Crystal Horton Photography | Wedding Budget & Finance & Cost, Oh My!

Wedding Budget & Finance & Cost, Oh My!

June 05, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series

Wedding Budget & Finance & Cost, Oh My!

If you have been married before, the cost of a wedding will be no surprise to you, you just need to accommodate for economic inflation. However, if this is your first wedding, as with most couples, then you are about to have a giant shell shock at how much a wedding will cost you or your family.

According to online statistics by

The overall cost of a wedding including the cost of the rings is an average of $33,391 in 2017. Remember if this seems surprising, this number is bracketing Hollywood weddings and courthouse weddings all in the same equation.

And this number shouldn’t scare you, it should be more of an eye opener to give you a good estimate of what you want and or what you can expect for your dream wedding.

Before we get into individual items and what they may cost you, let me touch base on why having a wedding budget is not only a smart financial move, but is also beneficial to you emotionally. (I even talked about my own experience in my direct email some of you are signed up for HERE.)



Why a Budget is Healthy & Smart


  • Empowers you to know what is considered good quality versus cheap
  • Keeps you mindful of what you can afford
  • Assists with deciding which aspects of your event are most important
  • Prepares you for any unexpected life, or wedding, hiccups (unemployment/dropped vendors)
  • Elevates stress that would normally come with sticker shock
  • Prepares you for interviewing professional vendors and venues
  • But Most of all…..

It prevents you and your future husband or wife from getting into a very large, heated, and unwanted, argument or debate about what you want, don’t want, or where your money is being spent.


What the Cost of a Wedding looks like.


I know this is not for every single person because we are all different and we all value things differently. Someone may value a Beanie Baby while someone else will value a stamp. These numbers are simply to give you an idea and help you get a base of where you should aim to save for, or where you desire to spend your hard-earned dollar.


If you have already made a wedding list, you already know what you value the most. Those are going to be the things that you will want to have the top notch quality in. If you haven't follow this link to make that now, or this link to get the entire Smooth Wedding Day Series to your email.

If you were unsure, most people go for the Reception location, Photographer, or Honeymoon.


TIP & TRICK: Time Vs Money. If you are wanting to save some extra cash or you are a hand on crafty person, don’t forget that where you are not spending money, you will have to spend your own time. Everything in regards to a wedding budget is time versus money. And if you choose to save a few hundred dollars on say your outdoor venue, you might not realize they don’t have heat/ac units or running water. Wouldn’t that be fun?!


The Average Budgets List

I’m going to continue to reference the chart found on’s link above. These numbers are simply averages. No one is telling you, you have to spend this must on a dress or flowers. It’s all dependent on what you feel is most important to you and to see in your everlasting wedding photographs.

  • Venue/Reception average $15,163
  • Engagement Ring $5,764
  • Live Reception band $4,019
    • Reception DJ $1,231
  • Photographer $2,630
    • Videographer $1,912
  • Live Flowers $2,379
  • Ceremony Location $2,311
  • Wedding Planner $1,988
  • Wedding Gown $1,509
  • Rehearsal Dinner $1,285
  • Wedding Cake $540
  • Invitations $408
  • Favors $252
  • Catering (Per Person) $70


What is my Budget?

This is hard for anyone to really say what you can or can’t afford. Thankfully there are some factors that can help you decide what you can easily afford, comfortably afford, or penny pinching afford.

  • Length of Engagement
  • Monthly Income (per person vs couple)
  • Expected Monthly Bills
  • Number of Guests


An Actual Bride!

To give you an idea of what to expect, I’m going to use one of my very best girl friends who is getting married.

I’m going to call her MB. She is down to earth has a great full time job, her fiancé has a very promising full time job in the finance world and they have been engaged for over 12 months. Their wedding is in October, so they still have a few months to go. She does have a slight advantage because she knows what to expect from a wedding

Here is what she had to say: “We talked about what the max we could/would spend. Came up with a guest list and then found a venue to hold that many. Then we said from there, we have an upscale venue, so we need good quality in everything else. We also picked photography as priority expense, so we have quality, timeless, memories. If catering wasn't included, we would have picked that as our second priority expense for the guests (experience).” 

  • Overall Budget $10,000-15,000
  • Venue $10,000 (includes catering and bar) 
  • Photographer $3,500
  • Dress $700-$1,000
  • Decorations (centerpiece vases for fresh flowers) - $240
  • DJ $1,000
  • Flowers $500-$700
  • Cake $500

That total brought them to a monthly budget of: $1,250

Now that number looks a little more comfortable. Having 12 months to plan means 12 months to budget means a nicer quality and better memories for you to look back upon.


TIP & TRICK: If you still don’t know what your budget should be, work backwards! Decide what your flexible income is a month and multiply that by the number of months you wish to be engaged. The average is 12+ months.

$500 x 8 = $4,000       $800 x 8 = $6,400       $1,400 x 8 = $11,200

$500 x 12 = $6,000     $800 x 12 = $9,600     $1,400 x 12 = $16,800

$500 x 15 = $7,500     $800 x 15 = $12,000   $1,400 x 15 = $21,000



To Sum it Up

Remember this is a very special moment in your life that you will be sharing for a lifetime with your soon to be husband or wife. Don’t feel like you must break the bank, but to be frank and honest, nothing can beat a good quality anything, especially when it comes to your wedding and it’s photographic memories!


I absolutely have a passion for photography, but when I’m not editing photograph, or capturing a wedding, I’m doing research and interviewing actual brides and professionals to give you the best possible knowledge to make you feel the most power when it comes to your wedding.

Feel free to get my information directly to you when you sign up for my Smooth Wedding Day Series, you will instantly get the Blank Wedding Day Itinerary and more downloadable files through my series. Click the link above to get that instantly and directly now!


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