10 Big Wedding Budgeting Mistakes Engaged Couples Make | Analyzing

April 7, 2021 by Just Marry!

10 Big Wedding Budgeting Mistakes Engaged Couples Make | Analyzing

Nearlyweds, today I’ve got the inside scoop for you when it comes to wedding budgeting! While diving into planning is so much fun, handling your wedding budgeting first is crucial to the planning process. Read on to learn the Top 10 wedding budgeting mistakes engaged couples make so you can be sure to avoid them!

Wedding Budgeting Mistakes - Just Marry Weddings


#1 - Having No Budget

By “no budget,” we don’t mean “unlimited” where you can spend anything you’d like. We mean the huge mistake of starting your planning without establishing a budget at all. Once locked into venue contracts and initial vendor services, couples without a wedding budget quickly realize how fast everything adds up, and they’re soon left with little to no money to spend on essential items that were initially a priority to them. Establishing a wedding budget first is key to planning success!

Wedding Budgeting Mistakes - Just Marry Weddings

#2 - Unrealistic Budgeting

Another wedding budgeting mistake we often see is budgeting unrealistically. For example, some couples may have 100 guests to feed, want a full day of photography, a DJ, full hosted bar, duo entrees for dinner, extravagant florals, and more, but only have a $10,000 budget. With many menus beginning at $100++, this would be nearly impossible to accomplish within that budget.

What is that ++ I just mentioned? Keep reading to find out!

#3 - Not Accounting for that ++

As you review wedding menus, you may see these “++” symbols next to the per-person prices. These stand for taxes and service fees that are in addition to that per-person price. Typically, service fees begin at 20% and can go up to 27% depending on the venue, and then you have to add local taxes on top of that. So a $100 meal is likely to actually cost upwards of $130 or more.

When calculating your wedding budgeting for food and beverage, find out what your potential venue’s service fees and taxes are, and add this into your budget so you aren’t surprised when the final bill arrives.

Wedding Budgeting Mistakes - Just Marry Weddings

#4 - Guest Count

Speaking of per-person pricing, figuring out how many guests you can afford to invite is another important step when building your wedding budget. Inviting too many guests could cause quite the surprise when adding up per-person fees for food and beverage, invitations, favors, and more. When creating that guest list, keep it as fine-tuned as possible so you don’t blow your wedding budget!

#5 - Postage

When sending out those beautiful invitations that have been designed, proofread, stuffed into envelopes, and sealed with a stunning custom crest wax seal, many couples forget to factor in the cost of postage in their wedding budget. Invitations are often heavier and oversized, so they require extra postage. Multiply that by 100+ invites and that fee begins to add up into a potentially costly wedding budgeting mistake!

Wedding Budgeting Mistakes - Just Marry Weddings

#6 - Not Spending to Save

You may be thinking, “What?!” but it’s true! A common reason we hear couples say they aren’t hiring a wedding planner is because they can’t afford to. However, investing in a quality, dedicated, knowledgeable planner who can negotiate rates and contracts for you often saves you money versus doing it all yourself. Between our budgeting and negotiation assistance and the time we spend planning and coordinating so you don’t have to, our fee soon pays for itself!

#7 - Hiring Vendors Based on Price Alone

One of the biggest wedding budgeting mistakes we see is when couples make the mistake of hiring vendors because of price. In the end, this can cost them much more than it would if they had hired a quality professional.

Some things to think about are: does my photographer/videographer include editing in the fee? Is this vendor fully insured? Is that DJ’s music all licensed for use? Does this tailor have experience in altering wedding gowns? How much communication will I actually have with my wedding planner for their fee?

#8 - Booking on a Popular Date

Wedding dates around holidays or on popular dates can result in higher rental fees and minimums. Some couples make the wedding budgeting mistake of being set on one particular date, and not asking about other options (like, say, a Friday or Sunday) which may provide lower minimums or rental fees, and free up some money in the budget for upgrades or special add-ons that weren’t originally possible in the budget.

BONUS TIP: Switching to an earlier time of day can also save you a bundle!

#9 - Wedding DIY = $$$

Sometimes wedding DIY can be so fun and cost-effective! But for those who may not have the artful eye or DIY skills, this could end up costing even more. Having to purchase extra supplies or items that could be rented can often end up costing more than just paying a rental fee with a florist or other vendor. You may also have to pay someone to set everything up and take it all down. After the event, arranging for shipping and storage (which can also come with fees if needing to pay for a storage unit), can be an additional wedding budget buster. DIY with care, my friends!

Wedding Budgeting Mistakes - Just Marry Weddings

#10 - Not Factoring in Gratuities

Another common wedding budgeting mistake is forgetting to factor in gratuities for vendors, catering staff, and venue staff. Not adding these into the budget can lead to a hefty unexpected fee. Add gratuities into the budget early on and set them aside to keep your budget on track, and prevent any stress!

BONUS TIP: Not sure what to tip your vendors? We’ve got you covered in this post!


If you’d like more personalized help with your wedding budgeting or would like to speak with one of our planners, simply drop us a message at info@justmarry.com and we’ll get back to you right away. We’d be happy to customize a planning option that will allow you to enjoy every moment of your planning and your wedding day!

10 Big Wedding Budget Mistakes Engaged Couples Make | Analyzing

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