The B Word our Sophisticated Affairs team is talking about is not ‘Bridezilla,’ it’s BUDGET! Everyone planning a wedding has one, and some are bigger than others. What is moderate to some people might be huge to others, and that’s okay!

In our recent Sophisticated Affairs blog post, we touched on Common Questions For your Wedding Planner. And as expected, several questions centered around budgeting and spending. So, we thought we’d focus this blog post on our favorite budgeting tips.

5 Tips to Budget For Your Wedding


Budgeting Tip #1 – Get To Know Each Other

As a recently engaged couple, this probably seems like the strangest piece of advice. Honestly, we know that you have spent a considerable time getting to know each other during the dating process.

However, we are also sure neither of you talked about your vision for the wedding, your design style, or which parts of the wedding are most important to you.

One of you might want something more rustic and relaxed, while the other wants to include those glam details. You are not the first! Wedding planning is an excellent exercise in communication and compromise.

Chances are, there is common ground. Elements that appeal to both of you can be blended into a cohesive design that reflects both of you.

Another part of getting to know each other is coming up with a list of which items at the wedding are most important to each of you and budgeting accordingly. Compromise and prioritization are key. Regardless of your budget, compromising on some areas allows you to splurge on others. You want to focus splurges on focal points and things that are important to you.

If you are both foodies, excellent food might be high on your list. Infusing the day with fantastic entertainment might be a huge priority for one. At the same time, fabulous photography is top of the list for the other.


young black couple laying on the floor planning their South Carolina wedding


Budgeting Tip #2 – Discuss Who Is Contributing To The Wedding

This is the ugly conversation no one wants to have. Rarely do couples want to talk to parents about money. It’s just not something we like doing – and it’s not just a South Carolina wedding challenge.

Some of you may have saved to pay for all or a portion of the wedding yourselves. Other couples will need a little help. Our years of wedding planning experience tell us that your parents are waiting for this conversation. They know it’s coming.

Chances are this conversation started when your parents saw your relationship start to get more serious and the notion of a wedding crossed their minds.

Our suggestion is to keep any money contributed separated. Most people want to have a say in how their money is being spent. Keeping things separated allows you to say – “Thank you for contributing to our wedding. We’re going to spend the money on the band and our wedding cake.” Ideally, they can offer suggestions on your band and wedding cake – and not the rest of the wedding.


Budgeting Tip #3 – Have Realistic Expectations

Weddings grow exponentially based on the number of wedding guests—the more wedding guests, the bigger the budget tends to increase. Managing your guest list is the first way to manage your budget.

Looking at your priorities and focusing on investing in those areas first another critical step toward a realistic budget.

The third piece of the puzzle is something our Sophisticated Affairs team assists with all the time. We love working with couples to create memorable focal points and details.

Those show-stopping centerpieces you saw online are beautiful if you need one or two. But, twenty-five tables mean twenty-five centerpieces. And that adds up. A few well-placed splurges and more affordable options based on those inspirations makes your budget go further.


Budgeting Tip # 4 – Spend Smart, Cheaper Is Not Always Better

We have learned that in wedding planning, people rarely compare apples to apples. Everything is priced out differently. We often find ourselves working with couples to break things down and look at them with an objective eye.

We also know that sometimes cheaper is cheaper for a reason. Because of this, our Sophisticated Affairs team has researched and built relationships with some of the top wedding professionals in the area. We look at price, product, and personality. We recommend people who offer a fair value, a great product, and are responsive. We look for wedding pros who love what they do, and it shows.


happy black bride and groom giving a thumbs up


Budgeting Tip # 5 – Plan For The Unexpected

When budgeting for your wedding, it can be a great idea to leave 5-10% of your total budget set aside as ‘undesignated.’

Things happen. Your parents add an extra table of old friends, or you find “the gown.” Maybe you decide that something you never thought about including in your wedding would be a sweet gesture for your family and friends.

Leaving that little bit of padding is always a good idea – worst case, you don’t spend it and have a little extra honeymoon money. Not a bad thing!

Making couples’ dreams happen so they can relax and enjoy planning is precisely what our Sophisticated Affairs team does. We would love to chat with you about your wedding and assist you with having the wedding of your dreams.