How to Budget for a $30,000 Wedding

wedding invites
Colorful Wedding Invitation Suite via Sweet Ink Paper Co on Etsy, $30+

Q: I am in desperate need of some budgeting advice. I am having a 350-person wedding on $25,000-$30,000 budget. How much is a reasonable amount of money to budget for invitations? I just received a quote for $13/invitation (that includes the invite, response card, and accommodations card, unassembled). That seems high to me, but again, I have no idea how much is too much. Any insight you have is greatly appreciated!!-Cristina

Trying to plan out a budget for your wedding IS one (if not THE) most confusing things couples have to figure out. You have to decide on not only your TOTAL budget (for everything from your wedding invites to your venue to the food/alcohol to your wedding dress and photographer) but how much to allot to each category. And the thing is, your wedding budget will differ depending on what you’re looking for. Are you having a backyard wedding with BBQ and beer and wine only? OR are you hoping to get married at a hotel with a 5-piece band? Decisions, decisions, decisions!

350 people, as I’m sure you know all too well, is A TON of wedding guests. But I’m not going to preach to you about changing that. The trick is to optimize your wedding budget for what you want, and trying to figure out the best way to accomplish that without pulling your hair out.

So, I’m about to make a lot of assumptions here considering I don’t know your situation, but here’s what I would budget for your wedding, assuming every single guest shows up.

  • Venue: $1,000
  • Food/Beverage (BYO or similarly priced caterer): $50/pp
  • Music/DJ: $500
  • Wedding Dress: $1,000
  • Wedding Photographer: $1,500
  • Groomsman Attire: $200
  • Wedding Invitations (I’m going to assume without seeing your headcount and their status [+1 or not] that you’ll need 1 for every 2 people plus extras just in case): 200 wedding invitations at $7/each.

This brings you to $23,200, leaving you $6,800 if we use a $30,000 total budget.

Given your large guest count and budget, I would definitely cut costs on your wedding invitations and plan to spend no more than $7/each (ideally you could get this cost down to $5/each). I would check out Etsy for printable wedding invitations or our favorite free wedding invitation templates. You can also search for discount codes on sites like Minted. I’d rather put that money towards food/beverage or a wedding photographer (you would be on the low side for both using the budget above ) and keep extra money aside for things like gratuities, unexpected charges, or you know, fun wedding shoes! 🙂

Check out our guide to how much wedding invitations cost here for even more insight (and where to find the best deals).

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