Creating a Realistic Wedding Budget

You're engaged and cant wait to start planning! Before you start signing vendor contracts, we suggest setting a realistic budget! Regardless of who's paying for the wedding it is helpful to have a clear idea of how much you have to spend so you know where money can be allocated. Here are some key components to keep in mind when building your budget:

Decide who is paying for specific items. Traditionally, the bride's side pays for: church costs, flowers, invitations, reception/venue, transportation, wedding dress; while the groom's side pays for: honeymoon, liquor, marriage license, officiant fee/gratuity, rehearsal dinner
Reception Costs will probably be somewhere between 40-45% of your overall budget

The Splurge Cushion: Inevitably planning your dream wedding means that costs will be more than you anticipated. Make sure to put a little bit extra into things you think you'll want to splurge on, like extra hours for the band, a specific type of flower, printed menus, etc. Link

Here is a basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay:

Reception 48% - 50%
Ceremony 2% - 3%
Attire 8% - 10%
Flowers 8% - 10%
Entertainment/Music 8% - 10%
Photography/Videography 10% - 12%
Stationery 2% - 3%
Wedding rings 2% - 3%
Parking/Transportation 2% - 3%
Gifts 2% - 3%
Miscellaneous 8%

We suggest starting a spreadsheet to keep track of your budget. It should include your beginning budget, estimated and actual cost for each vendor and payments made to each.  Once you have decided on a budget, take a deep breath and have fun planning!