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Congratulations on your recent engagement!

You've got the ring, you've found your mate, now it's time to pick a date!
But wait a minute- how are you going to pay for the wedding? You and your partner will now need to figure out the most important element of your wedding: the wedding budget. You do not want to start out your future in a pile of debt, so think smart and spend your dollars wisely.



How much do you actually need? When financing a wedding, you should figure out how much you need in order to get what you want. Set your expectations accordingly. Here is a basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay:

*If you're paying for your honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well.

After you go through the process of budgeting for your wedding, you and your partner will be much better at communication, negotiation, and empathy for the other persons wants and needs.

Just like real life, you may be receiving money from your parents. Perhaps the groom's parents will pay for your rehearsal dinner? However, more and more couples are fully responsible for paying for their entire wedding. If you do go over your budget, make sure you charge it onto a low-interest credit card and pay the minimum amount (at least) on time.

Quick Facts!

* The average cost of a 150-person wedding is $25,000.

* August is the top month for having weddings.



  1. Partner up with your assigned future bride or groom.
  2. Your grade in my class will determine the amount of spending money you have for your wedding. (This is why you want to do well in my class!)

    Allotted Dollars
    A+ (95-100)
    A (90-94)
    B (80-89)
    C (76-79)
    D (70-75)
    F (69 and below)

  3. Combine your total dollars available to spend.
  4. Turn and ask your partner, "how do you envision your wedding to be?"
    For example, have you always envisioned yourself getting married at a destination wedding (Jamaica, Mexico)? Or do you wish for a traditional church ceremony? Is music most important to you (if so, band or D.J.?) Share your ideas with one another and come to an agreement. (remember, you can also choose to set aside a portion of your money for a down payment on your first home.
  5. List and prioritize those goals in Word. Save it in your personal file folder under "Project" folder. Save it as "weddinggoals.doc".
  6. Open the online Budget Calculator here.
  7. Print out the itemized budget for you and your partner.
  8. Delegate each area for each person to cover so that each of you will feel responsible and have ownership of your wedding.
  9. Next, do your research. Check out the Resources tab and click on the websites listed for the best deals on the net.
  10. Research, research, research!
  11. Continuously talk with your bride or groom their opinion on the chosen item. Make sure you are staying within your budget and each person is satisfied with each choice.
  12. Start to gather pictures from the Internet and save in your "Images" folder. Name each image properly. (no space, lowercase)
  13. Create a PowerPoint presentation of your dream wedding. Be creative!
  14. Present a 5-7 minute speech with your partner on your wedding.



Congratulations on accomplishing a huge task that will certainly prepare you for the future. This activity can help make planning for prom during your senior year seem like a breeze! Hopefully it will also make you realize the details that go into a wedding.


These pages were developed through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) and made possible by support from the National Science Foundation and Rice University.

Copyright © 1995 -2006 by Susan Caragay
Updated: Thursday, June 15, 2006 3:40 PM