12 Ideas to Save on Wedding Budget [16 Free Templates to Start With]

wedding budget
Planning a wedding involves thousands of decisions. Decisions that need to be made and moved forward on.”


No matter what style or size wedding you have your heart set on, crafting a budget that will allow you to secure your dreams, without draining your budget is essential for the perfect wedding. To accomplish this, it’s necessary to take note of the process. In fact, even if you are currently living on a budget you designed do handle your day to day tasks, saving up for a wedding is an entirely different affair. As an example, weddings have hidden costs, contracts that need to be signed, as well as making decisions on who pays for what, among others. As such, we’ve stepped up to the plate to help you make sense of the whole thing. Our basic guide of how to create the best wedding budget for your needs is designed to get you started on the road to composing the perfect budget for your needs.

Create an Automatic Savings Plan

Let’s face it, you can’t have a wedding budget without any cash to budget with, and that’s where automatic savings plans come in. Here, you create a separate savings account just for your wedding. Once your paycheck is deposited, a certain amount of that paycheck is automatically moved to your wedding savings account. This allows you and your partner to accumulate the savings needed for your wedding. Automatic savings accounts also enhance the plan itself. As soon as you set your wedding date, you estimate the cost of your wedding, and how much from each paycheck it will take to reach that amount. If you decide 7 months is enough, or perhaps for, you just set up your automated account, and go about your business, and the money needed for your wedding will be there when you need it. A hassle-free, pain-free, and worry-free way to save for your wedding. Then you may repeat the process when it comes to saving for a new house, appliance, nursery, and so on. Below are some of the best automatic savings apps you can find. Also, check out your bank as well.

  • Digit
  • Simple
  • Qapital

What Gets How Much?

Once you have your automatic wedding savings plan locked down and functioning, it’s time to divide the wedding savings up into various parts. For instance, start by calling various wedding venues to see how much they charge. Do the same for florists, wedding bands, your dress, catering, and whatever else you have on your mind. Once you know what you want, and have some ideas of the numbers involved, grab a pen and paper, or open a spreadsheet, so you can divvy up your planned savings for each element. Be flexible here, as you’ll probably be making adjustments as you go along.

Read the Fine Print

No matter if it’s the venue or any of your other chosen vendors, please read the fine print before you sign anything. Make sure there are no hidden fees, nestled deep within the fine print. If you have your heart set on a band, venue or caterer, then please make certain that you include any fees they have listed in the fine print, such as any fees the venue charges if your wedding exceeds its allotted time. In other words, go into every contract with the notion that you will ask questions and go through everything with a fine-tooth comb–Avoid being caught off guard.

Don’t Get Lost in the Moment

You’re getting married, your on cloud 9, and the world is revolving around you and your dreams. We get that, which is why we don’t want you to take a tumble off that cloud. In other words, take great care that you don’t max out your credit cards. Instead, try to avoid using the cards in favor of the amount in your automatic savings plan. For instance, say you’re planning on having a cost-efficient wedding, nothing too much, just the basics will do. You gave yourself 10 months to save up, with a goal of $7,000 in total.

Automatic Wedding Savings Plan Total: $7,000

  • Venue: $2,000
  • Dress: $1,000
  • Caterer: $1,200
  • Flowers: $500
  • DJ and Photographer: $750
  • Unforeseen events: $7,000 – $5450 = $1550

So, as you can see, you gave yourself time to save for your goal via an automatic savings plan. You then budgeted each essential element of your wedding, which totaled to $5450. You subtracted that from your wedding savings fund of $7,000. This left you with a generous amount of $1550, to use for unforeseen events or to use in another way. But here is the crucial part of this example: You over-budgeted. That’s right; you first made the basic estimations for each element of your wedding, you made that your goal total, then set up an automatic wedding savings plan. Your final, estimated tally left you with more than you needed, and that’s a good thing. Better to over-budget your wedding expenses than being caught without enough cash, at the last minute.

Cutting Corners

Perhaps you did the math and found that you were cutting it a bit close. If this is the case, then it’s time to cut corners. Go over all the elements on your list. Can you find a florist who will charge you less? Perhaps find someone on Etsy who can do them cheaper. Does the band you considered charge you for transportation, tickets? Perhaps there is another band you can find that will give you a better deal, or perhaps ditch the band for a DJ? Other ideas include

  • Create a delicious meal centering around cost-efficient, flavorful pasta dishes, and have the family chip in and cook the meal.
  • Know that venues’ charge lower prices depending on the season, day, and time. Take a look and see if you can move your date to one that is less expensive.
  • Formal weddings are more expensive than casual ones.
  • Go to freelance sites to find an inexpensive photographer
  • Consider cutting the guest list
  • Go over the items listed on any contracts for things to cut out before you sign.
  • Consider having invitations printed from an online vendor, as they are often less expensive.
  • Think of using digital wedding invitations and send them out electronically.
  • Have one lovely and low-cost wedding cake for the bride and groom, and have several inexpensive sheet cakes made for the guests to enjoy.

Tips For a Good Wedding Budget

“The simplest definition of a budget is “telling your money where to go.”

Tsh Oxenreider

Get Your Priorities Straight

The first and foremost tip is to get your priorities in order. Both of you should decide which top 3 to 5 elements on your budget mean the most to you. These are things that you can’t be without, such as the wedding dress, rings. This way, you’re sure to devote the majority of your attention and budget to these items, which increases the chance of having your day be absolutely perfect.

Make it Happen

I’m sure most of you have heard of a vision board. It’s where people place their goals in the form of images. Well, how about creating a vision board of your perfect wedding? You can even place the allotted amount of cash on each photo. Say, for example, that you just have to have llamas at your wedding, and yes people do book llamas for weddings. Print out a photo of a lama with the amount of money needed for that wedding element. Do this for all the items on your budget list. The wedding vision board keeps it real, images, prices, and all. If you have no idea where to start, Bridal Musings has just the thing to get you started.

Go Back and Edit Your Budget

While you work through your wedding plans, always know that it’s not set in stone. In other words, be flexible. Take time to reassess your plans and make adjustments when necessary. Take a look at your flower choices on your vision board. Can you find someone online who can do them cheaper, or perhaps a student at a local floral design or horticultural school can give you a better price? Hit up your local art college for a student photographer and book their services. Some may even do them for free if you allow them to use you as a reference or for their portfolio. Is there anything on your list that you and your family can craft for themselves? Perhaps you can hire a baker for the central wedding cake, but mom and sis can bake the sheet cakes themselves from a cake mix. It’s from this process of constant reevaluation that you’ll be able to truly cut corners and save a ton of money.

Determine Who Will Be Contributing to the Wedding

Once you get your budget settled, it’s time to consider who will be paying for what. In the old days, it was the bride’s family, but not anymore. Now, both families, as well as the bride and groom, can all chip in. Perhaps your cousins may decide to chip in for the band, or maybe your Aunt Emma will help pay for the flowers. There are no rules here. Just let everyone know the approximate costs, and let them decide if they’d like to add some cash to the wedding coffer.

Don’t Destroy Your Bank Account

To begin to shop before a wedding budget has been collated is cautioned against. It’s imperative that you have your budget first, so you don’t overspend with money you might not have. If you don’t have a budget with estimated totals made, there is another way. A good way to avoid breaking the bank is to divvy up your wedding categories into percentages. For instance, 30 percent for venue and catering, 5 percent for a DJ, and so on. Not only that, this rule doesn’t just apply to shop but also guest headcount. Don’t put your guest list together until you have a budget made. Having too many guests will drive up the catering cost, and even the venue. If the venue holds a limited number of people, then you’ll have to choose a larger, more expensive venue, and so on.

Become Aware of Everything Which Requires Payment

This refers to the little things that fall through the cracks. Those items that we normally say, “I can add that in later,” except when “later” arrives, there might not be any money left. The type of items that tend to be forgotten is the cost of the marriage license, stationary, costs of printing invitations, to name just a few. Other hidden expenses include leaving money aside for tips, space heaters if your wedding is in winter, and money to feed your vendors.

Organizing is the Key–Know Where the Money Goes

Even with an automatic savings account taking care of regular deposits into your wedding account, it’s still a good idea to check where the majority of your cash goes. For instance, say you’ve gotten accustomed to taking a car, Uber, or cab everywhere, even for short errand runs. Well, for one month, add up all of those receipts. The total may surprise you. In fact, you may be shocked at the money spent on cabs, Uber’s, and fuel for your car. Now you can see the importance of keeping track of where the money goes. It’s not out of sight out of mind anymore. Instead, you’ve kept a record of your spending, which means you now know where to cut corners. To track money, you can jot it down in a spending log, create a spending spreadsheet, or use a budgeting app.

Negotiate with Vendors

Believe it or not, wedding vendors actually expect that you’ll make an attempt to dicker down the price. If you found a band that you just must-have, but they are in demand and very expensive, then negotiate with them. Maybe they’ll agree to taper down the setlist, or perhaps they have a DJ option available. This goes with other vendors as well. All you have to do is ask them if they can make certain alterations, which will lower the overall price.


“Weddings are not about spending the least amount of money or the most amount of money they are about spending good money on the elements that are most important to you and your partner.”

Kristal Richardson

When you consider all we’ve covered so far and added the fact that no two weddings are alike, it’s easy to see how overwhelming planning a wedding can be. Even smaller, more frugal weddings can become a burden if a budget is not carefully planned for. In times like these, trying to be a “do-it-yourselfer” might not suit your situation. We realize that and have come up with a set of perfectly designed wedding budget templates, which are a splendid way for you to keep track of how much you have and how much you can spend, without overspending. Simply select the wedding budget template that you’d like and proceed to follow directions on our site, and begin to plan. It’s that simple.

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      Frequently Asked Questions

      “Many people spend more time in planning the wedding than they do in planning the marriage”

      Zig Ziglar
      Who traditionally pays for a wedding?

      Traditionally it is the bride’s family who pays for the wedding. But thankfully, today that tradition has ended, and the costs are often split up between the families and bride and groom.

      Who buys the groom’s wedding ring?

      Today, both the bride and groom often go shopping for their wedding bands together, with each selecting their favorite.

      What is the average cost of a small wedding?

      According to wedding stats, the cost of a small wedding is around $35,000. Note that it’s the average cost of a small wedding. In today’s world, people are becoming experts planning frugal weddings that may cost nothing more than $5,000 to $7,000 dollars but look like a million. Indeed, planning a frugal wedding has become somewhat of a profession for many wedding planners.

      Final Thoughts

      “Budgeting has only one rule: Do not go over budget.”

      Leslie Tayne,

      Well, there you have it, a basic introduction on how to create your very own wedding budget. While it may seem over your head now, once you sit down with one of our wedding budget templates, you’ll find that everything will fall into place quite nicely. As long as you complete your budget before you shop, pay attention to the fine print on contracts before you sign, and have your priorities in order, you should be well on your way. Even if you hire a wedding planner, having your own budget right from the start will help guide them, so there is absolutely no chance they’ll accidentally go over budget. Speaking of budgeting, always remember that it’s better to for the wedding budget to be over budget than under. After all, you want to be prepared for any surprises that may pop up.

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