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Budgeting For Your Wedding

Money and budgeting issues are the items of greatest concern to the bride and groom 
(and their families) in planning a wedding. 


They tend also to be the most stressful 
particularly when it comes to agreeing on which family will pay for what. 
Decisions here are not easy. 
Because most people need to function within some budgetary parameters, 
there is the challenge of planning a beautiful event, 
while staying within financial constraints. 
That translates into getting the most for you money. 


Because families often need to negotiate, 
this is a place where planning and organization, 
plus compassion and compromises are absolutely necessary.












Budget Breakdown

The following percentages offer a breakdown of the major budgetary items. 
When preparing your budget, it is a good rule of thumb to remember 
the 10% rule . . . 
it is likely that almost everything will cost 10 percent more than you expect. 
There also are always unexpected items that somehow materialize. 
They too need to be plugged into your calculations.

Reception facilities: 3%

Caterer (food, cake, liquor): 40%

Flowers: 8%

Entertainment: 10%

Clothing: 14%

Photographer: 7%

Videographer: optional

Invitations & other printed matter: 4%

Religious supplies: optional

Gifts: 4%

Transportation: 2%

Miscellaneous: 8%


Hair & Beauty supplies & services

Accommodations for out-of-town guests

Accommodations for bridal party

Party Favours

Trimming the Budget

Reduce the guest list.

Downsize from an elaborate affair to a less formal stand-up reception 
(buffet or hors d'oeuvres) or a brunch.

The largest single elements in your food cost are beverages and the bar. 
Ask about "open bar" packages that are per person regardless of consumption 
and allow you to have a fixed sum in your budget. 
Consider closing the bar during dinner to 
reduce the number of hours beverages are served. 
You can also consider an alcohol-free affair.

Check with the hotel or catering hall for their prime time. 
Midday tends to be less expensive than evening. 
Sundays and weekdays are less than Saturday nights.
Make certain not to overlap the standard six hour blocks. 
Reception venues charge extra for daytime affairs that spill over into evening hours.

Time of year is also a factor that influences cost. 
Peak months are April-May-June and September-October-November. 
Saturday evenings in December are usually booked for holiday parties. 
So, try for "off season" and the rates should be better 
on the catering hall and on lodging.

Instead of a catering hall, change the venue to a backyard, 
or a multipurpose room.

Consider an "off" season. 
June and December holiday time are peak times 
with peak prices. Go "off" season instead.

Include some do-it-yourself elements to your event 
(e.g., clothing, party favours, table decorations, addressing invitations, invitations, etc.).
"Double book" the church and share the cost of flowers 
with the wedding or event that precedes yours.

Look for bargains.
Economize on the professional services you are planning 
(i.e., a small band, a DJ, 
less photos, 
eliminate video, 
floral packages, 
personal mementos as attendant gifts, 
combine parties, 
previously owned clothing, etc.).

Whatever ways in which you trim your budget, 
remember that your guests are coming to share your joyous occasion 
not to calculate your finances.


Whatever way you decide to go,
do the best job you are capable of and remember that
those who love you will be happy with that. 
Nothing else will matter.