how to create a wedding budget

Creating the Perfect Wedding Budget: A Comprehensive Guide

setting a wedding budget

As a wedding photographer, I’ve had the pleasure of capturing countless special moments for couples on their big day. One thing I’ve learned along the way is that, no matter the size or style of the wedding, a well-planned budget is key to making everything run smoothly. Perhaps this is even more crucial in 2023, at a time of soaring inflation and in the midst of the ‘cost of living crisis’. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing my insights on how to set and create a wedding budget that suits your needs, covering everything from determining the right amount to spending wisely on essentials.

What is a good budget to set for a wedding?

When it comes to setting a wedding budget, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The truth is, what’s right for one couple may not be right for another. However, a good starting point is to consider the type of wedding you envision, the number of guests you plan to invite, and your personal financial situation.

Here are a few factors to keep in mind as you set your budget:

  1. Priorities: Determine what aspects of your wedding are most important to you and your partner. Allocating more of your budget to these priorities can help ensure your day is everything you’ve dreamed of.
  2. Venue and location: The cost of your wedding venue can vary significantly based on factors such as location, capacity, and amenities. Be prepared to allocate a significant portion of your budget to securing the perfect setting.
  3. Guest list: The number of guests you invite can greatly impact your overall budget, as each additional guest means more catering, seating, and other expenses.
  4. Time of year: The season and day of the week can also influence the cost of your wedding. For example, weekends and peak wedding seasons typically come with higher venue costs.
Setting a wedding budget

What is the most common budget for a wedding?

While there’s a wide range of budgets when it comes to weddings, a survey by Hitched of over 2000 couples found that the average cost of a wedding in 2022 was £18,400. Keep in mind that this is only a rough average and that your own budget may be higher or lower depending on your specific circumstances and priorities.

How do I start a wedding budget?

Creating a wedding budget may seem daunting at first, but with the right approach, it can be a manageable and even enjoyable process. Honest! Here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Discuss your vision: Talk with your partner about your ideal wedding, including the size, style, and atmosphere you both desire. Be prepared to negotiate!
  2. Set your budget range: Based on your financial situation and priorities, determine a budget range that feels comfortable and realistic.
  3. Research costs: Start researching the costs associated with the various elements of your wedding, such as the venue, catering, and photography. This will give you a better understanding of what to expect and help you allocate funds accordingly. Websites like and offer helpful tools and resources for researching and estimating wedding costs in the UK.
  4. Track your spending: As you book suppliers and make purchases, keep track of your spending to ensure you stay within your budget. Consider using a spreadsheet or budgeting app to help you stay organised. In my experience, at least one of you in the couple will love a spreadsheet!
how to set a wedding budget

What should be included in a wedding budget UK?

Your wedding budget should account for all the expenses related to your big day, from the largest to the smallest. Here are some key categories to include:

  1. Venue and catering: These are typically the largest expenses and can include the cost of the venue, food, beverages, and any associated fees.
  2. Attire: Allocate funds for your wedding attire, including the wedding dress, groom’s suit, and any accessories or alterations.
  3. Photography and videography: As a wedding photographer, I can’t stress enough the importance of allocating a portion of your budget to capture those precious memories. Consider both photography and videography costs when budgeting.
  4. Entertainment: Whether you opt for a DJ, live band, or other forms of entertainment, ensure you allocate funds for this aspect of your wedding.
  5. Flowers and décor: From bouquets and boutonnieres to centrepieces and other decorations, the cost of flowers and décor can add up quickly. Be sure to budget for these items.
  6. Stationery: Save-the-dates, invitations, and thank-you cards are all important elements of your wedding communication. Make sure to include these costs in your budget.
  7. Transport: Whether you’re hiring a car, arranging a shuttle, or even providing taxis for guests, transportation costs should be factored into your budget.
  8. Wedding planner or coordinator: If you decide to hire a professional to help with planning and organisation, be sure to account for this expense.
  9. Gifts and favours: Allocate funds for gifts for your bridal party, as well as favours for your guests.
  10. Miscellaneous costs: Don’t forget to include a buffer for any unexpected expenses that may arise during the planning process.

Your wedding budget, made simple

Creating a wedding budget may seem like a daunting task, but by following these guidelines and keeping your priorities in mind, you can create a budget that suits your needs and helps make your dream day a reality.

If you’re looking for a wedding photographer who will capture your special day with a personal touch, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. As a wedding photographer based in Derby and covering the whole of the UK, I take pride in providing beautiful, authentic images that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Contact me today to discuss your wedding photography needs.

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