A Wedding Budget can be a challenge.  Nicole, Carrie, Jessica, Vanessa ain’t got nothing on you girlfriend! You may not be able to have an elephant greet your guest at the door or have three wedding dresses for your day, like Nicole; but you certainly can share an inspiration like her Grace Kelly or a personal detail like having your name embroidered in your single dress on a budget that works for you and yours.

First things first- What is Your Wedding Budget???  You need a dollar range to work with from the get go and then can decide how hard or soft that number is as you go along. Think of it like trying to see what type of house you can afford by using the mortgage calculator tool.

There are a lot of wedding budget worksheet tools out there, use which ever one you want, just remember to add in “all” the costs and the “plus, pluses” to each aspect our you will be setting yourself up for disappointment.  A common wedding budget formula Example is:

Wedding Budget Breakdowns Examples

Reception= 50%

Wedding attire/accessories= 10%

Flowers=10%

Entertainment=10%

Photography= 10%

Invitations/stationary=10%

Additional Expenses=6%

It is a good wedding budget starting board but be careful with that 6% category- it seems to me that it is just to make it an “even” 100% and never seems to cut it for all the rest. When figuring the 50% for the reception start with a figure that allows the mathematical formula for adding up to 29% tax and gratuities and separate cake cutting, bartender…fees.

“Nuff” said.  Start with a wedding budget you can live with and get an idea of the cost ranges available before even setting vendor appointments, and then once there make sure that you have the “total” cost itemization.  I can’t tell you how many people I have heard recently said they were going to have to use the “church basement”, because that was all they could afford budget wise. Then after adding up the entire do it yourself costs of this, find some of the not highest dollar venue places are actually more cost effective – even before adding the costs savings on the aspirin for the headaches saved.

For the few of you who have an unlimited budget- thank Mommy and Daddy right now and Go for It!  For the rest of you, first breathe and then second reality check:

1)    The day will be spectacular

2)    It is going to cost a lot

3)    You may not get your first choice on everything

4)    There are a lot of ways to save

5)    It is going to cost a lot

6)    The day will be spectacular

There are savings ideas for wedding budgets all over the web and wedding luxe for less tips in all the books and magazines.  Check our Twitter from real-live Indiana brides for daily helpful tips.  Better than anything else- let me give you some peace of mind and a little “permission” so to speak.  Every Bride and Groom cuts costs somewhere and every Bride and Groom spends more than they budgeted for on something.  Don’t “wig”, just “think”. If it is a splurge make sure you highlight it, if it is a cost cutter make sure it looks “like you meant to do it”. If the cake is $2000 and huge then it should be a centerpiece in the middle of the room, if there is no cake and rice crispy treats instead then they can be in the middle of the room also with a little personal note attached amount how you both loved these growing up and home it reminds everyone of the love and warmth of Mom’s kitchen. Oh, and have the milk close by!

Try this Wedding budget tool