Setting a Wedding Budget

Follow these five tips when planning how much to spend on your wedding.

You can’t put a price on your wedding—until you discover that the average spent on nuptials in 2011 was around $30,000, according to the Real Weddings Survey.

Here are five tips for setting a wedding budget:

Figure out who’s paying.
It may be uncomfortable, but an important first step for setting a budget is to sit down with both parents to discuss how much each can contribute. You must know where your funds are coming from before determining how much you can spend.

Decide your style.
Are you planning an intimate ceremony with your immediate family, or a black-tie event with a long guest list? Size and extravagance will impact your budget. So will the season. Late spring or summer weddings typically cost more than winter weddings.

Figure out what you need.
Determine which services you’ll need at your wedding, and remember to include these in the budget. If the family farm is a perfect setting, you can eliminate the cost of booking a venue. If your good friend is in a band, then you can scratch finding a DJ off your list.

Fashionista brides may up the budget for a dress, while a foodie groom might dish out more for dinner. Just remember: As you decide elements you’re willing to spend more on, also agree on areas to cut costs.

Do your research.
According to, <link to:> Des Moines-area nuptials typically cost around $22,000. Travel to Chicago, and you can expect to pay about $26,000. For a more realistic budget, know how much wedding services cost in the area you plan to be married.

What other tips do you have for planning a wedding budget?

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