First of all, we want to say a huge congratulations on your engagement! this is a huge chapter in your lives together and it definitely needs to be celebrated. This is where the true fun begins, choosing all those important suppliers, wedding venues, dresses, photographers and most importantly what flavoured wedding cake you are having (red velvet is always a winner!).

You have probably stumbled across this page by typing into google, “How to make a wedding budget?” or “how to workout a wedding budget?“. Being an experienced South Wales Wedding Photographer, we believe that setting a budget at the beginning of your wedding planning journey is of paramount importance.

Wedding Budget planning

How to determine your wedding budget

Have a chat with your partner!

Ok so lets just cut to the chase… Weddings are expensive! If you have taken a look at our Ultimate Wedding Checklist you will know that the average wedding in the UK costs £32,000. That isn’t to say that yours will/should cost that much but be prepared to spend if you want that show stopper wedding day!

Sitting down and having that honest discussion with your partner, will allow you to create an overall budget for the whole wedding day. It is far too easy to get caught up in the excitement of being newly engaged and going above what you would like whilst attending wedding fayres. Why not come down and have a chat with us at our next fayre in the ICC in April 10th 2022!

Having a figure in mind will reduce disappointment if you find out a supplier you have fallen in love with is out of your price range and will ensure the excitement remains.

With this comes expectations on what you want from your wedding day. Your budget will ultimately decide what your wedding day will be like, if one of you wants a nice intimate wedding with a stunning buffet but the other wants a grandeur wedding with a sit down meal, then your conception of budget size will be different.

Wedding couple stood outside Cardiff City Hall

Is anyone else contributing?

Who is paying? Is it just you paying for the wedding or are there family members (not to coin the term bank of mum and dad) but are your parents helping out? This will ultimately increase your budget by potentially a significant margin. If it is just you paying for your wedding day then it is important you establish your combined savings and how much you can save from your monthly wages. For example if you need to save £10,000 and can only put away £400/month then you will be saving for a total of 25 months or 2.1 years. You could break this down further by establishing if your parents will pay for a specific item such as the dress or your wedding flowers etc.

Wedding budget top tips

How to breakdown a wedding budget

Here are a couple of ideas on how to organise your wedding budget and prioritise whats most important to you for you dream wedding.

Wedding budget ideas

Make a guest list

The size of your guest list will ultimately determine the budget you are going to need. This will determine the length of time you need to save from your wages or how much savings are needed.

If you are planning a small wedding, not only will it be easier to plan with most venues easily catering for 50-100 guests, it will also be far cheaper. You will have the option to just hire a room within a pub/restaurant if your wedding party is <20 guests and will be very cheap to do so. It is important to scout some wedding venues that you like the look of and establish the cost per head for catering. Before making any immediate decisions it is important to compare and contrast, almost like a game of top trumps for wedding venues.

If you are planning a bigger wedding 150+ guests then you should expect to pay more as you will need to look at bigger wedding venues. However, don’t be put off by the price, as there are ways to lower the overall cost. Have you considered a mid-week wedding? or considered seeing if the venue accepts you paying a small fee for bringing your own alcohol (Corkage).

Bride and Groom kissing at Fairyhill

ATTENTION! Please be aware that this will be your biggest cost but it wont be your only cost. You still need to account for:

  • Wedding dress(es)
  • Suit(‘s)
  • Wedding photographer (Checkout our prices here)
  • Wedding Cake
  • Wedding DJ/Band
  • Wedding Entertainment (Checkout our entertainment blog here)
  • Wedding Car(‘s)
  • Wedding Rings
  • Engagement Ring
  • Flowers
Large wedding party

Set aside a 10% contingency fund

Don’t over estimate how much you think your budget will stretch, if anything ensure you have a 10% contingency budget ready just incase. There are always going to be those little costs that you haven’t prepared for, so it is always a good idea to put 10% of your budget aside and pretend like it doesn’t exist. For example if you have a budget of £25,000, put aside £2500 and budget the whole day for £22,500 instead.

Ok so this maybe a little OTT but we would suggest having an emergency wedding buffer of £500 to cover any on the day problems such as wedding cars braking down etc. Obviously we don’t want this to happen but if it does then at least you can get to your wedding, even if it is in a taxi!

We always suggest to our clients that they create an emergency fund to cover real life problems such as a burst tyre or a broken boiler. You don’t want to be planning your big day in a cold house! Your wedding day is very important but your day to day life shouldn’t be compromised so plan ahead and plan smart.

Bride and Groom on Rhossili Beach

Prioritise your wedding budget

The remainder of your budget should now be distributed based on priority, including wedding outfits, wedding rings, wedding photographer etc. Here is how we suggest you prioritise:

  • Create a non-negotiable list between you and your partner. This list should include things such as your wedding photographer, yes we maybe biased but your wedding photos are the only thing that will last a lifetime, As the saying goes… ” the cake gets eaten, the flowers will die but your photos will last forever” so choosing a high quality and professional photographer is a must in our opinion with a budget of £1000- £2500 being set aside for just the photography alone.
  • What about a firework display? or a really fancy Rolls Royce to chauffeur you to your wedding venue.

You must be sensible with your non-negotiable’s list, with a maximum of three as this could prove too costly for your wedding budget otherwise.

We would also suggest making a “not bothered” list. This will include things such as a huge wedding cake, fancy centre pieces and expensive wedding rings. You need to ask yourself are they really that important to you that they will consume a large chunk of your wedding budget. If they’re not that important then stick them on the “not bothered” list.

Wedding ring in Fairyhill

Stick to your Budget!

It is imperative that you stick to your budget and stringently reviewing it to ensure you don’t go over it. This maybe boring and may even take some of the fun out of wedding planning but it will definitely reduce financial stress before and after your special day.

Use the spreadsheet we have made you! and treat it like your best friend.

Keep referring to this spreadsheet on a monthly basis. Look at what you have spent on certain things so far and if you have gone beyond what you projected for that item then sit down and reevaluate what you can do to balance something else out.

Use your phone to keep on track of things and create the most cost effective wedding possible! (Click here to see how you can use your phone to plan your wedding day! Blog)

Then when all of your planning is done, its time to embrace and enjoy every moment of your wedding day!

South Wales Wedding Photographer


  • Discount codes! the internet is jam packed with discount codes and referral links! if you are buying something online then do some digging on google for some money saving discount codes!
  • Cashback! Why not sign up to a cashback website? get money back for something you were going to buy anyway.
  • Use a 0% interest credit card to pay for all of your deposits! not only does this give you to book your favourite suppliers early but it also adds financial protection if they were to go out of business.
  • Get creative! Make some of your centrepieces from inspiration on Pinterest! Not only will this save you money but its also a great activity for you to do as a couple.
  • Open a new bank account for your wedding budget! Some banks offer a setting up incentive of £100!


If you enjoyed reading this blog please feel free to take a closer look at some of our most recent weddings

Booking your wedding photographer

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