How to Organize Your Wedding Budget

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Setting up your wedding budget doesn’t sound like a fun place to start, but it is the BEST place to start!  The two largest expenses for most weddings are the venue and the catering!  Together they will eat up about 50-60% of your budget!

This is the average budget in our area of Northern California:

  1. Wedding Venue
    • 25-30% of your budget
  2. Wedding Caterer (Food and Beverage)
    • 25-30% of your budget
  3. Wedding Planner
    • $2,000-$5,000
  4. Wedding Photographer
    • $2,500-$5,000
  5. DJ and Live Music
    • $2,000-$3,500

These are the areas you need to look at initially!  The venue, food, beverage and DJ/Music are going to directly relate to the experience that your guests have at your wedding!  The wedding planner, even though it is an expense, can be beneficial in helping you save money, time and stress!  The Photographer…you may think this is an area you can cut back.  But remember, when it is all said and done all you have left are your memories and your PHOTOS! 

Now, when creating this budget think about who will be contributing.  Are you, the bride & groom footing this whole bill?  Will parents or grandparents be helping at all?  Think about the priorities of everyone involved.  Maybe you all agree that DJ/Music is important, but you really want to keep it to the lower side of your scale.  If you think the Photographer is extremely important and you are willing to spend on the higher end of your scale.  So, look at the high and low side of the scale for each line item on your budget!

Once the TOP 5 categories are set then, it is time to start with the FUN stuff!  Florals- centerpieces, bouquets, arbor, tables, chairs, upgraded china, linens, specialty rentals, lounge area, etc!  These areas allow you to create your wedding vision!  If your budget is pretty healthy, add what items you need to create your vision!  If you are on a tighter budget then pick the items that will help to create your vision the most without breaking the bank!

Now that you have created your vision…is there money left?  Great if so, how about adding some fun lawn games, photobooth or late night snack such as donuts or cookies! 

Great tip for areas you can always save money is invitations, menus, programs, party favors and yes even florals!  Splurge on your bridal bouquet but keep your bridesmaids simple!  Centerpieces don’t have to be elaborate!  When it comes to needing help knowing when and how to save ask your Wedding Planner!

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