The Ultimate Wedding Budget Guide

For some, a wedding isn't just a day when you exchange vows with the person you love, it's a pivotal moment that you've thought about for years, mapping out every minor detail until you have an image of the perfect nuptials. Unfortunately, while your Pinterest board might be brimming with hanging floral arrangements and geode cakes, the word "budget" rarely crops up until you're in the midst of planning the festivities. It's true: weddings cost a lot.

Before you start booking roving performers and a gourmet dégustation for 200 of your nearest and dearest, pause. The average wedding tallies $32,641 (and up to $82,299 for Manhattanites!), so being strategic with your hard-earned dollars is vital. Thankfully, even if you have champagne taste with only a beer budget, there's a way to plan for your big day without maxing out your credit card. We've called on top finance and wedding experts to find out the steps every modern bride (and groom!) should take to plan their dream day. A fairytale ending without mounting debt is possible—here's how to plan a wedding on a budget.