Say “I Do” to Your Wedding Budget Before Walking Down the Aisle

Mar 1, 2023 | Core Bank, Personal


Did you know that when you start planning a wedding, just saying the word “wedding” marks the cost up? There’s essentially a wedding tax markup for services and products specific for weddings, making these events cost more than a holiday celebration or birthday party. A 3-tier wedding cake could cost thousands compared to a 3-tier birthday cake. The business of weddings is still a business industry. If you are planning a wedding, you’ll have to remember that the wedding is about your marriage and not spending over your budget so that you are paying for it for years after your celebration. It would also be better to invest in your housing future by setting aside the extra money you would’ve spent toward the wedding to your own place to call home.

According to The Knot, in 2022 the average cost of a wedding is just under $30,000. The cost of a wedding will depend on which part of the country you live and the size of the wedding. The average cost breakdown includes the following and more:

  • Wedding dress: $1300
  • Venue $10,700
  • Photographer $2,500
  • Florist $2,300
  • Cake $500

Remember that your special day doesn’t have to be lavish and expensive. Decades ago, if you think of your grandparent’s wedding, it was back to basics and simple with an average cost of $2500. High-end wedding celebrations are a luxury, not an obligation. Whether you are the parents of the bride or groom or the couple paying the expenses, when planning a wedding, you are not doomed to pay for an arm and a leg for a celebration. Think 10 years from now, will the details and wants for your wedding even matter? It can be the most important day of your life, but do you want to spend your entire life paying for it?

A wedding can be affordable if you use this approach and focus on needs versus wants:

  • Figure out your budget first and let that be it.
  • Line up your big-ticket items such as the venue and the food.

The shared that 50% of people spend more than initially budgeted for their wedding. Many people get in trouble with their budget by spending on aesthetics – the floral arrangements, the live band, and an open bar. Some couples forgo the open bar and hand out drink tickets for attendees to keep the bar tab under control for many guests.

Be creative to trim costs. With big weddings, the expense comes when you choose to provide every guest with something. You can forget the party favors and real china dishes and stop looking at expensive wedding magazines for inspiration; instead, talk to your friends and family to see how they’d be willing to make your big day special. If you are having a large guest list, you can have a small cake and then ask relatives if they’d bring desserts like pies or cookies. That may even go with a particular theme if you’re going “rustic chic.” You may want to consider a wedding planner to assist you in keeping to your budget. Wedding planners can offer rental items to keep your costs lower than purchasing centerpieces outright, offer insight for cost-effective vendors as well as clever inexpensive floral ideas.

Ask yourself, what is my why before spending all this money? Is it what my spouse and I want or are we trying to please someone else? What is it about the outside world and social media that you want to impress? Will you care about this in 10 years? You do not need to match what your friends are doing.

1 in 3 couples are going into debt to get married. The average wedding debt was almost $12,000. Wedding planning and expenses are going to look different for everyone and you’ll need to be reasonable. Your loved ones aren’t going to remember the $5,000 floral arrangement. The most important thing is that they remember having fun if they even remember attending your wedding 10 years down the road.

Remember, your wedding is about your marriage, which will last a whole lot longer than the one day of celebration. You can take control of your finances with Core Bank’s Personal Finance Tool and visualize your spending and create your budget online. Share this with others who you may know who are planning a wedding to offer encouragement.