Everything you need to know while budgeting for your LGBTQ+ wedding
Figuring out your wedding budget is arguably one of the hardest parts of wedding planning. Budgeting requires a lot of moving pieces to come together and wedding prices range greatly, making all of it feel extra complicated! According to Business Insider, the average cost of a wedding in 2019 was $38,000 in the US. This is a major expense for any couple, but for the LGBTQ community who oftentimes doesn’t have access to family monetary contributions or support, the burden can seem exponential. Many Queer couples end up paying for their weddings all on their own. Because weddings are such a big expense, we wanted to give you some tips for how to get started thinking about wedding costs so that you can have the wedding of your dreams and stay on budget!
- Think about your guest list: Talk to your partner about how many guests you think you would like to have and consider what the pros and cons of a small vs a large wedding would be. Really think about who you want there supporting you on your wedding day.
- Have a max budget number: Sometimes starting with a number (for example, $38000) and working backwards can be a great way to figure out how much to spend and what you want to spend it on.
- Consider where you want to get married; have backup options: Wedding venues are often the most expensive part of a wedding day so it’s good to prepare yourself for the prices and have flexibility on where you might want to have your wedding. Ask your venue if they have services/rentals/etc included in their price or if those will be additional costs.
- Think about the time of year and the day: Sometimes you can get a discount from wedding vendors during off-season or weekday weddings! It never hurts to ask!
- Prioritize what is most important to you and your partner: If photography is one of the most important pieces of your wedding to you, think of where you might be able to cut costs in other areas in order to afford your priorities. Think about what is most important for you both and book those vendors first.
- Get creative in asking for help: You could put those gorgeous must-have shoes on your wedding registry, or ask your friends and family for their help/services in lieu of gifts!
- Remember that there will be hidden costs: Fees and last minute expenses add up fast. Make sure you are putting *everything* in your wedding budget-- yes, even little things like accessories, wedding favors, etc. Don’t forget costs like transportation, hotel rooms, etc.
- Don’t forget to tip: While most wedding vendors don’t require it, it is the right thing to do to tip your service industry based vendors. Yes that means your DJ, Makeup artist, photographer, transportation, etc. Have a line item in your budget just for tips.
- Be flexible and responsible: No wedding is worth going into serious debt for. Be flexible with your choices (remember, priorities) and let go of the little things that you really don’t need. Don’t spend money that you don’t have!
- Remember that it’s just about you and your love: Try not to stress out over making every detail perfect. At the end of the day, your wedding should be a reflection of who you are, both as individuals and as a couple. Wedding planning should be super fun once you get through the budget process!
Because we believe in helping LGBTQ couples create the wedding of their dreams, we are giving free downloads of our LGBTQ wedding budget tool if you sign up for our newsletter! We can’t wait to see how you add a dash of pride to your wedding day! Happy budgeting!
Jamie Thrower (Pronouns: she/her)
Jamie is owner of Studio XIII Photography in Portland, OR.
She is an extremely talented artist and storyteller with a
deep commitment to the LGBTQ+ community