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How the heck do you set a budget??

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Ok I'll admit it....I'm clueless!


I just got engaged last week and have set a wedding date of Jan 17 2009. Apparently the 1st thing to do is set a budget, but I have no idea where to start. I've had no problem starting to research locations in Jamaica, making aguest list, thinking of theme...but when talking about a venue/resort, everyone keeps asking what my budget is, and I don't have an answer!


I know these are the basic categories, but how much to allocate for each??


Hotel Rooms:








Coordinator Fee:

Photography & Video:


I am planning a wedding for 100 guests somewhere between Montego Bay and Oracabessa on Jamaica's north coast, and am NOT looking to go broke in the process. Is it realistic to think I could do this for under $10k? $7k? Can anyone help a poor newbie out?



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it probably helps if you research a bit before setting a budget, so that you can get an idea of how much stuff costs and then decide how much to budget for each. If you budget without any idea of costs your budget might not be unrealistic.


Many people do their weddings for under 10K or even 7K. The most expensive items will probably be


-your trips (probably like 2000$-5000$ for both of you)

-photography (anywhere from 500$ to several thousand dollars)

-your reception room & food (often free in the buffet restaurant but can cost a few thousand if you want a private restaurant and special dinner menu)

-attire (a normal range is probably anywhere from 500$ to 2500$ for groom's suit, your dress, veil, shoes etc).

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It is always a difficult job to set a budget, but I worked the list like this:

First we looked at the date we wanted to have the wedding ( don't forget to check the season you want to travel, you dont wanna end up getting married in the rain :-) .. When we found a date, we started to look what was a realistic budget to get together before the wedding. Then with this amount you can fill in what you really want to have. Like what kind of resort, the decorations and the flowers, etc etc. We started to look at resorts, so that we could get an idea of what amount that would costs, after that, With the rest of the budget, I started looking at what else we needed:



outfits ( mostly to be payed by the parents )

Decorations and flowers



food at the party


If you search the internet, you can look at what is normal to pay for all above stuff, and so you can make a budget, keep in mind that, You can never tell the exect budget in advance, you will always, pay more for the one thing, and you will save on the other thing. You will see, aling the way of planning you will figure it out, everything will work out for itsekf most of the time. And If you don't have enough budget, just leave something not so important out, you will do just fine. All the ladies on this forum, turned out to be great planners! And with all your questions, you will be at the right place here at DWF. Happy planning!smile03.gif

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