In 2021, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. was $28,000, according to The Knot. If you're thinking of going on a honeymoon, you'll probably spend even more. That amount of money can alternatively go towards a down payment on a new home, an emergency fund, money for retirement or even a few vacations in the future.
Due to the cost of a wedding being so high, you'll want to consider your budget and how much you want to spend. Comparing your special day with the extravagant weddings of friends or relatives isn't necessary or helpful. Instead, it is best to figure out what's within your means and plan accordingly.
Developing a budget and planning around it will help reduce any unnecessary expenses, help save money and ultimately, keep your financial stress to a minimum.
To start determining the cost of your wedding, try making a list of your expenses -- everything from the venue to catering to music and entertainment.
When building your budget, it is best to consider the number of people you plan on inviting. For example, smaller weddings mean a smaller venue and less money to spend on food and drinks. On the other hand, larger weddings will require a larger budget.
Putting a limit on your budget will make the process easier. Once you've researched venues, food expenses, decor and whatever else you need, add up your totals and compare them to the limit. If you exceed your limit, try to see if you can cut back on some expenses. For example, if you don't want to sacrifice the size of your wedding, you can decide to have your ceremony on a less expensive date.
You always want to try and be on the same page as your partner and have similar expectations regarding the wedding. Effectively communicating will help make your first major financial decision together go smoothly.
Understanding each other's needs and wants will help you decide on your wedding. For example, if you and your partner agree on having a larger wedding, you can go for it. Once you start making these decisions, moving on to the next should be easier.
Assigning value to how much you want or need something may help. You may want to reconsider music and entertainment to afford the larger wedding. Instead of paying for a band, you could ask a friend to DJ the event for you. Try making a wedding playlist and having your friends and family members add songs.
Budgeting is crucial for planning a wedding, and having excess debt is not an ideal way to begin your marriage. Developing and sticking to a realistic budget based on open conversations between you and your partner will help ensure less stress.