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Setting A Budget For Your Wedding

Setting A Budget For Your Wedding

Well, it’s time to set aside the romance for a moment and talk dollars and cents. Unless your one of a chosen few, where the "skies the limit", you need to set a budget for your wedding.

First, you’ve got to determine two things:

  • How much money you want to spend on your wedding?
  • Who will be contributing to the wedding and how much?

The traditional rule of the bride’s family paying for the entire wedding is fast becoming history. Today, there is much more sharing of expenses between the bride's family, the groom's family and the bride and groom. Many couples are getting married later in life and are well established with their own careers. These brides and grooms are able to pay for more of the expenses and sometimes want to pay for the entire wedding themselves.

A good way to help you define your budget is to set priorities. The bride and groom should discuss which elements of the wedding are most important to them. For instance, is it the reception location, the bridal gown, or the entertainment that is most important? You should choose about 3-4 items that are your top priorities and set the rest of your budget from there. It's more likely that you will spend more of your wedding budget on those items you consider a higher priority.

Now, let's look at some of the costs. Your reception, including the food and beverages, can average 50-65% of your total budget. Therefore, the reception location you select and how many guests you invite will have the most impact on your budget.

Let's say that the average wedding costs between $12,000-$19,000. Here's a recommended guideline based on a $15,000 wedding budget for about 100-125 guests:
Reception Site, Food & Beverages
50% -- $ 7,450
Photography & Videography
13% -- $ 2,000
11% -- $ 1,600
10% -- $ 1,500
7% -- $ 1,000
2% ---- $ 350
Wedding Cake
2% ---- $ 300
2% ---- $ 300
3% ---- $ 500
100% $15,000

The above is simply a guideline to help you get started. Good luck!

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