weddings 101

Wedding Budget Tips

How much should you spend on your wedding? The answer depends on many factors, of course, but coming up with this figure is one of the first things you should do. 

Where to begin:

• Determine available funds. The traditional source (the bride’s family) isn’t the rule anymore, so contributions can come from elsewhere as well (including the bride and groom themselves).

• Discuss your expectations and priorities. Are you thinking over-the-top celebrity-esque wedding, or small and low-key? It will likely be something in between. Whichever way you go, your spending choices should reflect your individual style (and available funds!). Focus on the things that are most important to you.

• Do some research. Friends might be willing to tell you what they spent, for example. The website Cost of Wedding gives the average cost depending where (in the U.S.) you live, as well as a cost estimator tool.

• Once you have found the magic number that strikes the balance between what you want and what you can afford, create a comprehensive budget. Choose an online budgeting tool (we recommend this one) and bookmark it in LINKS in the 2life Weddings app.


• Keep in mind that the little things do add up: postage stamps, marriage license, gratuities, etc. Build some leeway into your budget in advance, and stay on top of it. You don’t want to overlook anything.

• Establish a joint bank account and credit card for wedding expenses.

Ways to save:

• Have your wedding on a weekday or during the off-season.

• Keep the guest list to a minimum.

• Buy second-hand (dress, jewelry, etc.).

• Order food that is in season. Sourcing locally produced food also lowers your wedding’s eco footprint.

• Host the ceremony and reception in the same venue. If possible, have them at a family member or friend’s property (e.g., restaurant, backyard).

• If you are DIY-inclined, there are various things you could make yourselves: decor items, signage, centerpieces, wedding favors, invitations and other printed items, maybe even wine or food. Remember to include the cost of supplies in your budget, and allow plenty of time.