When planning a wedding, the budget is always a big concern. How much can you afford to spend? And how do you make sure that your money is well-spent? This post will give tips for creating a wedding budget that works for you. So whether you're on a tight budget or have a little more flexibility, read on for advice on planning your dream wedding without breaking the bank!

how to plan you wedding budget checklist

In the UK, the average wedding cost is £18,000, which can seem like a lot of money. However, there are ways to keep costs down and still have the wedding of your dreams. 









The first step to wedding budgeting is having an honest chat with your partner about what you can afford. Start by discussing what kind of wedding you both want. Do you envision a big, lavish affair or a more intimate gathering? Once you have an idea of the size and scope of the wedding, you can start to get an accurate estimate of costs. Make sure to include all potential expenses in your budget, from the venue's cost to the cake's price. You can avoid any financial surprises down the road by being upfront about your budget from the beginning.

Think how much you have in savings and how much you are willing to put towards the wedding. It's not always a good idea to use it all on your wedding, especially if you have been saving up for a house deposit.

Also, most of your expenses will be required to be paid upfront, as you will need to pay around a 50% deposit to secure your venue, entertainment band etc... So start saving up well in advance. 

How to plan your wedding budget bride to be wedding budget checklist


One way to keep your wedding budget under control is to find out if anyone else is happy to contribute. Parents, grandparents, and even close friends may be willing to chip in to help make your big day special. By asking for help from those closest to you, you can free up some of your money for other aspects of the wedding. In addition, you may be surprised at how many people are willing and eager to lend a hand. Asking for help with your wedding budget is a great way to keep costs down while still making your big day everything you've dreamed of.

Traditionally, the parents help contribute to the cost of the wedding in the following manner:

The groom's parents traditionally pay for the groom's and groomsmen's suits.

The bride's parents traditionally pay for the wedding dress/accessories, the wedding ceremony, and the bridesmaid outfits.

Families or couples have traditionally covered other expenses like wedding rings, guest accommodations, and transport.

How to plan your wedding budget bride to be wedding budget checklist


This will give you a general idea of how much money you will need to set aside for food, drink, and other expenses. Of course, your guest list will likely change over time, but having a general idea of numbers will help you create a more accurate budget. Once you know how many people you will invite, you can begin to work out the cost of food, drink, and other necessary expenses. With careful planning, you can ensure that your wedding budget is realistic and achievable.

Once you both know what's important, it's time to crunch the numbers. You've got to determine how much money is available now (for example, in savings accounts, stocks/bonds, real estate, trust funds), how much you'll have to commit to saving from your regular income streams, and how much you can realistically expect others to kick in. Depending on how far out the actual wedding date is, you may want to consider opening a higher-interest-bearing account for the money so that it can earn interest. 

Have a look at the average spend on the top wedding costs in 2023:

- Wedding Venue Hire – £8,000

- Wedding Dress - £1,500

- Wedding Photography - £1,000

- Groom's Attire - £500

- Catering per head - £60

- Bridal hair - £70

- Bridal makeup - £70

How to plan your wedding budget bride to be wedding budget checklist


Between the dress, the venue, the flowers, and the catering, it's easy to blow your budget. Setting aside a portion of your budget for unexpected expenses is essential. By setting aside 10-15% of your budget, you'll be prepared for anything from cost overruns to last-minute guest additions. And if you end up not needing the extra money, you can always use it towards your honeymoon or another goal. Either way, it's better to be safe than sorry about your wedding budget.

Don't forget to include in your wedding budget:

- Marriage licence/registrar fees

- Corkage

- Wedding party gifts

- Wedding insurance

- Wedding Stationery

- Bachelorette and Stag party costs 

- Post-wedding clean-up costs

- Outfit alterations

- Hotel room the night before the wedding

- Honeymoon activities (skydiving or boat hire)

- Post-wedding stationery & gifts 

Because budgeting is essential for most couples, you'll find that printable wedding planners often include wedding budget templates, so start using them now!

How to plan your wedding budget bride to be wedding budget checklist

5. List of non-negotiables

Now that you've sorted your wedding budget, it's time to start thinking about how best to allocate your remaining funds. First, identify your non-negotiables - the things that are essential to making your wedding day perfect. This may include a luxurious venue, an exceptional photographer, or a top-tier cake designer for some couples.

 6. Stick to Your Budget

A good wedding planner will tell you that one of the most important things you can do when planning your nuptials is to set a budget and stick to it. Wedding costs can quickly spiral out of control, and it's easy to find yourself in debt before you even say, "I do." Tracking your budget is the only fail-safe way of making sure you don't go over it. Many helpful wedding budgeting planners are available online, or you can create your spreadsheet. 

How to plan your wedding budget bride to be wedding budget checklist 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a realistic budget for a wedding?

A realistic budget for a wedding in the UK can vary quite a bit depending on your specific circumstances and what kind of wedding you want. However, you can expect to spend around £18,000 on your big day.

Of course, this number can be higher or lower depending on how many guests you invite, where the wedding will take place, what kind of food and drink you'll be serving, and so forth. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to the overall cost of a wedding. 

Who pays for what in a wedding in the UK?

There is no set answer to this question, as who pays for what in a wedding can vary greatly depending on the couple's traditions, families, and budgets. However, the bride's family typically pays for most of the wedding expenses, including the venue, catering, flowers, and decorations. The groom's family may contribute towards some of these costs or pay for other vital elements such as the photography, videographer, band/entertainment, and wedding favours. The bride and groom may also cover specific costs or split certain expenses with their parents or wedding party. Ultimately it is up to the couple to decide who pays for what in their wedding.

Is £18,000 a reasonable wedding budget?

£18,000 is a very generous amount to spend on a wedding. However, it is straightforward to overspend when planning a wedding, so it is essential to be mindful of your budget. There are many ways to save money when planning a wedding, so if you are careful, you should be able to stick to your budget.

Many details go into planning a wedding, so it is essential to be organized and make sure you have considered all the costs involved. When booking vendors, always get quotes from multiple vendors before making any decisions.