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    How to Make the Perfect Wedding Checklist on a Budget

    How to Make the Perfect Wedding Checklist on a Budget

    If you are the type of person who already has their dream wedding planned out ever since you were a child, then you might be disheartened to know that the road to those “I do’s” can get very expensive. The wedding of your life might cost you millions, especially if you are not careful when it comes to your budget. However, following a strict wedding checklist budget will let you have the wedding you want without emptying your bank accounts.

    Before you begin making a budget, though, couples are often advised to take note of their wants and needs, as well as make sure that all of the negotiables and non-negotiables are established.

    Things to consider for your wedding budget

    Things to Consider

    For many couples, a wedding is the first time that they will ever have to think about planning a large event, let alone creating a wedding budget checklist for it. This means that a lot of other people are also going to start planning their weddings in a similar way: by first thinking about the wedding that they want, coming up with an amount of money that they are comfortable spending with, and then doing all they can to make sure that everything lines up together.

    The problem is that it is almost impossible to know how much the event that you are envisioning is going to cost until you start to get into the fine details of planning. This is how you end up hearing stories of couples planning their wedding and doubling or sometimes even tripling the budget that they have set.

    The media would have you believe that these couples simply got caught up in the moment and expectations of the wedding industry and spent a fortune on unnecessary crystal vases. In reality, though, it was all of the little things that “slightly” went over budget that when added up, ended costing a lot. Simple details, when overlooked, can wreak havoc on your budget like thinking that chair rentals cost PHP 50 each when it really cost PHP 100, or finding out your guests wouldn’t be satisfied if you just served sandwiches. It might even turn out that the only photographers available in the area charged PHP 10,000 extra for weddings, and the next thing they knew, the combined total of those unexpected surprises was PHP 25,000 and rising.

    You have probably done your research and read all of the tips and tricks on how to save money or how to have a wedding checklist budget, and even how to stick to it. But how do you figure out what your budget should be in the first place? And how can you make a budget that is not going to give you any surprises later on? No matter what anybody tells you, it is possible to have your perfect wedding even on a budget, here are a few things you should consider.

    What kind of wedding would you like to have?

    This is probably the one part of planning a wedding budget checklist that you have already done, but if not, it’s time to start brainstorming! Do you and your partner want an intimate urban party, a huge get-together with all your family and friends, or a simple picnic in the park? There are a lot of different kinds of weddings out there and having this much inspiration can get quickly overwhelming.

    Initially, you probably shouldn’t spend a lot of time on the specifics but rather, you should determine the general feel that you want to have for your wedding. Think about the style, the emotions, the look, and the people because these are all of the pieces that are going to make your wedding unique.

    Figure out your budget

    It’s now time for you to get serious and figure out how much you have to spend. While not everyone sets a strict and clear wedding budget checklist and sticks to it, for many people that need a wedding budget, there needs to be a discussion to take place. Sit down with your significant other and figure out how much money you are ready, willing, and able to spend on your wedding.

    If you are fortunate to have other people contribute to your wedding, now is the time to have a chat with them about what and how they might be able to help. Sometimes they can offer an amount that you can incorporate right into your budget and other times, they might foot a significant portion of the wedding bill on your behalf. Either way, it is important for you to know if you can expect help before you get into planning and budgeting because any amount can go a long way.

    Know your priorities

    You and your partner should each pick your own top three priorities for the wedding itself. These can be almost anything: your choice of music, having an open bar, hiring your friend as the photographer, how many tiers the cake is going to have, or any other detail that you each have strong feelings about.

    Having a short list of priorities is a good idea because it allows you to focus a little more time, energy, or money on the things that are most important to the two of you. It’s better to have an honest idea of your priorities so make your own lists separately so you don’t get tempted to write down the same things your loved one wrote down.

    Set your expectations

    Once you have an idea of how much money you can spend, a vision of what your wedding might feel and look like, and hopefully, a starting number of guests, it’s now time to find out if all of these are possible.

    The harsh truth about weddings and money, in general, is that sometimes, the things you wish would work just won’t. If your dream wedding involves a huge sit-down dinner for 200 of your closest family and friends but you only have PHP 100,000 to spend, how would you expect that to play out? Once you start seeing how other couples compromised and sacrificed for their weddings, it can be easy to imagine how you might do with yours.

    Basic wedding checklist

    Basic Wedding Checklist

    You can create a meaningful, unique, and beautiful wedding whether you have been saving for your wedding since you were a kid or you have a limited budget. All it takes a little prioritizing and budgeting.

    It pays to save in advance rather than taking out loans when it comes to the biggest expenses associated with weddings. Here are some of the big items you should save up for:


    The bulk of many wedding checklist budgets often goes to the venue so deciding where you want to hold the event can be tricky. You are going to want to try and choose a location that everyone you plan on inviting can comfortably travel to. You should also consider if the location that you picked suits the look and feel you want your wedding to have.

    Before you choose a venue, remember that while non-weekend days are the most cost-effective, it can also be harder for your friends and family to attend easily. Also, make sure to include the security deposit with your budget since a lot of venues require these to rent out their space.


    Hiring a wedding photographer can give you the freedom to enjoy every moment of the celebrations knowing that there is somebody else documenting the event. Hiring the perfect wedding photographer, however, is going to cost you.

    If you don’t want to compromise the quality of your photographs, consider hiring a professional for the first few hours of your wedding instead of hiring one for the whole day. You can then entrust the shooting of the afterparty to your friends and family.


    Flowers are often deceptively expensive. Even though they don’t really last long, a lot of couples still spend a lot of money to enjoy their beauty. If you are looking for ways to reduce your wedding checklist budget, consider getting smaller-sized flower bouquets and boutonnières; better yet, don’t have them all!

    If you are also considering to reduce the cost and size of the bouquet of the bride, this might be a cost that you want to keep because you are going to want to have something substantial for the bouquet toss.

    Wedding Attire

    You are going to want to look and feel your best with cameras flashing, your family all around you, and the person you love standing next to you. You might want to include the wedding attire in your budget if being stylish during your big day is important to you.

    High-end brands and wedding salons can be a popular choice for one-stop shopping, but there are many cheaper options for your needs. If you are willing to expand your search, you can buy unique and beautiful garments for a fraction of the price.

    It is also worth pointing out that many couples no longer choose to get married in an outfit that they can only wear once like designer wedding dresses. You can still wear your outfit for many years after the event if you choose something fancy that you love.


    Sit down with your partner and take some time to look through your guest list before you look at potential wedding menus. Remember, the more people you invite, the more food you are going to need to pay for.

    You should also consider the serving style you would like to provide for your guests. Are you interested in a more relaxed buffet setup or having a proper sit-down meal? Either way, find out how much the food cost per head will likely be.


    If you are looking to save money on your wedding, start with what your guests are drinking because the cost of beverages can add up. Make the available beverage menu shorter and not only will it save you more money in the long run, but it will also save your guests time to wait at their table or at the bar for service.

    You can also serve pre-mixed drinks in large bowls for your guests to help themselves to which can be a great help when saving money.

    Wedding budget inspirations

    Wedding Budget Inspirations

    Being on a budget doesn’t necessarily mean that your wedding can no longer be perfect. It is still very much possible, and it has been successfully done before by other couples who went through the same situation.

    Venue and Reception

    It can save you a lot of money if you hold your wedding in a venue outside of the city like the province. For example, if you hold your wedding in a venue in Los Banos, Laguna, you can end up paying only PHP 15,000 for a wedding that includes the payment for the church, choir, priest, candles, and reception area suitable for a Catholic wedding. You can also save more if you get a family friend to officiate your wedding.

    You can also choose to hold the reception in the same area where the wedding ceremony was conducted. This is a good way to save on money for the flowers and the venue because there is no need to move your guests to another place for the reception.

    Food and Drink

    The food is the most awaited part of the wedding for many guests. Find a good wedding catering service but don’t spend too much on each person. A decent dinner can be had for PHP 350 per person, but the couple should not expect anything fancy.


    Your caterers will usually have packages that include flower arrangements but more often than not, you won’t get to have a say with what they will provide. If you want flower arrangements worthy for social media, expect them to cost a fortune especially if the flowers came from outside the country. However, flowers from Dangwa can be great alternatives and are just as suitable for your dream day.

    Photography and Videography

    You can hire start-up photographers and videographers to reduce the cost of documentation. Allot at least PHP 29,000 for basic photography and videography for your wedding package, although newbie photographers might charge less if they still have to gather more materials for their portfolio.


    Ready-to-wear dresses are now replacing traditional gowns, just as musician Kitchie Nadal has shown with her white wedding dress that only cost PHP 799.

    If you want to opt for a long, flowy gown, though, pay a visit to your local tailor who can probably make you a masterpiece of a gown for more or less PHP 7,000. This is a steal compared to the ones you can purchase at Divisoria which often costs upwards of PHP 28,000.

    Celebrate Your Special Day with Juan Carlo

    Always remember, while working out a budget is important, helpful, and sometimes even necessary when you are trying to plan your wedding, what’s most important is that you and your significant other can enjoy the festivities in a place you like, with all of your favorite people, committing yourselves to marriage, and starting a life with each other.

    Here at Juan Carlo, we can ensure that you and your loved one can have the time of your life. Leave the planning and the worrying to us; all you have to do is enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime event. Book our full-course tasting experience, or contact us to begin planning for this momentous occasion with your friends, family, and loved ones!