In addition to choosing a good wedding checklist to work with, developing your wedding budget should be considered a mandatory tool for getting started with wedding planning. Before putting any deposits down or buying any wedding supplies, it’s very important to determine your overall wedding budget, starting with the maximum amount of money you and your fiancé want to spend on the wedding.
You can download our wedding budget worksheet in Excel format and follow the instructions below as you fill it in to create your own budget:
- Wedding Budget Worksheet – Excel format (49 KB, 2 pages)
While the actual budget will vary from wedding to wedding, here is a typical breakdown of costs that can be applied to most weddings:
50% Reception (Venue, Food and Beverages, Cake, etc.)
10% Bridal Gown and Accessories
10% Everything Else (Invitations, Gifts, etc.)
To get started, determine the maximum amount you are willing to spend towards your wedding and enter that amount in cell D8 in the Excel spreadsheet. Keep in mind that your budgeted total should include not just the wedding itself, but also any pre-wedding events such as the rehearsal dinner, showers, etc.
Once you hit enter, a suggested breakdown by category will populate based on your total budgeted amount in the colored boxes. The percentages reflect the breakdown listed above (50% for the reception, etc.)
Starting with the reception venue rental (row 14), enter an estimated amount for each line item in column D excluding any items that don’t apply to your wedding. Feel free to enter other items not listed on the spreadsheet in the “Other” row at the end of each category. If your estimates total more than the budgeted amount, the “total” row will alert you by turning red.
Tip: Don’t worry if you are over budget in any particular category just yet; as long as your overall total at the bottom of the spreadsheet is within your total budget, you’re still on track. If necessary, determine which items to eliminate or cut back on in order to stay within budget overall.
Once your budget it finalized, use the “Actual” column to enter final costs and keep track of total expenses accrued once you begin to shop or make payments to vendors.
Good luck! While this won’t be an easy exercise for many couples, it will definitely pay off in the long run–and will help keep you on track and accountable for all of the money being spent towards the big day.