Weddings are stressful just because of their very nature. When you add a budget into the mix, you’re asking for more stress unless you know how to allocate for each item and even for the big day.
When planning a wedding budget, you should first decide what percentage of the budget will be spent. For example, you might spend a small percentage on the actual ceremony and a much higher percentage on the reception.
Use these wedding budget guidelines as a way to keep track of your wedding expenses.
- Ceremony – The usual allocation for the wedding ceremony is approximately 2% of the wedding budget and includes the cost of the venue, pay for the officiant and the cost of the marriage license.
- Wedding Rings – Allow approximately 2% of the budget for the bride and groom’s rings.
- Flowers/Décor – 10% of the wedding budget should be allotted for flowers and decorations for both the ceremony and reception. This includes floral and other décor, the bride’s bouquet (and flowers for the maid of honor, bridesmaids and flower girl), corsages and boutonnieres, table centerpieces and lighting.
- Reception – Usually the most expensive part of the wedding, the reception should be allocated 50% of the entire budget. It will include the venue fee, food, drinks and staff, rentals such as tables and chairs, bar, wedding cake and coat check (if necessary).
- Apparel – 10% of the wedding budget goes to the bride’s ensemble (dress, veil and headpiece, lingerie, jewelry and shoes). This also includes money for hair and makeup styling and the groom’s attire (suit, accessories and shoes).
- Music – Musicians for the reception (including band, deejay or other entertainment), rental for sound system and dance floor should total about 10% of the budget.
- Videography/Photography – Engagement and wedding day photography and videography, including the wedding album and prints total about 10% of budget.
- Cards/Postage and Miscellaneous Stationery – Allow 2% of the wedding budget for the invitations, thank you cards and other stationery that is wedding-appropriate. This will also include announcements, postage and calligraphy fees.
- Transportation – Limousines (car rental) for bride, groom and bridal party generally take about 1% of the budget. Wedding guest transportation is also included as well as valet parking.
- Gifts and Favors – All gifts and favors for the wedding, bride’s and groom’s parents, maid of honor, bridesmaids, child attendants, groomsmen, best man and out of town guests usually total about 3% of the total wedding budget.
This above wedding budget is a good example of the percentages that you should allot for the various items and venues for your wedding. Of course, you can change the percentages as you deem which is most important for you.
Planning and following a wedding budget can enormously cut down on the stress that is often magnified during the planning of a wedding. The main object is that you have an idea and carry through with a plan that’s going to make your wedding day exclusively – yours.