September 1, 2023

Creating Your Wedding Budget: A Guide to Allocating Your Expenses

Photographer: Nicole Sarah Photography

Planning a wedding is an exciting journey, but it can also be overwhelming, especially when it comes to budgeting. Couples often find themselves wondering, “How much does a wedding cost?” Well, we’ve got you covered. Here, we will break down the average expenses involved in planning a wedding, giving you a comprehensive overview of where your budget may be allocated.

Photographer: 8-10% 

Capturing the essence of your wedding day through photographs is a priceless investment. Allocate 8-10% of your budget for your photographer, taking into account factors such as hours of coverage, inclusion of film, the need for a second shooter, and potential travel expenses. The images captured will serve as cherished memories for years to come.

Venue: Approximately 4%

Choosing the perfect venue sets the stage for your entire celebration. However, venue costs can vary due to factors such as location and amenities. Typically, about 4% of your budget is allocated to the venue. Keep in mind that some venues may offer waivers for fees under specific conditions, such as booking a certain number of rooms or meeting food and beverage minimums.

Catering/Bar: 20-25%

Food and beverages are a centerpiece of any wedding celebration. Allocate 20-25% of your budget to catering and bar services. The range reflects the variety of catering styles and the type of cuisine you choose, ensuring your guests enjoy a delightful culinary experience.

Music & Entertainment: 5-7%

The ambiance and energy of your wedding rely on the music and entertainment you select. Allocate 5-7% of your budget for this category. Keep in mind that live musicians, while adding a unique charm, may be pricier than hiring a DJ.

Photographer: Jenny Jean Photography
Stationery: Paper Ocelot

Paper Goods: 3-5%

From save-the-dates to invitations and day-of items, your paper goods set the tone for your wedding. Allocate 3-5% of your budget for paper goods, including design, printing, and postage costs.

Hair and Makeup: 2-4%

Looking your best on your special day is essential. Allocate 2-4% of your budget for hair and makeup services. The cost may vary based on the size of your wedding party and the experience of the vendors.

Photographer: Nicole Sarah Photography

Video: 6-8%

Videography captures the motion and emotions of your wedding day. Allocate 6-8% of your budget to videography. Similar to photography, the final cost depends on the extent of coverage and the experience of the videographer.

Design & Décor: 25-30%

Creating a visually stunning environment that aligns with your style is a significant aspect of your wedding. Allocate 25-30% of your budget for design and décor, encompassing rentals, florals, lighting, installations, signage, and paper goods.

Photographer: Nicole Sarah Photography

Wedding Rings: 9%

As your love story evolves, the rings that bind you symbolize the eternal promise you share. Don’t overlook these precious tokens when crafting your budget. Excluding the engagement ring, couples typically invest around 9% of their budget in wedding bands. 

Flowers: 8%

Blossoms have an uncanny ability to transform spaces into enchanting realms. Flowers not only adorn your venue but also evoke emotions and set the tone for your wedding day. It’s no wonder that 8% of the average wedding budget is dedicated to floral arrangements. With bouquets that mirror your heart’s desires and boutonnieres that add flair to the groom’s attire, flowers weave elegance and vibrancy into your celebration.

Photographer: Kristyn Harder Photography
Florist: Flower Artistry

Wedding Favours & Gifts: 1%

Amid the whirlwind of your celebration, don’t forget to express gratitude to those who make your day extraordinary. The tiny tokens of appreciation you share as wedding favors and gifts carry heartfelt messages that linger long after the festivities end. Allocate about 1% of your budget to these special gestures, and watch how they create lasting impressions on your guests’ hearts.

Officiant: 1%

The vows you exchange are the cornerstone of your wedding day. If you’re enlisting an officiant to seal your promises legally, earmark 1% of your budget for this essential service. This modest allocation ensures that your love story is formally and beautifully woven into the tapestry of your lives.

Transportation: 3%

As your celebration unfolds across different venues, ensure seamless transitions for you and your guests. Transportation is the thread that weaves together the fabric of your wedding day, ensuring everyone arrives at the right place and time. Whether it’s a classic limousine, a charming vintage car, or a shuttle bus, allocate at least 3% of your budget for transportation, and pave the way for a smooth, stress-free journey.

Remember that these percentages are just guidelines, and you can adjust them based on your priorities and preferences. By understanding the average costs associated with different aspects of a wedding, you can better plan and manage your budget, ensuring a memorable and joyous celebration of love.

If you’re planning your wedding and feeling overwhelmed or unsure of where to start, we’re here to help. At Melissa Dawn Event Designs, we offer a range of wedding planning services to help you create the wedding of your dreams.

Visit our services page to learn more.