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How to Create Your Wedding Budget: 4 Steps to Set Your Priorities

Hello from SunRae Planning! We are a Las Vegas Wedding Planner with teams in St. George and Salt Lake City, Utah. We have been planning BEAUTIFUL wedding celebrations for 5 years now so we have seen it all. One of the very first steps you should be taking after your engagement is to have an honest conversation about your budget.

Your budget is one of the biggest (and hardest) conversations that you will have while planning your wedding and this exercise was designed to help open the door for honest conversation about what is important to EACH of you! This exercise will walk you through how to create your wedding budget and set your "wedding budget priorities" which will start those tough budget conversations and set the foundation for the entire wedding planning process.

Step 1: INDIVIDUALLY (without input from your partner), put the wedding expenses in order of "most important" to "least important" as you see them!

Step 2: Compare with your partner and talk about WHY you value the things on your list. Sometimes your partner might not understand the significance of something or even know why you would care about something in particular.

Step 3: Compromise - for example, if photography is high on your list (and not on theirs) but food is high on their list (and not on yours) --- agree that photography AND food will be important to BOTH of you and find something else lower on your lists that you can agree to cut back on and keep super simple.

Keep in mind that these expenses are not fully comprehensive and that all of these items might not apply to your unique situation. Some are more "required" but keep in mind that just because it's something you know you need, doesn't mean it needs to be high on the priority list - just means that you're willing to spend more or less on that particular item/service :)

  • Photography

  • Videography

  • Venue

  • Planner

  • Catering

  • Bartender

  • Flowers

  • DJ/Live Music/Band

  • Table/Chair Rentals

  • Linens

  • Stationary Suite - save-the-date, invitations, rsvp cards, table numbers, menus, thank you notes, postage (this can be separated if you care more about thank you notes vs rsvp cards etc.)

  • Cake/Desserts

  • Wedding Favors

  • Transportation (think about your guests to and from the venue if there is not on-site lodging. Uber/Lyft are pretty hard to come by here in southern Utah)

  • Decor (candles, centerpieces, table runners, bistro lights)

  • Other "more necessary" items -- card box, guest book, etc.

  • Signage (welcome, seating charts, escort cards, signature cocktail signage etc.)

  • Restroom rental

  • Guest Experiences -- photo booth, champagne wall, caricature artist, lawn games)

  • Late night snacks

  • Officiant

  • Marriage License

  • Plateware, Silverware, Chargers, Glassware

  • Bridal Party Gifts

  • Welcome gifts

  • Wedding attire (dress, tux/suit, alterations)

  • Wedding accessories (shoes, jewelry, perfume, watch, veil, etc)

  • Professional hair service

  • professional makeup service

  • Event Insurance

  • Rehearsal Dinner

  • Rehearsal Dinner Attire

Step 4: Once you've had these conversations, put together your "joint" list with your top 5 priorities and the 5 things you care the least about. Everything else will fall somewhere in the middle but this is a FANTASTIC starting point as you start booking vendors. :)

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NOW WHAT?! Planning a wedding and interested in next steps?!

SunRae Planning offers full-service wedding planning experiences for bad-ass, working couples who want their wedding to be a freaking blast, stunningly beautiful, and classy all while infusing their personality into every design decision! Sound complicated? Not for us! We cannot wait to hear all your wedding ideas!



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