Free Wedding Budget Spreadsheet

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While the warm summer is often a favorite choice for weddings, some love birds choose to get married in the cold months of winter.  While we’ve already discussed How Much Should You Pay For a Wedding? I’ve yet to give you a resource to help make it happen.

For those readers, I have prepared a free downloadable wedding budget document in Excel – [download id="11"].

Free Wedding Budget Spreadsheet


  • Pre-set formulas.  All you do is type in your actual numbers.
  • Includes categories for budgeted amount, % of total, actual amount, and % of total.  This allows you to see what % of your overall budget is going to specific categories.
  • Completely customizable.  You can add and alter information at will.
  • The wedding budget spreadsheet can be downloaded and emailed to anyone free of charge .

Wedding Category Budget Guidelines.

The following guidelines come from For Richer, Not Poorer

Reception 45%
Wedding clothing 10%
Photography 10%
Music 10%
Flowers 8%
Stationary 5%
Rings 3%
Cake 3%
Officiant/ceremony 3%
Transportation 2%
Gifts 1%

It is very important to remember that the key to any budget is the ability to say “no, it is not in our budget”.  While you can have the best wedding budget on paper, until you learn to set boundaries that budget will not be very helpful.  Even thought a wedding is a wonderful occasion you still need to respect your budget.

Thoughts on Controlling the Cost of the Wedding:

  1. The reception cost will differ drastically based on cultural expectations.  Where you are expected to provide a meal, this number is probably accurate.  An afternoon snack sort of reception can minimize the cost dramatically.
  2. 10% for music sounds way too high.  I cut that down to the 3% range and add the money to another category.

What do you think about those budget guidelines?  Do they seem accurate based on your experiences?


    • says

      Congrats on the engagement. You are entering to a wonderfully mysterious stage of life. I’ve been married for over 10 years and absolutely love it.

  1. says

    Oh this is very helpful to see it all broken down like that. However, with all the saving and budgeting for the wedding day, have you stopped to ask yourself how your beloved-to-be feels about money? How does he/she manage his/her finances? To avoid future confusion and conflict over your finances, make sure you talk about how the finances are going to be managed. We have seven questions to ask your finance(e) BEFORE the wedding:

    Good luck and congratulations!

    • says

      Thanks for you comment. There is a lot to helping a couple prepare financially for marriage. Thanks for pointing out your resource.

  2. says

    A couple of months ago we introduced an online wedding planner ( to help couples create a realistic wedding budget, check affordability and make a financial plan so they can have enough for their wedding by their wedding date. The idea is let people adjust wedding expense in the broader life picture so the couples can understand tradeoff/impact of wedding expenses with other goals/expenses. It allows couples to track their budget and progress online without the hassle of spreadsheets.

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