Wedding Budget Spreadsheet - How To

Wedding Budget Spreadsheet - How To

Weddings, as well as other types of events, tend to be expensive.  Having a budget helps bring the costs under control.  Using an electronic spreadsheet to manage and keep track of the budget allows you to stay on top of your spending before it balloons out of control.  Most professional event organizers work with budgets to ensure their clients can afford and enjoy the events, rather than agonize about over-spending.

What constitutes a good budget?  Most wedding budgets are broken down into categories.  Music and entertainment, which includes DJs and live bands, is one example of a budget category.  If the event has multiple venues, then further granularity by venue gives additional insights into how much everything costs.  A good example of a multiple venue budget categoriy would be separate catering vendors for the main reception and the rehearsal dinner.

So how does one prepare and track a wedding budget?  The steps are simple.  However, the key to a good working budget is the ability to track expenditures during all stages of event planning.

Step1 - Define budget categories.

Budget categories.

If the wedding has only one venue, then all categories will apply to it.  On the other hand, if multiple venues are used, create categories for each venue, as well as those that apply to the entire event.  Here are some examples of typical wedding budget categories that would apply to an entire event, regardless of how many venues three are:

  • Invitations and calligraphy.
  • Hotels for out of town guests.
  • Event planning services.
  • Poems and Speech writing services.

These are some categories that can be applied to specific venues if the wedding has multiples:

  • Photography and videography.
  • Catering.
  • Restaurants.
  • Banquet halls.
  • Places of worship.
  • Clergy.
  • Music.
  • Entertainment.
  • Favors and gifts.
  • Transportation.

Step 2 - Allocate spending to each category.

Budget amount allocation.

As you are defining the categories, decide how much to spend on each.  The budgeted amount may be a rough estimate,, or it can be an exact amount based on a vendor proposal.  A good budget spreadsheet will allow you to add vendor proposals and automatically include the category and amount in the budget.  Do not worry if you don't have an accurate amount at this time.  It can be changed later once you have a better idea of how much you will spend on any specific category.  However, as you are adding the categories, keep an eye on the total to be sure you are not over reaching.  A quality budget spreadsheet will automatically  tally up the totals as you are editing it.

Step 3 - Add vendor proposals to budget.

Budget vendor proposal.

If you haven't done so already, add any new vendor proposals to the budget.  Our automated budgeting tool allows addition of vendor proposals by simply checking a box.  Once checked, the amount will be added to the budget.  If the category and/or venue are not yet in the budget, they will also be automatically added.

Step 4 - Track your spending.

Budget vendor payment.

Now that you have the budget all set up, it's very important to stick to it.  One way to ensure staying within the limits is to track your spending.  Every time you make a payment to a vendor, record it using our vendor payment tool.  The payment will be automatically applied against the budget line item if you check the budget box.


With the right budgeting tool, it is very easy to set up and track financial aspects of your wedding.  It is a good practice that will lay out a complete picture of your expenses up front and will prevent any unpleasant surprises in the form of cost overruns.  Of course, as with any tool, it is important to use the budget spreadsheet correctly and consistently.

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