Let’s Talk Budget

Some couples have no idea what to expect when they’re planning their wedding. Yes, you have the lists and recommendations, but those things still don’t prepare you for what you about to embark upon. One of the most important things you MUST take care of first  (remember this post: 5 Things To Do First), you MUST set a budget!

According to CreditSesame.com, the average cost of a wedding this year is nearly $27,000 and that doesn’t include the honeymoon!!! I don’t know about you, but that’s more that what my car is worth! And all that money is going towards ONE day… less than 24 hours!

Every wedding needs to have a budget. Even those really ridiculously expensive weddings have a budget, it’s just really ridiculously huge. If your thought process is that you don’t have a budget, you do, you just don’t know it yet. Try to get a ballpark range of the maximum amount that you would like to spend. To do this, you want to look at the things that take up the majority of a wedding’s budget:

  • Food
  • Venue
  • Photography
  • Decor
Food and Venue: These two things are most likely combined if you are having your reception at a traditional wedding venue. However, if you’re having your reception at your parents’ house, you may not immediately think about the need for tables, chairs, and linens on top of needing a caterer. The food and venue for a wedding will usually comprise approximately 30-50% of the budget.

Image by Richard Bell Photography

Photography: With photography, you get what you pay for. It’s that simple. Photographers do so much more work than just those 8 hours on your wedding day. They spend hours editing your photos, making sure they all look PERFECT! So when you’re looking at pricing packages of photographers, keep in mind that you’re also paying for the many, many (up to 20-30) hours that they take to make your photos look amazing. The quality of the service that you receive will indeed reflect the amount that you pay. (Tips When Picking A Photographer!)

Decor: Decor can mean different things to you depending on the type of wedding that you want to have. Just about every wedding will need bouquets and boutonnieres, although there have been more non-floral substitutes popping up nowadays! (My girls carried parasols inside of bouquets) Then there are centerpieces for the tables, and decor for the ceremony if needed. Once again, you get what you pay for. If you want a huge, tall floral centerpiece, you’re going to be spending more money than if you have a small low centerpiece. Decor also includes lighting (which makes a HUGE difference in any space) and draping, which surprisingly isn’t too high cost. Anything that you can think of to create the “look” of your wedding would be included in the decor.

Courtesy: Jaime Windon

With all of these elements considered, you can then decide which one means the most to you. If you would rather have great photography and a backyard barbeque reception, then you can allot more of your budget to photography and less to food. Whatever is more important to you and your fiance, budget more for that particular element!

So first things first, establish your budget. I know it’s such an awful word with a negative connotation, but believe me, you will be thankful to have a set number as your guide.


Reception-Venue & Food: 50%

Photography & Videography: 15%

Florals & Decor: 15% (Sometimes part of this budget is included in the reception budget, depending on your linens and rentals)

Entertainment: 5%

Paper goods: 5%

Miscellaneous: 10%

Note: These things are by no means ALL of what is needed for a wedding or what is required, but they are a good starting point and rule of thumb. Please also refer to other budget recommendations to determine the perfect budget formula for you and your wedding.


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