Wedding Wednesday: Budgeting Tips

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Photo Credit: Cari Zhu Photography (IG: @thecarizhuphoto, website:

It is fun to plan out the details of a wedding, but your vision for it and all the ideas that you want to come alive must be doable within your budget. C and I are funding the wedding ourselves so it was extremely necessary for us to sit down before doing any planning to figure out our wedding budget and potential expenses. It was hard, especially when so many Pinterest pictures and Google searches show beautiful wedding inspiration that may actually cost more than what we expect.

Here are some of my little tips for you, and hopefully it'll help you manage your current or future wedding finances! :)

1. Sit down and make a general budget for everything!

The budget doesn't need to be exact, but figure out approximately how much it would cost for the different areas of your wedding as realistic as you can. Do it for everything! It's always better to end up budgeting more than what you actually pay than budgeting less than what you actually end up paying.

2. Figure out what area of your wedding is most important to you and your significant other.

If there is a certain part of your wedding that you and your significant other are willing to splurge on for whatever reason, then you know that you'll need to allot a larger part of your budget for this and shrink the amount allotted to other areas of the wedding. For us it was the photography. We are not having a videography so we were willing to pay for a photographer that will create and shoot all the moments in the highest quality of photographs and with the aesthetic that we desired. Photography was our little splurge for the wedding, so we have been more frugal and budget-friendly with the other areas. We are so happy to have Cari Zhu of Cari Zhu Photography to capture our special day!

3. Don't be afraid to reuse!

This is dependent on your preferences, but for me I'm very willing and open to help with the wedding costs by giving life to previously used or owned pieces! It's a cheaper alternative to buying all things brand new and you're helping the environment, even if it's a small endeavour like this. My wedding dress was purchased second hand by a recent bride who took excellent care of her dress. It's just like new at a fraction of the cost! I'm also reusing some decor that were first used at other weddings, paying a partial cost compared to buying new. A great place to score treasures like this is on Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, or even through friends who recently got married!

4. Plan ahead so you can score the most budget option.

My peers make fun of me that I've (kinda) already planned out most of the wedding even though there's still 11 months to go, but it gives me time to look into different options for each area of the wedding and find the most budget one. Give yourself time to meet with different vendors to check out their work and pricing. Give yourself time to determine whether you need to pay for a service or whether you can DIY! It'll help you with your expenses and in the long run save you from the stress of last minute or rushed planning.

5. Be realistic.

You may have heard of couples who were somehow able to keep their wedding under $10,000 or see posts about how you can have the cheapest wedding possible, but you must see if that suggested style and vision aligns with yours. Weddings are not cheap so you need to prepare yourself for the real expenses. C and I are happy with the balance we have now between what we want and what we're paying: ceremony in the day and a served dinner reception at night.

6. Keep track of your expenses. 

It's very helpful to keep track of your actual expenses and compare to the budget that you and your significant other have created. How close are you to the initial budget? How much have you spent so far in the different areas? Don't stress if you've slightly gone over your budget, you can try to make up for it in other areas that will be paid for in the course of your planning. If it's not something that can be made up for, then you know that it's something extra you need to save up for. C and I have a Google Spreadsheet that outlines all our expenses. We can access and edit it anytime, together or separately.

I hope this gives you some insight to help with your wedding budgeting! What other budgeting tips do you have? I can always benefit from them! :)

Until next time, Des

(Follow me on Instagram @desireelaw and Facebook DesirePlusAnE)


  1. Congratulations again on your engagement and all the very best on your wedding planning! You shared very great tips especially in an industry where you can easily be spending a tuition's worth amount of $$ for a weekend!

    Stephanie |

    1. Oh yes, it's A LOT of money. We all got to remember that it's only one day so we don't need to throw all our savings towards it haha

  2. We're not getting married til two years from now, but I'm still starting to plan things already so I can hopefully get the best prices. It's so crazy how much everything costs!! Photography will definitely be our "splurge" as well. So worth it!

    1. Aw congrats to you too! Definitely enjoy the whole planning process, especially since you have loads of time to figure everything out :)

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