When beginning to plan your wedding the first thing you'll want to create is your comprehensive wedding day budget! This budget should include all wedding expenses ranging from the biggest line item, food and drink, down to the intimate details of invitation suites and beauty. Below we have provided estimated percentages of what you can expect to spend per category. For the example below, we will be working with a $75,000 wedding budget. Remember, although this is the average wedding cost breakdown, you have the creativity and liberty to adjust these percentages as you see fit.
Food and Drink: 40% or $30,000
Food and drinks for your wedding will, most likely, make up the largest piece of your budget. The overall cost of this category will greatly depend on your final guest count and dinner options served. The food and drink budget includes everything from your hosted signature cocktails to the cake and dessert served following dinner.
Venue & Rentals: 15% or $11,250
Your venue and rental budget will also be one of your biggest wedding expenses. When searching for your dream wedding venue be sure to ask what is included in the rental fee. Some venues include things like food, beverage and rentals, in their estimated costs, while other venues may only offer the physical space in their pricing.
Photography & Videography: 10% or $7,500
Wedding day photos and videos will be all that remain, other than your love for one another, once the big day is said and done. Be sure to choose vendors you connect with to feel more comfortable and at ease while in front of the camera. And consider sourcing your photographer and videographer from the same vendor as most companies will offer discounts for bundling the services.
Music: 10% or $7,500
The category that is most responsible for the party and one where you won't want to be cutting a ton of costs. Your DJ or Band isn't only responsible for the wedding day soundtrack but will also serve as your MC to guide your guests through the evening. Be sure to discuss not only music for your reception but you ceremony music needs as well.
Fashion: 7% or $5,250
Everything from the bride's hair and makeup, wedding dress and accessories to the groom's tux rental and wedding day shoes should be included in this category of your budget.
Flowers: 7% or $5,250
Depending on the types of flowers your select, your wedding season and many other factors, pricing for flowers can range dramatically. Consider choosing flowers that are native to your area and in season to get the most return on your investment.
Stationary: 4% or $3,000
The most common mistake for this category is to think this only includes your invitation suites. Your stationary budget should also include postage, wedding day signage and other paper goods. Calligraphers and boutique paperies may cost more than online sources but allow for more personalization and creativity!
Transportation: 2% or $1,500
If you're getting married at a resort style venue or have guests staying fairly close to the venue this may be a category you can exclude. Before discounting it completely, be sure to consider if your wedding party will need transportation services to get to the ceremony site or if are wanting a getaway car for the grand exit of your dreams.
Miscellaneous: 5% or $3,750
There are always smaller details that aren't going to fit into the budget categories above. That's where your miscellaneous budget line fills in. This is your catch all for any additional wedding day costs such as your wedding license or wedding day insurance. You will feel more at ease knowing you have a budget line for incidentals when an unexpected cost arrises.
There are a lot of costs and categories to keep track of when it comes to your wedding day, but budgeting doesn't have to be a stressful process. Follow the suggested percentages above to effortlessly create your own wedding day budget!