Budgeting for Your St. Louis Wedding

Budgeting Advice from Real St. Louis Brides

Tactics and Tips When Budgeting for Your St. Louis Wedding


Molly & her Bridesmaids at Haue Valley  - Photographed by  Cieara Ruess Photography

Molly & her Bridesmaids at Haue Valley - Photographed by Cieara Ruess Photography

This post is the second in a series of articles designed to be helpful in planning your St. Louis wedding. If you missed it, consider checking out the first post in this series, Planning a Wedding in St. Louis. Below, four St. Louis brides share their favorite budgeting tactics and tips.


What is something easy to forget accounting for in the budgeting process?

[Molly] - The Little Things. They add up quickly. While your cake and décor may seem inexpensive initially, they add up quickly when you get into the planning process.

[Breanna] – A Miscellaneous Fund. Unexpected expenses will pop up. For example, if you choose an outdoor location, does the venue have a backup in case of rain? If not, you may need to rent a tent. Don’t forget to leave some space in your budget for the unknown.

[Melanie] – Décor. If your venue doesn’t offer décor options available to borrow for free (like Haue Valley), make sure you borrow what you can so you aren't stuck with 200 mason jars you don’t need after the wedding.

[Whitney] – Tipping Vendors, Party Gifts, and Postage. Don’t forget about tipping all of the people who helped make your day a success such as the DJ, officiant, ceremony musicians, hair and makeup, etc. Also, the expense of gifts your for wedding party and postage to mail invitations adds up fast!

Whitney & Patrick at Haue Valley . Moment captured by  Rebecca K Clark Photography.

Whitney & Patrick at Haue Valley. Moment captured by Rebecca K Clark Photography.


How did you decide where to spend and where to save?

[Breanna] – Research and be Realistic. Prior to making any decisions, spend time researching your options and their pricing. Also, consider getting the input of others in the process. The venue, food, and fun were the most important aspects to me, so I considered saving money and putting together a simple iTunes playlist for the night. My parents thought having a professional DJ was important and offered to pay for one so that it would fit in our budget. Also, don’t forget that wedding TV shows and Pinterest don’t always match your priorities and budget. Make sure you do your research so you find great vendors you love and can afford.

 [Molly] – Prioritize What’s Important. To me my dress and photographer were most important. I made room in my budget for those first, and then made other decisions based on the budget remaining. Also, don’t forget that if you choose a venue that is beautiful on its own, you can spend less on décor.

 [Melanie] – Spend on Want You Want to Remember.  I wanted to look back at my pictures and love them all, so my photographer and the venue were most important to me. I also knew I would be spending a lot of time with the photographer, so I wanted to make sure our personalities matched and I would enjoy my day with them. Things that don’t last forever, such as flowers, were less important to me so I allocated budget elsewhere.

[Whitney] – Ask for Help. We splurged on photo, video, and the venue. We saved in so many places by asking friends and family to help where they had expertise. One of my bridesmaids made the cake, another helped make favors, etc. In addition to saving money, it made each of these elements even more special to us.


Melanie at Haue Valley  - Captured by  Serendipity Photography.  

Melanie at Haue Valley - Captured by Serendipity Photography. 

Did you use any specific tools when budgeting?

[Molly] – The Knot Wedding Planner & Microsoft Excel. I purchased The Knot Wedding Planner and did a lot of research reading blogs and articles. The planner helped me organize my thoughts and ideas. I also created an Excel document to keep track of all wedding expenses.

[Melanie] – Google Sheets. Google Sheets allows you to create a budget and digitally share it with others involved in the planning process. I created a budget, included when payments where due, and which ones had been made, and shared the document with my fiancé and my mom. It was a great way to ensure we were all up to date. 


Any other wise words of advice for those planning a wedding in St. louis?

[Whitney] – Pick a Number and Try to Stick to it.  Be realistic with your expectations, be honest with your significant other about what things cost, and remember to enjoy the experience!

[Molly] -  Scale a Great Idea to Fit Your Budget. There are so many sources for inspiration, and many can be scaled to fit any budget. Just get creative! And don’t forget to have fun. After all, this is the happiest day of your life, not a business transaction. Make sure you enjoy it!



Breanna & David will be married at Haue Valley in September 2017! 

Breanna & David will be married at Haue Valley in September 2017! 

Next Up

Next in this series of blog posts aimed at helping you plan your wedding in St. Louis is an budgeting article designed specifically for brides getting married at Haue Valley. Stay tuned! 


For more articles like this one and hundreds of inspirational wedding photos, please visit the Haue Valley blog.  Do you have a suggestion to add to this article? Send us a note at hauevalley@gmail.com.