Tag Archives: budget

Free Wedding Budget Template

Today’s post is written by wedding contributor, Katie Jakub. She’s super savings-savvy and has so many great tips.  Be sure to scroll to the bottom to grab the free budgeting/planning template!

Spreadsheet with heart overlay. Text on top reads "Free Wedding Budget Template & More! by KJ of FemmeFrugality.com"

Several weekends ago, my fiancé, Brian, and I celebrated my mother’s birthday with a big family dinner at a hole in the wall. 

As the evening progressed and the BYOB wine loosened everyone’s lips, my sister hurled the insult:

“Ryan [her husband] and I have decided that you two are the cheapest out of everyone in the family.”

Brian and I looked at each other and laughed because each family has their own dynamic of you-can’t-take-it-with-yous and save-every-last-penny. 

My sister and her husband edge into the former while we are closer to the latter part of the spectrum. We attempted to explain the differences in our situation compared to theirs — but oops! –my wine glass was empty and we quickly moved on.

Writing a Wedding Budget Without Debt

Brian and I consider ourselves frugal by choice because we refuse to walk down the aisle in any kind of wedding related debt.  

We are willing to spend money on the wedding, but we understand that for every dollar that goes to our portion the wedding, a dollar comes from our joint fund. What this means is that both our home budget and wedding budget are akin to a holy text for us during this year of planning.

How to Talk About Your Wedding Budget

Budgets are yucky.  Luckily for me, Brian hearts macros, spreadsheet, and formulas almost as much as he loves me.

Maybe more?

But he hates hates hates following a budget. 

On the other side of the marital venture, I get a kick out of the challenge of coming in on or under goal, but talking about the budget when mathematical formulae are involved makes my eye twitch.

We have learned several techniques over the past months that have seemed to make a huge difference in discussing and following the wedding budget.

TALK ABOUT IT. 

Find time between your Tiger King and Ozark binge watching sesh to talk about the budget together. 

Both people need to understand what is going on and you should never let your partner off the hook when they say, “I don’t get it.” I always hate looking at the numbers because they turn into a pile of math soup, but even something as simple as changing how we approached talking about the budget entirely shifted how I viewed the budget. 

We learned a simple trick at our Pre-Cana classes and it’s made a huge difference.  The cornfield is on the right, but try rephrasing the discussion to something similar to:

“When you’re ready to talk about the budget, I’m ready to listen.”  

It makes us giggle and breaks the tension of the topic.

MAKE THE BUDGET YOUR OWN. 

To me, having pretty colors made the budget friendlier. 

To Brian, it was formulas. 

Even something as simple as having our budget on a cloud based drive has made it less painful to use. We can both access the budget at any point. It’s not stored on one person’s computer. We can both edit as needed, and even check while we’re on the go.

DO NOT PLAN ANYTHING UNTIL YOU’VE SET A BUDGET. 

It’s nice to dream about your big day, but you can quickly become disappointed when reality and your budget don’t align. The earlier you can have candid and honest discussions with any parents/relatives that will be helping pay for the wedding, the sooner you can move on to the planning stage.

This also means knowing how much you can cover.

If you already have personal or couple budget in place, you’re a step ahead because you know what you can contribute.

A simple overall budget number is a perfect starting place. Here’s one for example:

  • We know that we’ve got $5,000 from your parents,
  • $2,000 from mine,
  • And we can save $3,000 by the wedding.  

From here you know you have a $10,000 total budget, and can plan accordingly.

An overall budget number can influence your first big decisions such as the venue — especially if you have Plaza dreams on a fire hall budget.

From there, you can start to narrow in on how much you spend on what with a more itemized budget.

HAVE A WISH LIST. 

Sometimes, keeping-up-with-the-newlyweds can feel like a three ring circus of vendors. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to have it all. 

Figure out what is absolutely essential for your wedding. Brian and I knew that we had to have cake and pie at our Pi Day Wedding.

Hilarious that we chose math as part of our wedding, right?

We also knew that making our own candy flavored liquor would be a special touch, but that a photo booth, up-lighting and a garden of flowers weren’t anywhere near the top of our list.  

It’s nice to want, but you definitely do not want to spend years paying off your wedding.

CELEBRATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS. 

You negotiated a vendor’s price down? 

Celebrate! 

Whether it’s putting that money you saved towards a night out with your main squeeze or putting it towards a wish list item for the big day, you’ve got a little wiggle room to do something for you.  

When you’ve come in on budget, do something a bit smaller like a drinks out. You deserve it — you’ve put on your grown up BRIDE or GROOM-TO-BE plastered undies and followed your budget.

Free Wedding Budget Spreadsheet Template

To help you achieve wedding budget bliss or at least find your starting place, I’m including a copy of our free wedding budget template Excel file which includes:

  • Countdown clock.
  • Budget sheet.
  • Guest info.
  • Vendor info.
  • Seating charts.
  • Day of timeline.
  • Drop-off lists.
  • Must-have photo itinerary.
  • Songs for the DJ.  

Because this is a spreadsheet, you’ll easily be able to customize it and make the budget your own!

Just the Two of Us and Pinterest

Use Pinsperation to positively effect your wedding budget, negotiations with vendors, and more.

This post is written by our wedding contributor Katie, who is getting married this coming Pi Day!  Read on for how she used Pinterest to enhance her wedding savings.

For some brides, Pinterest can be the I Ching of wedding ideas, but it can also bring up anxiety and stress.  Check out these 5 tips to get your Pinterest addiction and wedding budget in check.

ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE

With Pinterest, it’s easy to dump everything all on a board and never look back.  For me, that’s not an option.  As a librarian, organization is how I survive.  To help keep my sanity, I broke my Pinterest boards out for the wedding into 10 or so different boards to help keep like thoughts together—novel, right?  But the best part of having everything organized from the beginning was that when we met with a vendor, I could pull up the board and say, “This is what we really love.  What can you do in our budget?”  With the baker, they were able to say that the look we really wanted would be fondant and it would cost more.  We nixed the fondant and went with a buttercream option that was just as pretty.  With the florist, she was able to suggest less expensive flowers with bigger blooms that would fill up the vases we made.

VENDOR WINDOW SHOPPING

One of my favorite ways to find vendors on Pinterest is to search photographers in the Pittsburgh area to see what other couples have done.  A photographer will generally list all the vendors at a particular event when they do a blog post about the specific wedding.  We were able to find a DJ who was at our venue last August (hilariously enough for another Kate + Brian wedding) who gave us a reduced rate for our March date and threw in the cocktail hour for free after we mentioned how we found him!  We did do some browsing on Facebook, Wedding Wire, and The Knot.  Not to discredit any of the reviews, but for the most part, it seems like every bride had the best DJ ever so you may have to go with your gut instinct.

TIPS & HINTS

There are some incredibly wise event coordinators and brides who have shared their knowledge on Pinterest.   Their free wisdom is worth every penny.  Something as simple as putting a number on the RSVP that lined up with the guest in our spreadsheet has saved us at least 4 headaches as we’ve collected responses with no names on them so far.  I’m also much more open to the plan of taking off my dress, which has a zipper not a corset back, when I need to go to the bathroom because fighting into a stall with 26 yards of tulle will not end pretty for me or the dress.

THEME-TASTIC

Here’s where some more librarian skills have come in handy.  Searching the general Wedding category can be a great way to start when newly engaged.  When you get a theme in mind, it’s better to narrow in on those specifics topics.  For our Pi Day wedding, we’re trying to incorporate circles and polka dots into multiple aspects.  Having a specific theme in mind helped me clear out the clutter, in a sense, because I could search specifically for circle escort cards, dot wedding invites, etc and not get too caught up in all the ideas out there.  When I get stuck and need some inspiration, I head back to the main Wedding category.

KNOW THINE OWN DIY SKILLS

I would consider this a bride’s biggest Pinterest downfall.  It all looks so pretty, but if you or your fiancé/fiancée have never ever accomplished a craft on your own, before your wedding is not the time to start.  In a society where both parties are generally working full-time, the stress of crafting in the evenings and making first-timer mistakes will start to outweigh the budget help.  My suggestion for the non-crafty folk who really do want a personal touch is to find one thing where you and your partner can have a blast and if it happens to save a few bucks, celebrate!  Already know that no matter what it’ll turn into DIY Hell?  Search on Etsy and eBay for vendors who may already have your crafts pre-made for a few more cents or invite your super crafty friends over to help and provide the wine.  If you’re lucky like me, your friends will travel for free booze!

Follow Femme Frugality and katej0805 for more wedding advice over on Pinterest!