Determining Your Wedding Budget

Determining Your Wedding Budget


This post is sponsored by WeddingWire.

A couple of weeks ago Matt and I officially booked our wedding! Now that we have a venue and a date, everything seems a bit more real. We knew our venue would allot for most of our budget, but now we’re in the process of figuring out our budget for everything else. I thought it would be helpful for other couples to share how to breakdown their wedding budget by category, as well as a helpful tool they can use to track their budget as they get closer and closer to their wedding day.

Before we get into the breakdown of the budget, a helpful exercise is to have both you and your partner write down your top three must haves. Once you’ve both written your own list, compare notes, and compile your top three as a couple. Outside of our venue, our top three must haves were great music, beautiful flowers, and a top-notch videographer. For you and your husband-to-be, that list may be completely different. It’s helpful to figure out what is most important to you, because that will help you allocate your budget. Below I am sharing the average breakdown of a wedding budget:

Reception | 48-50%

This includes the venue, rentals, catering, beverages, and the cake. As well as any other miscellaneous fees associated with the venue.

Attire | 8-10%

This includes the wedding gown and alterations, headpiece and veil, bridal accessories, the groom’s tux or suit, groom’s accessories, as well as hair and make-up.

Flowers & Decorations | 8-10%

This includes all the flowers needed for the day, from ceremony flowers to centerpieces to bouquets and boutonnieres.

Entertainment | 8-10%

This includes your ceremony music, DJ or band, and any other forms of entertainment, like a photo-booth for your guests.

Photography & Videography | 8-10%

Ceremony | 2-3%

This includes the site fee, officiant fee or church donation, and marriage license.

Stationary | 2-3%

Save the dates, invitations, menu cards, place cards, thank you cards, and postage.

Rings | 2-3%

Transportation | 1-2%

Gifts | 2-3%

Miscellaneous | 5-8%

For any random or unforeseen expenses that may come up.

This breakdown is just an average, but it’s a great template to work off of when figuring out your own budget. For example, our bridal party will be staying on-site for the wedding, so a limo won’t be necessary. Our venue is also providing free shuttle service, which completely takes transportation off of our list. We can now allocate that 1-2% elsewhere, which in our case, is going straight to the venue.

Now, onto tracking your budget! WeddingWire has an incredible budgeting tool that you can completely customize. It’s broken down by categories such as beauty and health, cake, catering, ceremony music, and dress & attire, and then it allows you to create subcategories breaking down your budget even further. It also lets you add the estimated cost (for budgeting purposes), as well as actual cost, amount paid, and amount due. It can be difficult to keep track of deposits and vendors, and this tool makes it easy to stay on budget and quickly reference any payments owed. I can’t wait to keep adding vendors as we continue to plan our big day!

A screenshot of the tool (displaying a sample budget).

Now that we officially have a date, I’m excited to start sharing more of our wedding plans with you!

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