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Wedding Budget ListWeddings have changed a lot over the last year or so. But one thing remains constant – the need to budget. While a spending plan guides you in making wise decisions, it can also ensure that you don’t overlook critical needs. Some useful advice can help you successfully create a budget for your 2021 wedding.

A Lower Price Tag

The average wedding cost a little less in 2020. The Knot revealed that the price tag had dropped to $19,000 – about $9,000 less than average 2019 costs. That’s because many couples postponed or downsized their celebrations. Physical distancing and smaller guest counts impacted the price tag, but livestreamed weddings may also be a contributing factor. In The Knot’s survey, around 42% of couples said they’d held minimonies – small and intimate events with 10 guests or fewer. These typically priced out at about $1,400 per event. Timing may have also impacted 2020’s average wedding costs: 52% of those surveyed postponed their nuptials to 2021.

Setting Your Spending Limits

Before creating your budget, you should know how much you can spend. Brides’ budget guide mentions three sources you can draw from: individual savings, what you set aside from monthly incomes, and contributions from family and friends. It’s wise to base your budget only on the funds you and your spouse-to-be have. If you do end up with contributions, you can always adjust your spending plan and put the extra money toward any items you like.

Constructing Your Wedding Budget

If the very mention of the word “budget” fills you with dread, don’t worry. Creating a spending plan doesn’t have to be difficult, but you do need a basic starting point. The Knot shows what a typical wedding budget looks like, including categories and percentages:

  • Venue, catering, and rentals: 50%
  • Photo and video: 12%
  • Attire, hair, and beauty: 9%
  • Décor: 8%
  • Entertainment: 7%
  • Wedding planner: 3%
  • Invitations, programs, and menus: 2%
  • Officiant expenses: 2%
  • Wedding rings: 2%
  • Favors and swag bags: 2%

Your spending plan may or may not look like this, but it gives you some idea of how to budget. Personal finance expert Ashley Chorpenning suggests selecting some key priorities for your event and allocating more money in those categories. For instance, your venue and catering could be less than 50% of your budget if you’re livestreaming. On the flip side, you may spend more than 2% on swag bags shipped to your guests.

New Wedding Expenses

Overall event costs went down in 2020, but per-person expenses increased. For some couples, this increase came as total costs averaged over smaller guest counts. And thanks to health and safety protocols, other extras became essentials at last year’s weddings. Wedding Wire’s Samantha Iacia reminds couples to include these COVID-related items in their budgets:

  • Face masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wedding insurance
  • Thermometers
  • Social distancing signs
  • Swag bags
  • Additional staff
  • Food safety equipment
  • Livestreaming costs

Some of these may become separate line items in your budget. You could group masks, sanitizer, thermometers, and signage together, as Chorpenning recommends. But other stuff – food safety equipment and staffing costs – would be already included in your vendors’ prices. That’s also the case if your photo and video pro handles your livestreaming.

A Solid Budget for Your Wedding

Budgeting for your wedding can feel a little scary, especially during a global pandemic. However, it offers a clearer picture of what you can afford. Some tried-and-true advice applies, like determining your event priorities and what you can spend. You’ll need to make room for COVID-related expenses, but you may not spend as much in other categories. With research and smart planning, you can craft a realistic wedding budget that meets your needs.

Category: Wedding Planning

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