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Planning - Finances

- Budget
- Who Pays for What?
- What is the Average Cost?

- Back to the Planning Guide

Budget

A budget is very important, especially if you are spending someone else's money (your parents, or possibly your fiance's parents). Here is a basic list of what you should put in your budget and the average percentages of what brides spend in each section. To figure out your amounts just take your total budget and times it by the percentage listed. Example: $20,000 budget, Reception Location 9%, $20,000 x 9% (or 0.09) = $1,800. So, you should spend approximately $1,800 on your reception location.

Ceremony Fee 2.5%
Ceremony Decorations 1.5%
Reception Location 9%
Reception Decorations 4.5%
Food and Service 33.5%
Beverages and Bartender 9%
Cake and Cutting Fee 3%
Wedding Gown 6.5%
Veil and/or Headpiece 1%
Bridal Accessories 1%
Hair and Make-up 0.5%
Massage, waxing, facial, etc. 0.5%
Bouquets/Boutonnieres 2%
Band/DJ/Orchestra 6.5%
Photographer 6.5%
Videographer 5.5%
Invitations 4%
Car/Limo Rental 1.5%
Wedding Favors 1.5%

Obviously, everyone will have personal preference as to what they want to spend on different things. You'll need to go through the budget after you have calculated the amounts and figure out if you think any are too high, or too low. You can then spend accordingly!

 
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Who Pays For What?

In the modern world, it is not uncommon for the couple to pay for everything themselves, either because they are well-off financially or they think it is too awkward to ask their parents to pitch in. If you do happen to have both parents willing and able to help out with the costs, here's the traditional list of who pays what:

Bride and/or her family:

  • Ceremony location/decorations

  • Reception location/decorations and service

  • Food, beverages, and cake

  • Bride's bouquet, boutonnieres, and corsages

  • Bouquets for bridesmaids and flower girls

  • Floral arrangements for ceremony and reception

  • Invitations, announcements, and other stationery

  • Bride's dress, veil, and accessories

  • Photography and videography

  • Transportation of wedding party to ceremony and reception sites

Groom and/or his family:

  • Bride's engagement ring and wedding bands

  • Rehearsal dinner

  • Groom's wedding clothes

  • Marriage license and officiant's fee

  • Honeymoon

Keep in mind that this list is not usually the norm- it's just a guideline. You should have your parents pay what they feel comfortable paying for, or what you feel comfortable letting them pay for. The rest should be picked up by you and your fiance.

 
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What is the Average Cost?

A budget is very important, especially if you are spending someone else's money (your parents, or possibly your fiance's parents). Here is a basic list of what you should put in your budget and the average percentages of what brides spend in each section. To figure out your amounts just take your total budget and times it by the percentage listed. Example: $20,000 budget, Reception Location 9%, $20,000 x 9% (or 0.09) = $1,800. So, you should spend approximately $1,800 on your reception location.

Ceremony Fee 2.5%
Ceremony Decorations 1.5%
Reception Location 9%
Reception Decorations 4.5%
Food and Service 33.5%
Beverages and Bartender 9%
Cake and Cutting Fee 3%
Wedding Gown 6.5%
Veil and/or Headpiece 1%
Bridal Accessories 1%
Hair and Make-up 0.5%
Massage, waxing, facial, etc. 0.5%
Bouquets/Boutonnieres 2%
Band/DJ/Orchestra 6.5%
Photographer 6.5%
Videographer 5.5%
Invitations 4%
Car/Limo Rental 1.5%
Wedding Favors 1.5%

Obviously, everyone will have personal preference as to what they want to spend on different things. You'll need to go through the budget after you have calculated the amounts and figure out if you think any are too high, or too low. You can then spend accordingly!

 
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