Planning a wedding isn’t just exciting or overwhelming, but also expensive. If you’re wondering how much of your wedding budget should be spent on certain things, here is a basic breakdown of how to budget all the costs, and what percentage of your total budget you might want to reserve for the different categories.
1. Photography & Video
Photos and video work should usually take around 12 percent of your total budget. You can cut this back by using a photographer with a good eye and less experience, but remember that photos are something you’ll be looking at forever, so you probably don’t want to skimp too much.
2. Venue, Rentals, Cake, Caterer
These costs will take the biggest chunk of your budget, about 50 percent actually. Renting a lot of your wedding supplies (like tableware, centerpieces, and decor) can save you some money, as can getting help from friends with the food. But some of your ability to bring in your own food will depend on the venue you choose.
3. Clothing & Beauty
Your wedding dress, hair and makeup, and tuxedos should end up taking around 9 percent of your total spending. There are so many gowns available at lots of different price points. As for hair and makeup, you might want to bring in the pros to help you look your best.
Your reception must have music, and it always helps to get a professional to makes sure it runs smoothly. Whether you decide to go with a band or DJ, you can expect to pay around 7 percent of your budget for music. For the ceremony music (and officiant), plan on about another 2 percent.
5. Flowers Lighting, Decor
Plan on around 8 percent of your budget for flowers, decorations, and lighting. Again, you can save some money using rentals or services like Blooms by the Box for DIY flowers.
6. Wedding Planner
Hiring a wedding planner has a lot of advantages — not the least of which is saving your sanity. If you want a lower stress experience, you’ll probably find a wedding planner is worth 3 percent of your budget.
7. Invitations & Stationery
You’ll likely spend about 3 percent of your total budget on wedding invitations and any other necessary stationery (like save-the-dates, ceremony programs, etc.). Buying invitations online can save you some money.
8. Transportation & Favors
Providing transportation for guests will run you about 2% of your budget, as will any wedding favors and gifts you provide as a gesture for guests.
If you’re figuring the cost of wedding rings into the wedding budget (not engagement rings), you can plan on about 2 percent of the total. But of course, ensure they’re a good fit for not only your finger, but your style.