How Much is the Whole Thing Going to Cost?

The two major highlights of any wedding weekend are the ceremony and the reception.  The expenses included for the ceremony will be the fee for the site, clergy payment, music and custodial feels.  Expenses for the reception will include food, drinks, entertainment and venue charges.  In most cases the reception will be the most expensive event of your wedding weekend.

As you start to set up your budget, keep in mind that you only have a certain amount of money to spend.  The process of budgeting will help you turn that money into the wedding you have always imagined.

You may be pleasantly surprised that as you share your wedding plans with family and friends, someone may step forward and offer financial support, or perhaps host an event during the wedding weekend.  To know about this before you set your budget would be ideal, but not crucial.  If you grandmother would like to purchase your wedding gown for you, for instance, you simply remove that item from your budget and distribute the money to another area.  Be flexible enough in the planning to make changes as they become necessary.

Work on the basis of percentages after you have established your bottom line.  Here is a standard guideline of what to include and how much of the budget they will require.

  • 38.0% – Reception
  • 14.3% – Rings
  • 14.3% – Honeymoon
  • 9.5% – Photography and Videography
  • 7.0% – Miscellaneous Expenses
  • 5.7% – Attire
  • 4.7% - Music
  • 3.5% – Flowers
  • 3.0% – Invitations

Generally, most couples find themselves going over their budget by about 10%.  A great way to “plan” for this is to include that in “miscellaneous expenses.”  Remember to be diligent and stay within your budget, to some extent.  Keep in mind that you are not trying to stay under budget, but rather trying to not over spend.

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