Being on a budget of any kind is tough. Don’t let anyone fool you – EVERYONE is on a budget and whether it is smaller or larger in dollar value, there is an amount that everyone must stay within. The budget for your wedding is no different, it is just a little trickier.
Decide on the total dollar value you are able to spend on your wedding, and divide the finances as follows, using your preferred wedding budget template. Using a template or specific program is a must – and there are dozens available on the internet!
Remember that taxes and tips are included in the total amount:
40 Percent – Estimate to spend 40 percent of a budget on the reception venue. This includes food, beverages, staffing, taxes and tip.
10 Percent – Ambiance. Flowers, lighting, decorations will add up quickly.
10 Percent – Music for reception; band, DJ or both.
10 Percent – Photography for the entire event. If you plan a photobooth, include it in this category.
10 Percent – Attire. Brides entire ensemble (headpiece, veil accessories, shoes), groom’s entire ensemble – head to toe.
3 Percent – Favors and gifts for guests, including all attendants’ gifts.
3 Percent – Ceremony. This includes marriage license, ceremony flowers, officiant fee, musicians (different from reception music). This is it’s own category!
3 Percent – Invitations, save-the-date cards, table markers, guest book, place cards, gift card holder, pen that guests will use to sign the guest book, programs… are all included in this category.
3 Percent - Sweets. Cake, sweet table, individual cakes or desserts.
1 Percent – Transportation costs, bus, limousine, however you plan to get your party from point A to point B.
The last 7 percent is for ICE. No, not frozen water… In Case of Emergency. Use this money if something suddenly happens and the cost of one of your categories increases. You fell in love with gown slightly out of your price range, there is an unexpected surcharge or corkage fee or cutting fee. Having an emergency fund will save you a lot of aggravation.
It is important to remember that every couple’s budget may vary depending on their vendor preferences and that each couple may have different priorities when it comes to their wedding. You can set yours accordingly, borrowing a percent from one category to make up in an other.
However, there is only 100% so, make sure your figures add up!!!
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago