I think if you would have asked Jon and I early on in our planning what our budget was, our response would have been “cheap.” We didn’t immediately have a dollar figure in mind. I think to this day we still don’t! I didn’t want to miss out having my dream wedding because of financial restraints, but at the same time I can't fathom spending mass quantities of dollars on ONE DAY. We had to find a happy balance.
Immediately following the engagement, my parents were very up front about what they were able to contribute. We determined that their portion would cover dinner (based on a preliminary guest list) and most of the decorating costs.
It was a little more difficult and awkward having the conversation with his mom and with his dad and step-mom. It took a while and several painful conversations later to determine how much help we would have with the wedding. As it would turn out, our families and Jon and I combined are all contributing about the same amount, and it has helped us tremendously! Jon's mom's funds are helping with dinner and part of the honeymoon, Jon's dad and step mom are doing our flowers, paying for the bar, the groom's dinner, and part of the photographer fee. Such wonderful parents we have!
Then Jon and I looked at our budget. We both had growing savings accounts and were doing pretty well. However we decided that the best way to tackle our pending finances was to do this: Jon would use his savings to pay the majority of the down payment on our house (spoiler alert!), and I would use mine for the wedding. Seemed fair to me, both are shared expenses! Using resources like The Knot, I was able to come up with a wedding budget “guideline.” I knew we’d have to splurge in some areas, like photography, and cut back in others, like cake.
As of now, I’d say we are right on track. Things are still tight and we did have a hiccup in determining the honeymoon budget, but more on that later. All I know is how lucky I am to be able to have the day of my dreams without having to go into uber debt or work 2 jobs!