Wedding on a Budget: What to Discuss Before Setting a Price

by Danielle Salazar June 24, 2014

Getting engaged puts girls on cloud nine, and to say that we tend to get carried away with our ideas can be a bit of an understatement.  As much as I’d love for you to rent that giant grand ballroom or ride in on horse and carriage, that just may not be possible. Here’s the deal, ladies: I totally get that a budget is the most strenuous part of the planning process. However, unless you’re financially at A-list celeb status, having a set amount will not only keep your sanity in tact as you make numerous financial decisions, but is crucial to the well being of your soon-to-be abused bank account. So rather than just throwing out a random number and hoping you stick to it, sit down with your fiancé, pull out your wedding planning binder, and be ready to talk money!

A Wedding on a Budget | What to Discuss Before Setting a Price

5 tips for your wedding on a budget.

  1. Know who’s contributing. Parents often offer to pitch in for their children’s weddings, so if they plan to do so, know exactly how much and/or what for. Some parents just give a general dollar amount to be used, whereas others may want their money to go toward specific things, such as the bridal gown or reception venue. Work this money into your budget accordingly.
  2. Start saving as soon as you’re engaged. If you want to start saving before that, even better! Keep in mind that the average cost for a 150-person wedding is about $27,000, and obviously this can vary significantly. Put aside a percentage of each paycheck that you’re comfortable with—15-20% is ideal. As long as you are consistently saving, you’ll know exactly how much will be in your account come the wedding day.
  3. Know your priorities. Before seriously hashing out numbers, talk with your fiancé and decide on your top 5 priorities. This will help determine whether you want to put more money into the catering rather than the DJ, or into the photography rather than the flowers.
  4. Consider your guest list and narrow it down. Keep in mind that each guest is costing you about $100 for food, drinks, desserts, and favors. Don’t be afraid to not invite your 2nd cousin across the country or your mom’s group of friends who would “love to go.” In the end, you’re the one paying for them, so sit down with your fiancé and decide on who really needs to be there.
  5. Use a budget worksheet. Mathematically breaking down your budget will really give you a clear idea of how much to spend in certain categories. Pull out your wedding planning binder and consider the worksheet below. Between you and your fiancé, come up with a general idea for a budget and then give the worksheet a whirl. Obviously you can adjust each category percentages based on your own priorities, but seeing the numbers broken down will help put it all into perspective.
Wedding Budget Worksheet | Wedding on a Budget: What to Discuss Before Setting a Price

Danielle Salazar
Danielle Salazar


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Measurement Guide

Taking Your Measurements

For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor. 

**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.

Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).

Waist size:  While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button.

Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.

Choosing your correct size

Compare  these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.