How Much Do I Need for My Wedding Budget?

by Susan Paige
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People spend most of their lives dreaming about their wedding day, but they don’t realise how much planning and preparation goes into these celebrations —nor how expensive they can be. To make the most out of your money and have a truly spectacular occasion, you should start your wedding planning by making a budget. But what different factors do you need to account for when creating said budget? And how much do flowers really cost?

To help with this dilemma, we’ve written a list to cover everything you’ll need to consider as you create your wedding budget. Read on to find out what expenses are essential in planning the perfect wedding.

Hair, Beauty, and Clothes

The photographs from your wedding day will stay with you forever, which means you want to look your best in them. As such, it’s important to include a hair and makeup team within your wedding budget. However, you do need to plan what needs to be done — and how many people will need a turn in the chair — before hiring a beauty service, because prices will vary depending on these factors.

For example, do all the bridesmaids need their makeup done on the day, or would they happy to do this at home themselves? Would the bride like a fake tan before the honeymoon, or do you view this as an unnecessary expense?

And how could we forget the wedding attire? The wedding dress will likely be at the top of many To Do lists — and don’t forget about coordinated outfits for the groom, bridesmaids, and best men, too. Once you’ve decided upon these things, allocate your hair and beauty budget appropriately.

Food and Drink

What is a grandiose event without a suitable banquet? Catering is an essential for the vast majority of weddings, but it does take a sizeable chunk out of your budget.

As you work through your budget, consider the style of catering you want to offer. A sit-down meal of a starter, main course, and dessert — as well as a few well-paired beverages — is likely to be significantly more expensive than a buffet-style wedding breakfast.

Remember that, as with many expenses, you will get what you pay for — never skimp on the catering, because you could end up with bland or unappetising food at your wedding reception.

In addition to this, consider how many food options you are going to offer. Will you need a kid-friendly option? Or something vegan, gluten free, or kosher? A good caterer will be more than capable of adapting certain dishes to suit dietary requirements, but it will add to the cost.

Some weddings will offer their guests a free bottle prosecco and the like, so you should also consider this in your budget. There’s also the issue of wedding cake; the more extravagant your cake, the more extortionate its price. Remember to prioritise what matters most to you in your budget.


Having the right wedding entertainment means the difference between a brief reception, and a celebration that runs late into the night. As such, you should set aside a considerable amount of money for things such as live music, photo booths and fireworks. It’s worth looking at some wedding suppliers to see what’s on offer and deciding from there what would suit your event best — and what is within your budget.

The Perfect Venue

Hiring a wedding venue will take up the largest portion of your budget. There will also be plenty of unforeseen costs involved in doing so, such as obtaining a wedding venue licence and putting down a deposit. However, these expenses are well worth the money. Your venue will be the setting to one of the most important days of your life, and it has the power to transform run-of-the-mill wedding photographs into something magical. Make room in your budget so you can have the wedding venue of your dreams. It will also be the perfect place to revisit further down the line for good memories.

Miscellaneous Costs

There are wedding supplies you need to factor into your budget that you might not realise at first. Flowers, for instance, are a must at every wedding, but they do incur a sizeable cost. The bridal bouquet usually comes with a price tag between £100 and £300, while bridesmaid bouquets are roughly one-third of this cost each. There are also reception flowers to account for, alongside petal confetti.

You should include decorations for your wedding venue in your budget, too. Many brides and grooms will choose a theme for their wedding, and the décor will play an important role in transforming your venue. You can save a great deal of money by choosing to rent your décor, but don’t forget to factor these elements into your budget.


Not only do you need to travel to and from the wedding venue, but so do your guests. How many people need assistance getting there, and how will you take them? There are all sorts of transportation options available, from horse-drawn carriages to limousines and classic cars.

The type of transport you choose — and the distance your driver will need to cover — will all significantly impact the cost of hiring wedding transportation.


Pictures are how we preserve moments. They’re what you look back on for decades to come, and they’re also what you pass down your family tree. Be sure to include a photographer in your budget. When doing so, you should also look at how much it’ll cost to have the pictures printed and distributed after the event. What’s the point of a photo if you’re not able to keep it?


People tend to get caught up in the excitement of wedding planning and forget the practicalities involved. You’ll need to pay for a number of practical things, such as the marriage certificate and wedding venue licence. There are insurance costs to be considered, too, in case the venue or suppliers fall through. If you don’t have all your paperwork paid for and in order, there can’t be a wedding. As such, legalities are of paramount importance in your budget.

The bigger the wedding, the bigger the wedding budget will have to be. Allocate your money where you feel is most important and you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful day.

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