? Our generation bucks tradition. We get married later because we’re focused on our careers. We hold a private ceremony and host a huge party weeks or months after. We elope. We pay for it ourselves. The bride’s parents pay. The groom’s parents pitch in. The most important piece is to find out if families plan to contribute to the cost. Weddings can get expensive and easily out of hand. You don’t want to plan a fete on the level of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle only to discover your parents spent your wedding fund on a trip to Vegas in their new RV. Be transparent, and talk through your goals and plans with family.

Guest List Will your wedding be an intimate affair or the bash of the century with everyone you’ve ever known in attendance? Head count counts for more than you think. In the world of weddings, you must think about feeding 50 versus 200. You often, but not always, pay by the plate, so make sure you and your betrothed are on the same page about casual acquaintances.

Brass Tacks Be realistic about what you can really afford. You don’t want to start your new married life together in debt. Do you want to go to grad school or buy a house soon? Think about your long-term life plan, as well as your hopes and dreams for a perfect wedding day. What Is Most Important Along with your partner, create a list of your three personal priorities, and then compromise to include them in your ideal wedding day. Have you always imagined strolling down the aisle to a string quartet? Do you want to hire your favorite band? Is a sit-down dinner traditional in your family? Decide what you cannot afford to skip, and everything else will fall into place.

Make a budget – and stick to it. You can have the perfect nuptials with any amount of money to spend. We love working with engaged couples to plan their ideal day. Let’s talk weddings!

Shane Wilson