September 2, 2020

Wedding Budget Breakdown: The Essential Guide to Creating a Budget

FILED IN: Wedding Budget

Today we are talking numbers! When the word “budget” comes to mind it can stress people out. It can also sound expensive. We understand that it can be awkward to talk about with anyone, but it’s very necessary to discuss. 

As planners, once you tell us your budget, we can find vendors for you within your range. A lot of the time people think planners are just there to help you design, and make sure the day goes smoothly, but we are also there to make sure you do not go over your budget! The percentages below are solely based on industry averages. Feel free to adjust them according to your needs and priorities. Just make sure your adjustments add up to 100%!

First things first, the most costly part of a wedding is the venue, food and beverage. We suggest that 50% of your budget goes toward this. There’s a per-head cost for food and liquor, and these two are typically the biggest expenses of the whole wedding, so changing the guest list size is the surest way to increase or decrease your costs. There are other factors that can determine this cost- what city you are getting married in (New York is going to be more expensive than a small town), the date (highly sought-after seasons and days of the week are pricier for obvious reasons) and the style of your wedding (the more formal the affair, the pricier it is going to be). 

YJ Savings Tip:

Switch up your wedding day. Couples can see some major savings by having their wedding on a weekday or at different times. We’ve seen a huge trend in brunch weddings!

10% of your budget should go toward photography and videography. Photographers and videographers pricing varies from place to place. They can seem expensive, but they are putting a lot of work into your wedding day. They are there for almost the whole day, they may or may not have to travel, they might bring on an extra shooter, they professionally edit your photos and videos, and much more. Remember, you are going to look back on these photos of the rest of your life, so you want to find a photographer whose style you love and someone who you mesh with. Videography is becoming more popular now, especially during COVID-19 since some family members can’t be there. This is a good way to have your loved ones experience the wedding from afar. 

5-10% of your budget should go toward DJ’s/entertainment. DJ’s can provide music, microphones, speakers, etc. Besides the planner, they help keep the schedule on track and get the guests involved in the wedding. They are in charge of all the songs you choose and play them. Double check to see what comes with their packages. You can add lighting, monograms, and even a photo booth! Other forms of entertainment are bands, acoustic musicians, beer burros, fire dancers, the list is endless. While these are fun, they can get pricey. Also, double check that your venue allows amplified music. 

Another 10% of your budget should go toward flowers and decor. There are SO many different types of flowers and arrangements! This means that pricing can vary. Pricing for florals also depends on how big your bridal party is…bouquets are more expensive than you think. Don’t forget additional decor, signage, or rentals. Most venues provide tables, chairs, flatware, etc. but some do not. Keep in mind, renting chairs or linens for 150 people can be costly. 

YJ Savings Tip:

Reuse your bridesmaid bouquets and add candles around the bouquets to make it even more romantic. You can even use one of your bridesmaids bouquets as a toss bouquet! You can take this a step further and see if there is any decor or rentals in your ceremony that can be remixed into your reception space. 

You will want to save 12% of your budget for paper goods and invitations, attire, baked goods, beauty, rings, and transportation. 

Wedding planner can be at 10-15% of your budget. This percentage can range to cover a Day-Of Wedding planning package all the way to if you’re looking for a Full-Service Coordination package, expect to spend closer to 10–15% of your total budget.

Yes, a wedding planner might seem like a big investment—but it’s important to consider the time and stress you save by working with one. Professional planners also typically have strong relationships with vendors, so they can help you get the best bang for your buck.

To avoid getting stressed out, allow yourself to have 5% of your budget for a “just in case” scenario. Also, if you are going on a honeymoon after your wedding, you will want to budget for this too! 

These percentages are good estimates. You can always adjust a bit based on the things that are important to you. Every wedding is different, but these percentages are a good place to start to not overspend.

You’ve mastered your budget, now what? Download our complimentary wedding checklist to keep you on track!

Planner: Your Jubilee

Venue: Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale

Photography: Rachael Koscica Photography

Rentals: Prim Rentals

Linens: La Tavola

Hair Stylist: Cosmo Allis

Suits: Celebrity Tux & Tails

Videographer: The Good Vibe Media

Florist: Avant Garde Studio

Rentals: Bright Event Rentals

Stationary: Writing on the Walls

Dress: Schaffer’s Bridal

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