It’s the “B” word you hope to never hear from your fiancé… BUDGET. We know you’d rather skip this step all together and go straight to cake tasting, but without one, you may not get that far. We’ve made it easy for you to decide what parts are a priority and what you should be spending with our Wedding Budget Calculator.

Whether you’re working with $100 or $100,000, there are some general guidelines that can help you decide what you can spend, and what you’ll want to save or splurge on.

Q. How does the Wedding Budget Calculator work?

A. Let’s flashback to 5th grade, and your girl here struggled with even the simplest of fractions. I am much more suited for timelines than times tables, but even I can work this calculator!

Once you complete the easy base steps listed below, you’ll input your target budget into the calculator. Then for each wedding category (caterer, decorations,) you’ll pick a percentage based on how much of a priority it is to you.

Voila! You know have an estimated budget! 

    1. Create an Estimated Guest Count

Before you even look at a venue, you should have a general idea of the number of guests you’ll be inviting. Not only do you need to make sure you book a space that will fit everyone, but a space that’s TOO big may require more to fill it, and can eat up your budget. Having an estimated guest count also affects all of your quotes moving forward.

Being strategic about who you invite is the best way to cut down on wedding costs from the get-go. For help with tackling your wedding guest list check out our article on How to Create Your Seating Chart

   2. Make Your Wedding Priority List

You will both need to answer this question: What one wedding item is at the very top of your priority list? Maybe your fiancé’s non-negotiable is an open bar and yours is the band. Once you decide your top priorities, you can allot a bigger percentage of your budget to them (remember our Wedding Budget Calculator? It will do this for you!)

   3. Stick to Your Budget

Give your budget to your vendors when you first start negotiations. When your vendors know your target amount, they can better supply services and work to get you what you want within your budget. It’s MUCH harder for a vendor to give you a quote when they don’t know if they have $1,000 or $6,000 to work with.

Be sure to download your FREE Wedding Budget Calculator right here from Paper Hat.