The Gruesome Truth of Wedding Budgeting


Congratulations on your engagement! Now here’s the painful part. This is an estimated (generally over-estimated) break down of your expenses for all aspects of your wedding celebration:

Wedding Planner (10-15%): If you intend to have one, subtract this from your total budget before breaking anything else down.

Reception (40-50%): This includes your room rental, catering, food, cake AND cutting fee, taxes and service fees. Keeping your reception at home? You still need to account for servers, caterers, rental chairs and tables, food ingredients, the cake, a tent, and the taxes and tips for everything!

Photography and Videography (10-15%): This is something that varies, but it still takes up a chunk of the total budget. Photographers also charge additional fees for shooting, editing, and compiling an album.

Music/Entertainment (5-10%): You want to make sure that this percentage accounts for both your ceremony music and your party music, along with any additional forms of entertainment you plan to provide.

Wedding Dress (5-10%):This depends on how much you’re willing to spend on a dress, (and how much you do or don’t prefer designer gowns). Remember that you’re paying for the dress, alterations, veil, shoes, and honeymoon lingerie.

Tuxedo (3-5%): If he’s renting, it probably won’t take up much of your budget, but even if he’s not, it’s nothing compared to how much you’re going to spend on your dress.

Flowers (3-5%): All flower arrangements, whether bouquets for for the bridesmaids or bride, petals for the flower girl, or table setters, are all included.

Ceremony (5%): Programs, officiant fees, marriage license, rings, and location fees are all included in this portion.

Favors and Decorations (1-2%): Always make sure that you take into account the smaller parts of the reception. They may be smaller, but they can add up quick!

Limousine (1-2%): This is usually rented by the hour, but it’s still not as major of an expense to the wedding.

Invitations (1-2%): This is probably the smallest element of your wedding, and is generally inexpensive.

Extra or Forgotten Fees (5%): No matter how closely you’ve watched your budget, there will still be additional payments that pop up. Leave room in your budget for the possibility of error, miscalculations, and additional services and fees.

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