Wedding Budget Planner

Your wedding budget is the most important decision you’ll have to make during the wedding planning process. The budget is where dreams and reality meet for the first time and force you to prioritize what’s truly important to you. There is no “right” amount for a wedding budget; it all depends on you, your family, your priorities and your tastes. What complicates it further is that there are two of you, two families, two sets of priorities and two tastes. The absolute most important thing to remember throughout all of this is that your wedding day is only one day, but your lives together are forever. Your lives will continue after the wedding and something that may seem important and heartbreaking now will become a fading detail and seem trivial in retrospect. So, when it comes to wedding planning, there is one area that we feel deserves a lot of thought, attention and time: your wedding budget. If you create a feasible and reasonable wedding budget, a lot of unnecessary stress and strain can be avoided in the entire wedding planning process.

ATTIRE = 7%

What attire MAY include:

  • Engagement Party Outfit (plus shoes and accessories)
  • Engagement Photos Outfit (plus shoes and accessories)
  • Bridal Shower Outfit (plus shoes and accessories)
  • Bachelor / Bachelorette Outfit (plus shoes and accessories)
  • Rehearsal Dinner Outfit (plus shoes and accessories)
  • Wedding Dress
  • Wedding Dress Alterations
  • Specialty Undergarments
  • Veil, Wedding Shoes, and Bridal Jewelry / Accessories
  • Groom’s Tux + Shoes
  • Reception Outfit (if you’re changing out of your dress) or After Party Outfit
  • Post-Wedding Brunch Outfit (plus shoes and accessories)
  • Wedding Dress Cleaning and Preservation

 

BEAUTY = 2%

What beauty MAY include:

  • Pre-Wedding Haircuts or Color
  • Waxing
  • Facials
  • Mani-Pedi
  • Professional Shave
  • Tips (normally around 20% for any pre-wedding beauty treatments)
  • Spray Tan
  • Lash Extensions
  • Hair Trial Appointment
  • Day-of Wedding Hairstyle
  • Makeup Trial Appointment
  • Day-of Wedding Makeup

 

CAKE = 2%

  • What cake MAY include:
  • Cake Display / Cake Cutting
  • Sheet Cake for extra servings
  • Specialty Design Elements (like sugar flowers or hand painting)
  • Cake Topper
  • Cake Stand
  • Cake-Cutting Fee
  • Delivery Fee
  • Additional Desserts (if you’re doing a dessert table/station)
  • Preservation Kit for one-year anniversary

 

 

CEREMONY = 2%

What ceremony MAY include:

  • Ceremony Site (if separate from reception venue)
  • Church Donation
  • Officiant Fee
  • Marriage License
  • Ceremony Accessories (ring pillow, flower girl basket, unity candle, etc.)

 

DRINKS = 8%

What drinks MAY include:

  • Cocktail Hour Drinks
  • Reception Drinks
  • Champagne Toast
  • Open Bar / Hosted Beer & Wine / Specialty Cocktails
  • Bartender Service
  • Mixers
  • Coffee / Tea
  • Non-alcoholic Beverages
  • Glassware (if not included in your catering package)
  • Bar Signage
  • Corkage Fees (if you opt to BYO)
  • Liquor License (if not provided by venue or caterer)
  • Bartender Gratuity

 

FAVORS & GIFTS = 2%

What favors & gifts MAY include:

  • Wedding Favors
  • Wedding Party Gifts
  • Gifts for your Flower Girl(s) or Ring Bearer(s)
  • Spouse Gift
  • Parents Gifts
  • Welcome Baskets for out-of-town guests

 

FLOWERS & DECOR = 8%

What flowers & decor MAY include:

  • Bouquets (for bride and bridesmaids, and perhaps a toss bouquet)
  • Boutonnières (for groom, groomsmen, fathers and/or grandfathers)
  • Corsages for Mothers / Grandmothers
  • Flowers and Accessories for the Flower Girl / Ring Bearer
  • Ceremony Arch / Chuppah
  • Ceremony Arrangements
  • Reception Centerpieces (for guest tables, guest book table, food stations, etc.)
  • Wedding Cake Flowers (if additional cake décor is needed)
  • Wedding Chalkboards / Signage
  • Specialty Décor Rentals (e.g. tenting, lanterns, candelabras, etc.)
  • Delivery Fees

 

FOOD = 18%

What food MAY include:

  • Tasting Appointment (if not complimentary with your catering package)
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Passed Hors D’oeuvres
  • Plated, Buffet, or Family-Style Meal
  • Food Stations
  • Service Staff
  • Catering Equipment (such as plates, silverware, glassware, serving platters, etc.)
  • Catering Rentals (such as tables, chairs, linens, etc.)
  • Vendor Meals (it’s nice to feed your photographer)
  • Tax and Gratuity (sometimes called the “service charge”)
  • Setup and/or Cleanup Fees
  • Bar/Beverage Service (see “Drinks” above; may be included in your catering package)

 

INVITES & PAPER = 2%

What invites & paper MAY include:

  • Engagement Party Invitations
  • Save The Dates
  • Wedding Invitations (including inserts like RSVP cards or maps)
  • Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
  • Post Wedding Brunch Invitations
  • Envelopes (note that specialty size envelopes will be more expensive to ship)
  • Postage (for invitations and RSVP envelopes, as well as thank you cards)
  • Return Address Labels
  • Wedding Ceremony Programs
  • Wedding Reception Paper Goods
  • Escort Cards
  • Place Cards
  • Menu Cards
  • Custom Napkins
  • Favor Labels
  • Thank You Cards

 

MUSIC = 8%

What music MAY include:

  • Ceremony Musicians
  • Cocktail Hour Music
  • Reception DJ or Live Band
  • Microphone (for wedding ceremony and reception toasts)
  • Sound-system or extra speakers
  • Photo Booth & Dance Floor Lighting (if your DJ provides these extra services)

 

 

PHOTOS & VIDEO = 10%

What photo & video MAY include:

  • Engagement Session
  • Rehearsal Dinner Coverage
  • Wedding Day Coverage
  • Albums or Prints
  • Same Day Edit
  • Raw Footage
  • Highlight Reel
  • Feature Film

 

RECEPTION VENUE = 18%

What reception venue MAY include:

  • Room Rental Fee
  • Venue Deposit
  • Ceremony Fee (if ceremony is being held at reception venue)
  • Additional Rentals (such as tables, chairs, linens, china, etc. if not provided by caterer)
  • Dance Floor Rental (if not already installed/included)
  • Parking Fees
  • Liability Insurance
  • Tax and Service Fees
  • Security (some venues require it)

 

TRANSPORTATION = 2%

What transportation MAY include:

  • Bridal Party Transportation to the Ceremony Venue
  • Bridal Party Transportation to the Reception Venue (if different from Ceremony Site)
  • Gratuity for the Driver(s)
  • Shuttle Service to transport guests to/from their hotels
  • Valet Parking Service

 

WEDDING PLANNER = 3%*

*This percentage is on the low end of the spectrum, and may only cover a Day-Of Wedding planning package. If you’re looking for a Full-Service Coordination package, expect to spend closer to 10–15% of your total budget.   

What wedding planner MAY include:

  • Day-Of, Month-Of or Full-Service Wedding Coordination
  • Venue and/or Vendor Referrals and Liaison
  • Budget Development
  • Timeline Creation
  • Rehearsal Coordination
  • Wedding Day Setup and Management

 

WEDDING RINGS = 2%

  • What wedding rings MAY include:
  • Wedding Bands
  • Wedding Band Resizing Fee
  • Wedding Ring Insurance
  • Any Customization / Engraving

 

EXTRA FEES / EMERGENCY FUND = 5%

What emergency fund MAY include:

  • Vendor Tips
  • Sales Tax
  • Service Charges
  • Wedding Insurance
  • Liquor License (if not provided by the venue and/or caterer)
  • Overtime Fees