Wedding budget calculators and planners

Wedding cost check-list planning budget

Coming up with a  wedding budget is one of the biggest challenges facing any bride or groom planning their big day.

It’s hard enough just to figure out all the million and one things you need to do to pull off your dream wedding, let alone somehow work out what each and every one of those “to do” items is going to cost. And if you don’t know how much your wedding is going to cost, how are you meant to stay on budget, choose vendors or save for your wedding day?

I rarely learn what my brides pay for any other vendors, but I have done a bit of snooping around the “interweb” to try and find some resources that may make your wedding planning & budgeting that little bit easier.

Here are the 5 best NZ wedding planners and budget calculators I have found online so far. (Obviously there are a tonne of them out there designed for US brides, but I figured you probably hate trying to figure out what the ZIP code for Alabama is just as much as I do and besides, NZ specific wedding planners and budget calculators are much more likely to be accurate and relevant for the average Kiwi bride). So here goes…

#1 The Wedding Planner.

This is an awesome tool – 14 pages of awesomeness in fact! The is by far the best wedding planning/budgeting tool I have found so far, and it’s tailor-made for NZ brides – perfect! It starts off with a handy timeline of when to do what (although I’m not sure if this is totally accurate for most NZ brides. I typically get booked a year out from a typical summer weekend wedding but their timeline says to book the photographer 6 months out. Just adjust this timeline to suit your needs). Then it has more detailed sections for each main task – see the preview below as an example;

Preview of the Wedding Planner

Preview of the Wedding Planner

Anyway, I’m going to stop telling you how awesome it is, click on the link below to download a copy of the PDF. Or you can check it out at by clicking here.

#2 – #5 wedding budget calculator and other tools

Do you like to get geeky with numbers sometimes? Nothing rings your bell quite like a good old fashioned Excel spreadsheet? Do you love it when said Excel spreadsheet contains formulas that line all your ducks in a row for you – automatically? If you answered yes to any of the above then you are going to LOOOOOOOOVE this website and the rather handy wedding planning and budgeting tools it offers.

In fact I think this website is so handy that I’m listing the 4 best tools it offers as numbers 2 to 5 on my list of the 5 best wedding planning check-lists and budget calculators. Without further ado here they are;

#2 Wedding Budget Template (Excel spreadsheet).

#3 wedding check-list (PDF)

From my experience as a wedding photographer the timeline on this check-list seems more realistic than the wedding planner. This check-list recommends booking the photographer 9 – 12 months before the wedding and that reflects how far out from a wedding I typically get booked. So for NZ brides I would consider adjusting the timeline in the wedding planner (which otherwise is an amazing tool for wedding planning and budgeting) to match this one.

#4 wedding reception venue check-list (PDF)

#5 wedding guest check-list (PDF).

This is a useful one page single guest check-list that includes whether or not they have RSVP’d, number of guests/children coming with them etc. It would be nice if had included an overall suggested guest list as well, but this is still helpful.

Ok, so I got carried away! I’m actually going to list 6 online wedding budgeting/planning tools and last but not least I’m going to provide an additional link to a forum post I think you’ll find very informative (albeit possibly scary).

#6 New Zealand wedding budget guideline from The Celebration Studio (an Auckland wedding planning website).

#Lucky Last Link: discussion forum “Wedding Budget”

I think you’ll find this discussion forum thread on very interesting, albeit a little scary. The forum thread is about “Wedding budgets” and it contains a tonne of posts from NZ brides on their wedding budgets. Now you need to take these budgets with a grain of salt because each bride it seems is including different things (some for example include their $11,000 honeymoon in the budget). I can imagine it might be a little terrifying to read what some other brides are spending on their wedding when you are planning your own but the good news is that there are a huge range of budgets on this forum thread – they range from around a couple of grand right up to the $45,000 + mark. I think the important thing to remember is that value and quality are relative terms.

Here’s a preview (and some eye-opening NZ wedding budget stats). wedding budget stats

Click on the link below to view the full forum thread;

Author Details

Patrick Fallon

I am a wedding photographer based in beautiful Queenstown, New Zealand. I have been full-time with the photography thing since 2006 and still can’t believe I get to do what I love for a job! Here are a few words that I think sum me up: I AM…tall and bald, happy, imaginative, constantly hungry, active and friendly. I LOVE…my girl, coffee, photography, fooooooood, my family and friends, riding bikes, being outside, the simple things in life, people… I love my life! I believe that wedding photography can and should be SIMPLE, NATURAL, BEAUTIFUL.

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