How To Set A Wedding Budget

A wedding is a large-scale event so with that comes many different areas where cost becomes a factor. A couple should look at every different area where they could be spending their funds so it is not enough to just have one dollar amount in mind that you are going to spend. A much better tactic is to break out the cost as separate line items so you can see where you are allocating funds and what those costs might be.
  • On average most couples will need to allocate 50% of their budget to their reception, considering that includes the venue cost, catering, and bar cost along with decorations.
  • After the venue cost the next largest expense typically belongs to the photography and videography department, taking up 12% to 15% of the overall budget.
  • Next up in line for cost consumption would be attire, flowers, and entertainment reach consuming somewhere between 8-12% of the budget.
  • After these larger areas of cost couples can spend smaller amounts, typically between 2-5% on items such as stationery. The ceremony, transportation, rings, gift, etc…
One of the best tips we received from a Brooklyn based bride, Kerry was that she put aside 5% of her total budget for “just in case”.
“I knew there was a very real chance that I would need some extra funds or that as the big day drew closer I would need to add some extra funds to one area of the wedding so I wanted to make sure I had a little extra ready to go”.
So, it’s pretty clear why you need a budget when planning your wedding. However, how to set a wedding budget is a different task. The earlier in the process you set your wedding budget the better off you will be. Wedding planner, Gayle of Events By Gayle suggests
“There are many helpful budget trackers for weddings that can be found online. Print one out and start filling it out the best you can. It is very important to start the planning process with a budget and work backward from there. A great wedding planner can also help a couple with their budget since they are familiar with what the local vendors charge for their product or service.”


The first step in setting a budget is to set your expectations and by that I mean make sure you have a realistic budget in mind. You can’t plan a $100,000 wedding on a $10,000 budget so being realistic is the best way to make sure your wedding day is the perfect day.


The second step in setting your budget is to know where the funds will be coming from and exactly what sort of funds you will need to plan your wedding. If both sides of the family are offering to contribute to the expenses it is important to know what that number is so you can add it to the budget and start breaking down your spending


The third step in setting your budget is to have a good sense of what sort of wedding you want to plan. If you are considering a large, formal wedding at a large venue you will need to plan for certain types of budget areas whereas if you are planning a small, backyard style wedding you might not have to.


The fourth and perhaps most important step in planning your wedding budget is to “choose your non-negotiables”, meaning figure out what areas of your wedding are especially important to you and your partner and what areas you might be willing to compromise on or even do without.