The only way to know how much your wedding will cost is to make a budget. But, how do you make a budget for a Nigerian wedding or any wedding? I will show you – keep reading. During planning, making a budget will give you an estimate of how much your wedding will cost, so that you know exactly how much to spend on every detail. Want to start making the wedding budget for your big day? It’s easy and I will teach you. In this article, I will take you by the hand, step by step through every step of how to budget for every money you will spend in your wedding.
One of the questions I receive every week is on the topic of learning how to budget for a Nigerian style wedding includes: how do I know much will my wedding cost? how to set a wedding budget, how to breakdown the budget, how to track wedding expenses, how to stick to a wedding budget and lots more. This post provides answers to such questions, and I will also teach you how to budget for your wedding step by step. Scroll down to see our quick 6 step-method of coming of with a wedding budget from scratch.
Why Learn How to Make Your Wedding Budget Yourself?
Before I show you the steps to making a wedding budget, let’s talk about the importance of budgeting for your Nigerian wedding. In the wedding planning process, the budget is one of the very first things to do right after your engagement, and after fixing the wedding date. The wrong way to wedding planning is to start shopping for wedding gowns, rings and cakes. That usually leads to overspending and later having to manage small left-over change for the rest of the wedding. It’s best to never spend a kobo until you’ve made a wedding budget. First, see this wedding budget tutorial from celebrity wedding planner, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe – and then scroll down to READ our 6 steps on how to budget for any wedding – Nigerian wedding or any type.
Estimating a Wedding Cost Step by Step: Things To Budget For and How Much?
So, what and what should you budget for, in a Nigerian wedding? Once you have decided on a figure as your wedding budget, the next thing is to allot percentage of that budget to major categories of wedding expenses.
Step 1. Set Your Wedding Budget Limit
Think – set a limit of how much you do not want to exceed. This is simply done by you setting any amount you believe you can afford to spend on your entire wedding event – the church/ religious ceremony + the reception. For Nigerians, you may want to include the trad wedding budget here, but it may be a good idea to treat that one separately. So, write down an amount for the maximum money you (have and) want to spend on your entire wedding. This is your total wedding budget.
NOTE: I’m talking of the money you ALREADY HAVE in your own bank account. Please do not include money you plan to borrow from someone. Do not include money someone has promised you. It’s like making a market shopping or grocery list on an amount you do not have. You only make a shopping list when you have the money ready, right? Same with wedding budgeting – wait till you have the money or budget with the amount you already have and find a way to make it work – BECAUSE even small-money weddings can turn out well, if well-managed.
- Related: A simple method to use the number of guests (you expect) to estimate your wedding reception budget
Step 2. Breakdown that Wedding Budget into Major Expense Categories and Allocate Amounts/ Costs
You may choose to simply set any amount you desire as what you plan to spend on each wedding thing. But if you have no idea what to do here, use our wedding budget percentage allocation guide to plan how much you should spend on what. You can change up this later, but you need somewhere to start – that’s what this is for.
Here’s an example of how Step 2 above works:
(For example) Say, I have a budget of N200,000 to spend for my wedding, my initial wedding budget breakdown could look like this:
Wedding attire (bride + groom): N48,000.00
Stationery + Souvenir: N12,000.00
Venue + Decor N36,000.00
Wedding Reception N42,000.00
Miscellaneous (just in case) N34,000.00
Total Wedding Budget: N200,000.00
If you hate any form of manual calculation, you can download and use our free wedding budget calculator here – all you need to do is enter the amount you have for the entire wedding and our worksheet will automagically display your wedding breakdown numbers. It’s the NaijaGlamWedding budget calculator that I used to quickly arrive at the above breakdown, so feel free to use it to make budgeting for your wedding faster.
- Get our detailed list of Nigerian wedding expenses – use it to quickly work out your complete wedding budget.
Step 3: Review and Total Up the Wedding Budget Breakdown
Add up the above amounts (a to f). The total should be the same as your overall wedding budget, which you set in step 1. If not, check your calculation or simply use our ready-made wedding budget calculator – so that you don’t need to calculate anything by yourself.
Step 4: Make a Detailed List of Things to Spend Money On (aka Wedding Expenses / List)
Now, you’ll want to make the wedding budget list, that is a detailed list of what to spend money on, for each of the wedding shopping category (in step 2 above). For example, you will want to make a list of everything you plan to spend under wedding attire – such as wedding gown, shoes etc. You also want to list what to spend your wedding reception budget on – such as wedding cake, food, drinks, small chops etc.
I hope you get the idea?
- Don’t know what to budget for? To make it fast for you, we already made you a ready-made wedding expense list and budget template has a list of must-have things to spend on for Nigerian style weddings. So, all you have to do is find out how much those stuff cost in your local market and fill them in. Then total them up, and you have your total wedding budget. We also created a wedding budget worksheet for you – you can download it from our wedding tools page (click here).
- About Miscellaneous Expenses: According to one of our married readers (ZainMum), you will always spend more than what you have budgeted. That is why we strongly recommend that couples set aside a good chunk of extra money for unplanned/ miscellaneous expenses that may arise or were forgotten.An example of what to include in the miscellaneous section are expenses for family members (groom’s/bride’s parents and siblings’ outfits, transportation and more). This is where your parents and siblings cannot afford to take care of themselves.
Step 5: Record and Track What You Spend
It’s easy to overspend when you start shopping and paying vendors. To make sure you stick to your budget, record everything you spend money on. Recording your wedding expenses will guide you not to overspend. You can print out the wedding budget list worksheet (in step 4 above) and record your spending right on the paper. This will give you an idea of your wedding expenses. The video tutorial below from Wura Manola (a Nigerian UK-based wedding planner) validates what we’re teaching on how to make a trackable wedding budget list, and how to cut your coat according to your size when planning a Naija wedding (WATCH it – step 6 is down below).
Step 6: See Examples of Wedding Budgets in Nigeria
If you’re like most brides and grooms, you want to see a sample wedding budget.
Still Have Questions About Wedding Budget?
If you still have questions about budgeting for a wedding, click here to read my answers.
Have a Small Budget and Not Sure How to Make it Work?
We’ve got your back, check out our tips and advice for how to use small money to plan a wow Nigerian wedding:
- 9 Smart Ideas to Save Costs When Planning a Nigerian Wedding on a Small Budget
- How to Plan Small Wedding in Nigeria and Still Wow Your Guests (Part 1)
- Unique Ideas to Plan a Big-Girls Wedding with Small Money
- Low-Key Wedding: How to Plan a Great Low-Key Wedding In Nigeria (part 2 small wedding planning)
- Simple Ideas to Reduce Cost of a Wedding without Reducing the Quality
Budgeting For Wedding: Takeaway
Now you know that making a wedding budget is the only way to know how much your wedding will cost. If you followed the wedding budget tutorial above, then you should now know how much your Nigerian wedding will cost, including a break-down of the expenses, down to how much to spend on different areas of the wedding.
- Your Next Steps: Once your wedding budget is set, it’s time for you to start the wedding planning proper – use our white wedding planning check-list of things to do, and our trad wedding planning to do list.
So, over to you – let me know in the comments: where you are with working out how much your Nigerian wedding will cost? Did like the 6 step tutorial (above) to making a wedding budget to estimate the cost of your wedding in Nigeria?