The wedding budget is a not-so-fun but very necessary part of planning your wedding. Talking about money can seem uncomfortable, but here at Bridal Musings, we're not ones to shy away from uncomfortable conversations!
Your Free Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
Elizabeth, our Editor-in-Chief, and her geeky hubby have put together Bridal Musings' all-encompassing wedding budget spreadsheet template (that they used for their own wedding!) to help you and your love get to grips with your budget.
This free wedding budget spreadsheet will help you in the initial stages of wedding budgeting as you estimate how much each service & vendor will cost, right through to after you've booked your dream team of vendors and receive those ‘ final payments due' emails.
You can clearly see how much of your wedding budget balance is available, what the actual costs are, and how much has been paid. We’ve also included an area to include your confirmed vendor for each item too.
We've done all the hard work for you – all you need to do is input the info!
And the best part is – it's absolutely free to download!
Our NEW Premium Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
We now also offer a suite of helpful wedding budgeting tools in an all-in-one premium spreadsheet.
Elizabeth and her spreadsheet-loving husband spent hours researching and developing them so that they’re comprehensive yet still easy to use.
They included an additional TEN(!) sheets including a drinks & alcohol cost calculator, cake cost calculator as well as research & budgeting tools for florists, catering, venue and more. The full list of sheets can be found below or feel free to click on the screenshots above for a closer look.
We are SO excited to share our premium version with you! It's packed with powerful calculators and ready-to-complete templates that will make the entire wedding budgeting process a breeze. We truly believe that nothing else out there can match the level of convenience and integration that our premium version offers.
As part of the launch, we're offering the product here at a heavily reduced price of $14.95 vs. the standard $30 until the 28th of February!
Free Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
Available for: GSheets & Excel
- Comprehensive Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
Premium Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
Available for: GSheets & Excel
- Comprehensive Wedding Budget Spreadsheet
- Drinks & Alcohol Calculator
- Cake Cost Calculator, Research & Budgeting Spreadsheet
- Florist Research & Budgeting Spreadsheet
- Venue Research & Budgeting Spreadsheet
- Honeymoon Research & Budgeting Spreadsheet
- Bands Research & Budgeting Spreadsheet
- Catering Research & Budgeting Spreadsheet
- Photographers Research & Budgeting Spreadsheet
- Videographers Research & Budgeting Spreadsheet
5 of Our Best Wedding Budget Posts
Here are 5 of our most useful, purse-friendly planning posts to help you make the most of your wedding budget, whether it's $200,000 or $2000.
- How to prioritize what to spend your money on for your wedding
- The number one tip that could save you $1000s on your wedding
- How much should you spend on an engagement ring?
- How to stay within your budget for your wedding flowers
- Shop wedding dresses in every budget
Wedding Budget FAQs
What is the average cost of a wedding?
The average cost of a wedding in the United States is $27,000, according to market research firm The Wedding Report. This is up from $20,286 in 2020. The increase appears to be because many people were forced to reschedule their weddings originally set to happen in 2020, and then again in 2021. Recent inflation have also had a significant impact on prices.
How do I save money on my wedding budget?
- Start planning early to save money on your wedding budget. The sooner you start planning, the more time you have to research vendors and compare prices.
- Plan your wedding around your preferred vendors, and don't be afraid to negotiate prices. If you have a few vendors you really love, try to work with them as much as possible. And don't be afraid to negotiate – most vendors are open to it!
- Use creative ideas to save money on decor, food, and rentals – there are plenty of ways to save without compromising the big day! Get creative with your decorating – DIY projects can save a lot of money. And for food, consider serving simple but elegant dishes that won't break the bank.
- Consider a wedding not on a Saturday. Getting married on a Friday or Sunday can often be cheaper than getting married on a Saturday – talk to your venue about pricing options for different days of the week.
- Keep your guest list as low as possible. This will help you save on food and drink costs, as well as venue rental fees (if applicable). So only invite people that you really want there – immediate family and close friends only!
- Offer just wine and beer at your bar. This can be a lot cheaper than offering a full liquor bar. And your guests will still be able to enjoy themselves!
- Select an off-season wedding date . Getting married during the fall or winter can often save you money, as venues and vendors are typically less busy (and therefore, less expensive) during these times of year.
- Consider non-traditional venues. If you're open to thinking outside the box, there are lots of unique and affordable places that would make for a beautiful and memorable wedding ceremony and/or reception. Just do some research to see what's available in your area!
- Go paperless and explore casual dining options. Save money (and trees!) by sending electronic invitations instead of traditional paper ones. And for food, consider serving simple but elegant dishes that won't break the bank – like hors d'oeuvres or a buffet instead of a sit-down meal.
What are some common mistakes people make with their wedding budget?
- Not Having a Budget at All
This might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many couples don't sit down and figure out how much they're willing to spend on their wedding before they start planning. Creating a budget is the best way to avoid overspending on your big day. Sit down with your fiancé and figure out what you can afford to spend before you start looking at venues or booking vendors.
- Underestimating the Cost of Vendors
Good vendors book up fast, so it's important to have an idea of how much you're willing to spend on each one before you start contacting them. Keep in mind that popular vendors will likely charge more than less popular ones. Once you've decided how much you're willing to spend on each vendor, add a 20-30% cushion to your budget in case any unexpected costs come up.
- Not Tracking Your Expenses
Once you start booking vendors and making payments, it's important to keep track of all your expenses in one place. This will help you stay organized and on budget. There are a lot of great wedding planning apps that can help with this, or you can create your own spreadsheet. Just make sure you update it regularly!
- Forgetting About Hidden Fees
When you'rebudgeting for your wedding, don't forget about hidden fees that can add up quickly. Things like postage, gratuity, taxes, and travel costs can really add up if you're not careful. Be sure to factor these things into your budget so you're not caught off guard later on.
- Overspending on Your Dress
Your wedding dress is probably the most important part of your outfit for the big day, but that doesn't mean it has to be the most expensive! It's easy to get caught up in the moment and overspend on a dress you'll only wear once, but try to resist the temptation. There are tons of beautiful (and affordable!) dresses out there, so take your time and find one that fits both your style and your budget.
- Having unrealistic expectations
Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration for your wedding, but it's important to remember that not every wedding needs to be straight out of a magazine spread. It's okay if your wedding is simpler or low-key than what you see on social media—in fact, it'll likely be more memorable (and affordable!) that way. Be realistic about what you can afford and don't try to copy someone else's dream wedding—make yours unique!
What are some unexpected wedding costs that I should be aware of?
- Vendor Tips
While it's not technically required, it is customary to tip your wedding vendors (think: officiant, photographer, band/DJ, etc.). This is often an unexpected wedding cost that can easily sneak up on couples who are on a tight budget. To avoid any last-minute scrambling, we recommend setting aside 10-15% of your total vendor costs as a contingency for tips.
- Overtime Fees
If your ceremony or reception goes over the allotted time, most venues will charge an overtime fee. These fees can range anywhere from $250 to $500+ per hour, depending on the venue and location. To avoid being hit with an unexpectedly large bill, try to plan your timeline carefully and build in some buffer time in case things run late. And if possible, see if your venue offers a discounted rate for extending your rental time.
When it comes to wedding invitations, don't forget about the cost of postage! If you're planning a destination wedding or your guest list is on the larger side, expect to spend more on stamps than you would for a local wedding with fewer guests. Depending on the weight and size of your invitations, you could be looking at $0.70-$1 per stamp (or more). Keep this in mind when budgeting for invitations and factoring in how much you'll need to spend on postage.
If your ceremony or reception is taking place at a venue that doesn't have its own parking lot or valet service, then you'll need to make arrangements for guests to park their cars off-site. In addition, if you're providing transportation for guests between the ceremony and reception (or from the airport to the hotel), that will also need to be factored into your budget. The cost of parking and transportation can vary greatly depending on the location of your wedding and number of guests, so be sure to get quotes from several different companies before making a final decision.
- Taxes and Service Charges
Depending on the state where your wedding is taking place, there could be taxes levied on certain services (such as catering) or products (such as alcohol). There may also be service charges added onto your bill by the venue or other vendors involved in your big day. These service charges are used to cover the costs of things like linens, staff gratuities, etc., so they're usually around 15-20% of the total bill. Be sure to ask about these charges upfront so there are no surprises later on!