So you and your significant other have decided to move forward and get married. First off, congratulations! This is a time filled with excitement, anticipation for the future, and many opportunities to grow successfully together. Discussing finances with a loved one isn’t always easy to navigate, but it’s critical to have these discussions to set yourselves up for success. Budgeting for a wedding is a great start.
Your dream wedding may look vastly different to that of your peers or family when it comes to decision-making and preferences, as expected. Sit down with your partner in a collaborative atmosphere where an intimate conversation can take place to cover the important topics of taking this next step together.
Highlighted below are some of the costs a couple may want to consider when budgeting for the big day:
- Size: According to a recent study, the average wedding size in 2022 was 117 guests. Whether that is a big or small wedding to you, it’s no secret this can influence overall cost.
- Location/Venue: Are you considering a destination wedding? Or keeping it local? Whichever decision you and your partner come to, it’s important to consider not only the expense of renting a place but also travel expenses for you and guests to arrive at said destination.
- Decor/Florals: Wedding decor options are truly endless, including the prices of such. Does your venue have everything you need in terms of linens, chairs, tableware, etc., or will you need to rent them separately? Make sure to include floral arrangements and bouquets in your budget as well, as these can be costly depending on the varieties and season.
- Catering: Does your venue offer catering services, or do you need to plan for a separate vendor? Plated vs. buffet, open bar vs. cash bar, are just some of the options to consider. Did someone say cake?
- Wedding Planner: Some couples turn to a professional event planner for their big day. Are you looking to take some of the weighted responsibilities off your shoulders? Whether it’s helping communicate with vendors, introducing new ideas, sharing advice and wisdom, and, of course, scheduling, this could be a great option to review. Wedding planners can also help you stay within budget—but at a cost. If you’re wanting to have control of the planning yourself, another option could be hiring a day-of coordinator, if it’s not already included with your venue, to make sure your big day runs exactly how you planned it.
- Photographer/Videographer: For many, it’s without question that a hired professional photographer is a must for a wedding. Add-ons such as prints and videography may come at an additional price.
- Music: How do you envision the party getting started for you and your future spouse plus guests? You may consider hiring a DJ and/or an MC to keep the festivities moving along. Another popular option is a live band which can appeal to guests of all ages.
- Invitations: The price of wedding stationary can be surprising, and remember, cost goes up for a larger guest list or finer stationary. Don’t forget about postage!
As mentioned, these are only some of the wedding expenses and don’t include an engagement party, bridal shower, bachelor/bachelorette party, the list goes on... Keep in mind, these expenses vary for everyone, as the decisions made are highly personal. Lean into this celebratory day with the peace and confidence knowing you considered all your financial options in partnership with your partner. Don’t think of budgeting for a wedding as something to avoid or stress over; rather, think of it as an open conversation about expectations and goals. Let this be your guide into planning a worry-free wedding that allows you to prioritize the next chapter of your life.
1 The Knot: This Is the Average Wedding Guest List Size in the U.S.
2 The Knot: This Is the National Average Cost of Wedding Invitations and Stationery
This material is being provided for educational and informational purposes only. D.A. Davidson & Co. is a registered broker-dealer and registered investment adviser that does not provide tax or legal advice. Information contained herein has been obtained by sources we consider reliable, but is not guaranteed and we are not soliciting any action based upon it. Any opinions expressed are based on our interpretation of the data available to us at the time of the original article. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Copyright D.A. Davidson & Co., 2023. All rights reserved. Member FINRA and SIPC.