How to Budget A Wedding

Believe it or not, I’m quite happy doing our wedding budget. It’s not because we have a large amount. I just find doing budgets interesting. (It must be my OCPD tendencies at work.) I like detailing our expenses and I like it even more on how I can creatively fit everything within our budget. (Am I crazy or what?)

Before preparing our budget, I browsed through some blogs and websites and here are the most helpful tips I’ve found. I’m applying them now as I’m preparing for our wedding. Maybe you can use them too!

1. Set a realistic budget: Marry within your means but don’t totally give up on your dream. 

A realistic budget is what you can afford without going broke but can also afford the wedding you’d like to have.

My fiance and I started saving for our wedding two years ago. We knew that getting married is not cheap especially in Tagaytay. We researched and made an estimate of how much we need. In the Philippines, a modest wedding in the city with 100 guests can cost about 150,000-200,000 PHP. From this budget, we added a few more thousands because we’re considering the location of our wedding. It’s a popular place to get married so chances are, prices are higher.

There were some couples who spent around half a million to more than a million for their weddings. We don’t have that much money for our wedding. We don’t want it to be so grand that we would have nothing left for our house and honeymoon. We also don’t want it to be so cheap that it’s almost forgettable. We’ll only get married once so we might as well make it beautiful but still practical.

2. Think of your Top 3: You can’t have everything but you can have somethings. 

One of the blogs I’ve read advised couples to think their 3 Must Haves in their wedding. Once you’ve agreed what they are, focus the bulk of your budget on them. Then. learn to compromise or let go of  the other stuff if your budget can’t afford them.

Based on this advise, Mr. P and I agreed that our budget would primarily go to our venue (because we really like a destination wedding), our caterer (because it would make the event more worthwhile for our guests) and our photographer and videographer (because the pictures and videos will be the only memories we’ll have). We’re willing to scrimp on the other wedding stuff. For example, I wouldn’t mind wearing an RTW wedding dress, or not having the grandest lights and sounds or doing the invitations and favors. We also had to minimize our guests and only invite people who really mattered to us.

Of course it would have been nice to really have the budget for everything we wanted. But that is not the case and life’s generally like that anyway. Instead of complaining why we can’t have some things, we decided to be grateful on what we can have.

3. Research, negotiate, compromise: Your wedding is not only your business but others as well. 

A wedding is an event of romance. love, fun and celebration. But it’s not only that. It’s also a business. The wedding business is a big industry and engaged couples should also their wedding from a business perspective.

From the different fora and websites I’ve read, it’s very important to do lots of research on suppliers, to know how to negotiate with them and if needed, how to compromise.

It took me a few months, numerous websites and a hundred fora to discover about our major suppliers. Being an overseas bride, a quick search in the internet wasn’t enough for me. I had to find the right suppliers that fits our budget. I also need to read dozens of feedback and reviews before I shortlisted and booked our suppliers. I learned to negotiate for prices and inclusions.Some suppliers were kind enough to accommodate our requests based on our budget. Some were not keen so we had to let them go. Some were willing to meet us halfway. It’s really like a business deal where both parties are looking for something which can be beneficial for both.

So far, we’re still on track with our budget. We’ve already booked our major suppliers within our budget. I’m quite confident we won’t overboard. (*fingers crossed*)

Do you have other wedding budget tips you can share? 


More on Wedding Budget Tips:

7 Tips to Make Your Wedding Budget Cheaper and More Meaningful 

Planning a Wedding with Less than 150K 

My Sister’s Dream Island Budget Wedding

My Dream Wedding: A Budget Friendly One


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