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The Ultimate Guide To Your Upstate New York Wedding On A Budget

By manorhouse

You’re engaged! You’ve probably been showered with congratulations, well wishes and love from your family and friends since you told everyone the great news. 

If you haven’t already, you’ll soon begin planning your wedding which is an experience in itself. Wedding planning might feel like a lot to navigate in the months ahead, but setting a budget at the onset will help.  

We’ve also compiled a guide to help you create a budget for your Upstate New York wedding and our top tips to stick with it!

new york wedding on a budget

Set Your Wedding Budget Right Away

Setting the budget right away for your wedding will help empower you in the decisions and purchases you make leading up to the big day. It’s a great tool to help you avoid unnecessary expenses and financial strain after the wedding.

It’s ultimately your compass for the journey leading up to your big day.

Figure Out Your Final Number First

At the onset decide where the money is coming from for your big celebration. How much is in your savings accounts? Do you expect contributions from any family members? 

Are you willing to take out any loans? If so, what’s that amount and will it be in both of your names?  Is there a low- to no-interest credit card option available to help cover wedding expenses? What expectations do you have for repayment?

Let that final number be realistic and within your financial comfort zone. And also make sure it includes some room for unexpected expenses.

Prioritize Your Expenses

What do you consider non-negotiable, a must-have, for your big day? Work together to decide what matters most to both of you and what items you might be okay leaving off, so you can plan to budget accordingly.

Is the number of guests non-negotiable? Can your venue for the ceremony be the same as the reception? Do you want a specific floral arrangement or are you open to feedback from the florist? What about your wedding date?  

Often, categories like your venue, catering and drinks, and your photographer will end up being the largest parts of your budget. 

While every wedding is unique, in general, you might expect your budget for your Upstate New York wedding to break down like this:

  • Venue: 20%
  • Catering: 20%
  • Cake: 2%
  • Photography: 15%
  • Wedding attire: 5%
  • Flowers and other decor: 10%
  • Music and entertainement: 15%
  • Stationery: 3%
  • Favors: 3%
  • Transportation: 3%
  • Unexpected costs: 5%
Wedding budget breakdown

If some of your non-negotiables aren’t in the top categories, knowing that from the start will empower you to allocate the right amounts to what matters most.  

Do Your Research And Compare Options

Take your time to research vendors within your budget range. Ask your venue for their preferred vendors list, ask friends & family for their recommendations, read reviews on third-party sites and request quotes to help you make informed decisions.  

Ask about additional costs that might not be included up front, like taxes, tips and other fees. Be sure to read all of your wedding contracts thoroughly to avoid surprises later on. Reputable vendors aren’t trying to take your money without cause, which is why these expectations are outlined in their contracts upfront.

At The Manor House, our sole focus to help you create the Upstate New York wedding you have always dreamed of. We believe life is defined by the quality of your experiences and we pride ourselves in being an ideal Upsate New York wedding venue.

As you begin reviewing your list of potential Upstate New York wedding venues and vendors, be sure to include us! 

Commit To Tracking Your Expenses

Commit to tracking every penny spent on the wedding, including taxes, tips and other expenses. This will help you maintain your sense of empowerment as you get closer to your wedding and unexpected costs pop up.

The easiest way to track these expenses is to create a spreadsheet at the onset that divides your expenses into the budget categories outlined above: venue, catering, cake, photography, wedding attire, flowers, music, stationery, favors, transportation and unexpected costs.

Under each category on your spreadsheet, add detailed line items for each of your wedding vendors’ contracted costs, tips and other related expenses.   

Maintaining the spreadsheet in real-time will let you know when you’re getting close to your final number and when you might need to cut some expenses.

Zola offers a free wedding budgeting tool or you can customize a budget template from Google sheets.

Zola weddings

Be Flexible And Have A Backup Plan

Unforeseen expenses are almost guaranteed to come up as your wedding day gets closer. Be flexible and prepared to adjust your budget as needed throughout the planning process. 

Having a portion of your budget set aside to cover these surprises will help you feel more calm and confident as you address them.

If the stars align and you don’t need to use these funds for unexpected expenses, you will have a nest egg for your emergency fund or any other upcoming expenses. You don’t need to spend it all on your big day.   

Be Selective With Your Wedding Guest List

Your guest list might have the largest impact on your wedding budget. Each additional guest adds to nearly every expense item, including catering, cake, favors and more.  It’s okay to be selective as you build your guest list and invite those who truly matter to you and your partner.

Communicate With Each Other And Family Members

If other people are helping you with wedding expenses, be sure to have honest communication around expectations and limitations attached to their financial support.

You can be appreciative of their support and still be in charge of your wedding decisions. As you navigate their different opinions and priorities, remember to focus on what’s best for you as a couple, and be sure to address issues quickly so they don’t become a bigger problem later on. 

Plan For Other Expenses That Are In The Near Future

Are you going on a honeymoon right after the wedding? Is there credit card debt, loans or other wedding-related expenses you’ll need to pay down? Are you saving for your first home together? Do you want to grow your family and welcome a baby right away?

What expenses are coming up next, and will you be prepared to pay for them? Having a plan for your upcoming expenses will help reduce potential stress you might feel right after the wedding. 

Continue To Practice Budgeting After The Wedding

After the wedding, continue to make financial planning a priority. Look at your financial situation together, adjust your budget and set goals for the future. 

Make paying off wedding-related debts a priority, and work together to build a strong financial foundation for your future together.

Wedding budgeting is preparing you for the lifelong journey you’re about to embark on together. We hope these tips can help you navigate the planning process with confidence. 

And remember, it’s the love and commitment you share as a couple that truly makes your wedding day unforgettable.

Manor house venue new york wedding on a budget

Schedule a venue tour with us at The Manor House today, and we will do our absolute best to help you navigate the wedding budgeting & planning process! 

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