Planning A Wedding Budget: How To Budget Your Wedding Day Right!

planning a wedding budget

As a floral designer one of my jobs is to sit down with clients and to help with the planning of their wedding -- including their budget. One of the first questions I always ask is... "what is your budget for flowers?"

The next one is inevitably...

"Are you planning a complete wedding budget?"

In my experience, most couples have no idea what flowers cost, and most are eager to know what they should be expected to pay. And most do not know how to allocate the rest of their budget to the many other services they will need on their wedding day.

The good news is that with a small amount of investigation a couple can usually get a good idea of what they need to spend on the entire wedding day. Alas, they still have no idea how to break down the numbers into each category.

That's what this article is about -- planning a wedding budget -- and how to allocate your money properly for your wedding day. Let's face it, brides and grooms are now paying for their own weddings. Gone are the days of Mom and Dad taking on the responsibility of a wedding. And hey -- even if Mom and Dad are footing the bill, you still keep to a budget. A budget can be even more important when you are spending someone else's money.

So here is your wedding budget breakdown:

1) Reception and catering: By far the biggest expense of your wedding day. You need to set aside 40%-65% of your total wedding budget to cover the rental fees of the reception venue, as well as the food, the tables, chairs, linens, staff, alcohol and bar tending.

2) Bride's Attire: Grooms, today is your wife-to-be's day. So don't complain about this, OK? Believe it or not, 13%-18% of the total wedding budget should be set aside for the bride. This includes the cost of the dress, including alterations, as well as veil, bra, shoes, gloves, hair, and make-up for the day.

3) Ceremony and rings: 8%-12% of the total wedding budget should be set aside to cover the costs of your ceremony and wedding bands.

4) Photography/Videographer: 7%-12% of the total wedding budget that will cover the ceremony and the reception.

5) Flowers and decorations: 5%-13% of the total wedding budget to cover bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres as well as floral arrangements and other decorative items for the ceremony and reception.

6) Miscellaneous: 4%-12%of the total wedding budget to cover transportation, accommodations, bridesmaids hair appointments, and non-wedding day parties.

7) Paperwork: 3.5%-5% of the total wedding budget is required to cover the invitations and postage of the wedding programs, as well as place cards, personal stationary and the calligrapher.

8) Gifts: 3%-5% of the total wedding budget is required to cover to cover the thank-you gifts for your bridal party.

9) Music: Budget 2%-10% of your total wedding budget for the music at the ceremony and the reception music (DJ, band, etc.)

10) Wedding favors: 2%-5% of the total wedding budget needs to be set aside to cover the cost of the wedding favors and the packaging of the thank-you gifts for your guests.

11) Wedding cake: 2%-2.5% of the total wedding budget will be required to cover the cost of the cake of your choice.

12) Groom's Attire: Guys, you're way down here at the bottom. Yes, only 1% of the total wedding budget is required for your clothing. That covers tuxedo rental, alterations, cuff links and shoes.

Of course, this is only a guide for you to follow. You may decide to spend more on one element of your wedding, and cut back on another. Whether your wedding is large or small, remember if you "blow the budget" in one area you need to cut back in another and keep your budget balanced.

There... now get started planning your wedding budget!

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