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How to set a wedding budget

So your engaged!! Congratulations. Now the serious wedding decisions. The first big decision you will encounter is what your budget is going to be. The average cost varies widely and depends on a number factors so it's important you think carefully when setting a budget. The average UK wedding costs approximately £15000 and has 60-70 guests. A wedding doesn't have to cost this much (or if you want it can be more). However, always remember a wedding is not worth going into debt for. 

Firstly figure out who is contributing to the wedding. Is it just you and your spouse or are parents/grandparents helping out as well. Determine how much they are contributing or if they are helping with a certain element (I.e flowers). Consider whether you as a couple are going to add to family contributions or not. Having this conversation when you first get engaged is important (even though it can be a little awkward). C and I didn't have a conversation with his parents initially (on the assumption they would bring up the topic) but they never did and so it was about 6 months into our engagement we finally spoke to them as we realised they weren't going to start the conversation.  

The next big decision is you need to figure out a provisional guest list to give you an idea of numbers as this is the factor that has the best impact on your expenses.  When you are having a reception you generally pay per person so consider how many people you want at your wedding breakfast and if you want evening guests as well. As a rough guide most people spend about 50% of their budget on venues and food. We spent just under 60% of our budget on this category. It may be a good idea to get some provisional quotes from venues to help give you a idea of how much it will cost to host. 

By combining these factors you and your fiancé should be able to come up with a budget that you are able to stick to and accurately reflects the cost of your wedding. 

How did you set your wedding budget? 


  1. "However, always remember a wedding is not worth going into debt for." Exactly. A great time can be had without incurring significant debt that will remain for a long period.

  2. Nice tips for setting a wedding budget. This is a very helpful post, thanks. I'm searching for nice and affordable NYC wedding venues for my sister’s wedding in couple of months. Always wanted a perfect venue for my sister’s wedding and hope to book one.