Budgeting for your Wedding
one wedding planner separates wedding budgets into the following tiers:
Wedding Expense Item
Percentage of overall budget
Ceremony (venue, officiant, marriage license)
Reception venue, catering bartending, rentals
Wedding Attire (clothes, alterations, hair, make-up)
Flowers and Decor
Stationery (save the date, invitations, programs, thank you notes, postage)
Favors and Gifts
What do Wedding vendors typically cost?
Flowers/Décor: This category accounts for about 10% of your total wedding budget. Costs in this category can vary tremendously depending upon who you hire and how much decorating or flowers you want. Check out some creative ideas for bouquets on my Resource page. https://www.weddingofficiantjudy.com/resources-2/
Stationery: The average spent in this category is about 3% of the total budget. Costs include paper goods (save the date cards, invitations, programs, etc). You may be able to save a bundle in this category by doing everything online. But, there is something special about a beautiful wedding invitation that is mailed.
Favors and Gifts: This category accounts for 2% of the total wedding budget. This is subject to personal taste and the number of people you are purchasing gifts for. Typically, gifts are given to the attendants at the wedding (bridesmaids, groomsmen, best man, maid of honor, flower girl, ring bearer, etc. Often there are favors at the reception for each guest to take. I have seen everything from a pottery flower to a jar of maple syrup given to guests. Again, each couple will think of something special as a memento. Some couples also include welcome bags at the hotel for out of town guests.
Cake: The cake (or cakes) typically make up 2% of the total wedding budget. Definitely do a tasting before you decide on a cake for your wedding day. Remember, you do not have to display a wedding cake that is big enough to feed everyone at your wedding. Some people have a small cake that they cut and then a simpler, less decorated cake is cut in the back and served to guests. This can be one way to save on the costs of the wedding cake.
Transportation: This will include how you and your guests are getting to the ceremony and reception. Are you renting a limo? A party bus to transport guests? Typically, this will cost 2% of your total wedding budget. Remember:
• If you are asking vendors to travel to your wedding location, you should be prepared to cover the cost of any transportation, accommodations, meals, and any other expenses related to their travel.
• It is also customary to tip your vendors. Some (like a caterer) will include tips/gratuity in the amount they bill you. But others, like your officiant, florist, photographer, do not include gratuity in their fees. It is a nice gesture, if they have done a good job, to tip about 15-20 percent of their fee.