Traditionally, there was a very simple answer to this question – the bride’s family paid for just about everything. Today, weddings are paid for in any one of several ways: sometimes the bride and groom, sometimes the couple’s families, sometimes only the bride’s family and sometimes only the groom’s family. In some cultures, the betrothed couple have sponsors who pay for various items in the wedding celebration.

No matter who is paying for the wedding, it is very important to decide how much you are going to spend before you begin shopping. It is very difficult to shop for your wedding vendors if you don’t know how much money you have available.

An important factor to consider when planning your budget is the number of guests you are going to have. It is also important to have a sense of your own priorities as you plan. Knowing what is most important to you will help make your decision easier.


The first step to planning the perfect wedding is to plan your guest list. The most variable expense you will have is the cost of providing your guests with food and drink. There is a huge cost difference between having 100 guests and 150 guests. In order to plan a realistic budget, you must have a good estimate of the number of guests who will attend.


To get a more accurate idea of the true number of guests, write out your guest list, then divide the guests into those who will most certainly attend, those who will most likely not attend and those who are just as likely to go either way. Divide the list of those who are likely to go either way in half, and add them to the list of those who will most likely attend. That will be a good estimate of your final guest numbers.


Once you have a working guest list, the nest step is to decide what items you want to include in your wedding budget and how important each item is to you. Once you set these priorities you will know how much money you are able to spend for each vendor.

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