Planning a wedding can be completely overwhelming without the proper knowledge or game plan. In fact the initial planning is where I struggled the most. I didn’t know where to begin! My friends hadn’t gotten married yet, so I found myself scouring the Internet and reading bridal books for answers. After several bridal blogs and “Wedding Planning for Dummies” I began to get a lay of the land. The area I struggled most to understand was how to take my budget and properly allocate it. If I have $75,000 for my wedding, how do I know how much I can spend on the reception? What can I spend on the flowers? How many guests can I invite? The list of questions you have may seem endless. I’m here to help you figure out a financial plan.
Here is a general breakdown of what you should expect your wedding costs to be. Your reception should cost you about half of your entire budget. For instance, if you have a budget of $75,000, try to keep your reception venue to around $35,000 or so. Your ceremony should only cost you about 2 to 3%. Your attire for both the bride and groom should come in somewhere around 8 to 10%, with your flowers and music right around that same percentage. Your photography and videography will cost you about 10-12%. I found this to be one area I was willing to splurge; I made sure to cut costs in other areas to make that happen. Lastly, stationary, wedding rings, parking/transit, and gifts should all come in at about 2-3 % each. An extremely helpful piece of advice I read is to set aside 5% of your budget for things that may come up that you have not prepared for. There is nothing worse than a surprise fee or a part of the wedding you did not account for.
After preparing an outline of your wedding budget, decide where you stand. Can you come in under budget? Or, do you need to save more money to have the wedding you envision? Another helpful piece of advice is to try to squirrel away a certain percentage every month. Cutting back on non-necessities can go a long way. Remember! The longer the engagement the more time you have to save as well.
Wedding prep isn’t easy and at times can be the most daunting of tasks, but once you establish your budget and get your vendors booked you will be well on your way. The more informed you are, the easier it is! I hope this blog serves as a solid foundation for the rest of your journey.