Ready to get wedding planning? The first thing most brides do is dream big: they run to Pinterest, their magazine rack, or websites (like WomanGettingMarried!) to come up with inspiration for their big day. But before things get too out of hand, there’s one thing that needs to be considered—your wedding budget.
It’s no secret that weddings are insanely expensive and that budgeting is a necessity. Little costs add up before you know it, and some vendors are pros at trying to push your limits. It’s hard to say no in a meeting with a DJ who absolutely insists you need the premium package when it may not be within your wedding budget. But how can you track your spending? If looking at an Excel spreadsheet gives you a headache, have no fear—there are tons of easy to use online wedding budget planners that can help you make sure your dream day is within reason.
Just starting your wedding planning? Make sure you’re on tracking with this super helpful Wedding Planning Checklist.
1. The Knot
The Knot offers a wedding budget planner that not only guesstimates the amount you’ll spend on each item after putting in your total wedding budget, but is easily viewed on either your laptop, phone or tablet. In other words, not only do you have clear cut guidelines on how much you should be spending on a particular area like wedding flowers, but you’ll be able to whip out your phone during your meeting with your florist and actually show them your specific budget so they can find something gorgeous in your price range. It can also help you track when deposits and payments are made.
2. Wedding Wire
This budget tool allows you to track your spending goals vs. what you actually end up spending, and also offers a detailed payment plan schedule so you make sure to avoid late fees or missed deposits. You can also create your own categories that don’t already exist, so if you have an unusual expense (like if you’re paying for all your bridesmaids’ shoes) you can add that as well. Wedding Wire’s tool makes it easy to redistribute funds, so you can add or delete categories and the math is automatically readjusted.
Easy Weddings has a wedding budget planner that allows you to keep track of quotes from potential vendors. If you’re on the hunt for a photographer, for instance, you can compile their costs in one place to compare and see how different ones fit into your budget.
This site allows you to put in your total wedding budget number, followed with things that are either already paid for or have an unshakeable cost (like your dream wedding photographer’s price). It’s simple, easy-to-use and makes everything clear cut. It will definitely help you at least get started.
Out of the Ordinary has a wedding budget calculator that allows you to input your percentages and number of guests before calculating. So if you enter your wedding budget and your guest list is at 250, it will automatically break down your budget into categories. From there, you can change percentage amounts. So if photography is a huge priority, you can give it more weight, and if you’re skipping florals, you can bring your décor budget way down. It then does the math for you.
APW offers a wedding planning spreadsheet if you’re looking for something a little more simplified. The Google doc can be viewed on any device and provides you with “industry average” percentages so you can have an estimate of how large of a piece of the pie certain factors should have. For instance, they list attire as 8-10%, so you can have a good idea of a starting number to tell your bridal salon when you go shopping.
Your wedding day should be exactly what you’ve envisioned—but also comfortable. You don’t want to go into debt that will follow you for years, or spend the next day regretting that you spilled wine all over a dress you couldn’t afford in the first place. Budgeting has never been easier with these and other online tools. Use them to their full advantage to ensure your wedding is a day to remember—and not a day for your bank account to regret.