Photo by Caitlin Abrams
When I thought of planning a wedding, I envisioned dessert tastings and trying on fancy dresses. But money is a major part of the process. I dreaded setting a budget, but I knew that Sean and I needed to jump on it. We made a goal to get out of the wedding debt free. It wouldn’t make sense to meet with vendors and start writing checks until we knew how much we could spend.
At first, we hoped our wedding would be in the low- to mid-$20,000s. Ha. Hahahahaha! We found out that an average Twin Cities wedding costs about $30,000. That’s a lot of money to come up with in a year. We asked ourselves, did we really want to drop thousands of dollars on one day of our lives? Wouldn’t it be smarter to elope or have a small civil ceremony? We spent an entire weekend thinking this over. But we knew that celebrating our marriage with friends and family was really important to us. We didn’t want to skip this once-in-a-lifetime party.
Once we committed to having a Twin Cities wedding, our next step was to figure out who could contribute money, and how much. Sean and I looked at our expenses and determined how much we could save per month. We also met separately with our parents to see if they’d be willing to chip in. We added up those amounts, and that’s how we landed on our budget.
I had no idea how much money to allocate to different areas of the wedding. So I turned to Pinterest and Google to look up average costs for flowers, photography, music, food, etc. I entered those numbers into a handy spreadsheet I found from former Real Bride, Carly. (Thanks, lady!) This information has been so helpful when researching vendors and finalizing costs.
I’m sure we’ll run into some financial surprises as we continue to plan our wedding. (Hello, taxes, fees, and gratuities!) But at least we have some spending guidelines in place.
Now, onto the fun stuff! Dress shopping, here I come.