Posts Tagged ‘Debt’

Realistic Wedding Budgets

November 16th, 2022

After the proposal, after the acceptance, after the announcement the bottom line comes crashing down on you like a tornado spun house out of Kansas….How much is this going to cost me?

For most engaged couples planning their wedding, this is their first trek down the aisle, making their knowledge of wedding costs almost nil. Of course, if either has a close relative such as a brother or sister who has gotten married this century, they will undoubtedly be schooled in the “what costs how much” wedding game. Still, each wedding is unique and so are the costs associated with each. This article is designed to help you anticipate how much services will generally cost and how much you should expect to spend.

Let’s break down a basic wedding budget to give you a starting point:

45% – Reception
5-9% – Ceremony
6-11% – Bridal Attire
13% – Photography/Videography
8% – Flowers
4% – Entertainment
5% – Stationary
3% – Gifts & Favors
2% – Cake

This basic budget map will guide you in your selection process. You may adjust these percentages based on your priorities and budget. If you have generous and loving people who would like to “gift” you an aspect of your wedding, reallocate those percentage points! Similarly, if you contract a service below your estimated cost, add the savings to another category or add a category such as transportation, honeymoon, or rehearsal dinner.

Never forget the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” If someone is offering to do your photography and videography for a total of $500, BEWARE! Of course there will be deals that can include promotions from larger vendors, smaller competitive vendors or from new vendors just starting out. The trick is distinguishing between shams and deals. Prior to finalizing your budget, request quotes from 3 vendors in the following categories: catering, reception venue and photography. These services will take the biggest chunk out of your budget. Once you know what the average price is for these services, you will be able to estimate how much each service should cost.

If you are nervous about vendors and their services enlist the expertise of a wedding planner or consultant. A planner knows the market in your area and will be able to obtain quotes from reputable vendors. Another plus to using a wedding planner is discounts. Most wedding professionals are able to secure better pricing due to the development of working relationships and the prospect of repeat referrals.

Einstein said, “Everything is Relative,” but I like to say, “Everything Relates.” By this, I mean, if you spend $20,000 on everything from your dress to the limos and flowers, your food cannot be hot dogs and a punch fountain. Essentially, all of the aspects of your wedding should be on the same caliber. Don’t skimp on all the important things just to have one thing you think is really cool.