Easy Wedding Budget Breakdown
Whether you’re planning a lavish $60,000+ wedding, a beautiful $30,000 wedding (The national average), or an intimate $6,000 wedding this budget break down is a good place to start. These percentages are based off of vendor averages and can be altered to suit your specific needs and vision. For instance, say you’re not a fan of suits and want to see the men in slacks and suspenders, give yourself extra money towards food. Or maybe you will be having a dry wedding, use the extra money to get the photographer of your dreams.
Reception Venue - 18%
Venue Rental Fees & Deposit
Additional Rentals that the venue may offer (Tables, Chairs, Linen, Dance Floor, Up Lighting)
Tax, Service, & Liability Fees
On site security
Tips for the Budget Bride: The easiest way to save money on the Reception Venue is to consider a weekday or Sunday wedding, as venues tend to offer discounts on these days. If this isn’t savings enough then think outside the box of traditional venues and look into places like Parks, Airbnb’s with large indoor / outdoor living spaces, or a Family / Friend’s Backyard
Ceremony – 2%
Ceremony Site Fee, if different from the Reception Venue, or church donation
Officiant Fee / Gift
Marriage License (For most Texas counties, as of 9/30/2019, Marriage License Fees are typically $81 - $82)
Ceremony Decorations & Accessories
Tips for the Budget Bride: Find a venue that includes the ceremony space with the rental of the reception space. Another way to save money is by asking a Friend or Parent to officiate the wedding.
Food – 18%
Food Stations or Passed Hors D’oeuvres
Plated or Buffet Style Meal
Plates & Silverware, if not included
Tax & Gratuity
Setup and/or Cleanup Fees
Tips for the Budget Bride: Look into venues that allow you to find your own Caterers or even better to bring in your own food. By finding your own caterers you have more freedom to choose someone who offers less expensive plates.
Drinks – 8%
Open Bar, Beer & Wine Only, Signature Cocktails, Champagne Toast
Liquor License, if the Venue or Caterer does not hold their own
Tips for the Budget Bride: Look into venues that allow you to bring in your own bottles to stock the bar. Instead of a full bar choose a few signature cocktails and only get the necessary liquor and mixes.
Attire – 8%
* This can be further broken up into 6% towards the Bride & 2% towards the Groom
Shoes, Veil, & Accessories
Wedding Dress Alterations
Spanx or Special Undergarments (Including Garter)
Wedding Dress Cleaning & Preservation
Grooms Shoes & Accessories
Tips for the Budget Bride: Consider buying a previously loved dress. BONUS TIP! If you are a Budget Bride in San Antonio Idothedressido.com & BridesByElizabeth.com are local shops that offer New dressed at discounted prices.
Photographer & Videographer – 10%
Wedding Day Photos & Video
Tips for the Budget Bride: Look through Instagram to find up and coming wedding photographers in your area, they tend to have lower rates then the photographers that advertise on larger wedding websites. You can find them by looking through hashtags EX: #SanAntonioWeddingPhotographer or #AustinWeddingVideographer. Just make sure they are legit and always get a signed contract.
Music – 7%
Cocktail Hour Musician
Live Band or DJ for Reception
Tips for the Budget Bride: Look into DJs who have a package that covers Ceremony, Cocktail, and Reception. If this isn’t savings enough then consider renting audio equipment, creating a playlist yourself, and assigning a friend to be the DJ/MC for the night
Floral – 6%
Bouquets - for the Bride, Bridesmaids, & Bouquet Toss
Boutonnieres - for the Groom, Groomsmen, Fathers, Grandfathers, & Ring Bearers
Corsages – For the Mothers & Grandmothers
Flower Pedals for the Flower Girl & to scatter along the aisle
Ceremony Arch Flowers
Wedding Cake Flowers
Florist Delivery Fee
Tips for the Budget Bride: Flowers are typically pricey and hiring a professional florist is EXPENSIVE. The easiest thing to do is go light on the flowers, think smaller bouquets and X the floral centerpieces.
Wedding Coordinator / Partial Planner – 3%
*Full Service Wedding Planners will typically be closer to 10%
Day-of Wedding Coordinator or Partial Wedding Planner
Day-of Itinerary creation
Final walk through
Assistance with Rehearsal
Decoration Set-up & Break down
Full time management of the wedding day
Tips for the Budget Bride: *Enter shameless self-promo* Hire Faithful Plan to do your Day-of Coordinating or Partial Wedding Planning
Props/ Decoration / Extra Rentals - 2%
Backdrops, f=Flower Walls, Arches
Sparklers & other Grand Exit items
Tips for the Budget Bride: *Enter more shameless self-promo * Backdrops, Centerpieces, Ring bearer Accessories, and Signage can all be rented from Faithful Plan. For extra savings always purchase less Grand Exit items then you think you will need.
Cake – 2%
Bride's cake / Main Wedding Cake
Cake Cutting Fee
Tips for the Budget Bride: Nothing Bundt Cakes are on the rise as alternative wedding cakes. However, if you are set on the traditional tiered wedding cake then ditch the Groom’s cake and save the extra money.
Invitations & Paper – 2%
Save-the-Dates, including envelopes
Wedding Invitations, including envelopes & RSVP cards
Stamps (As of 9/30/2019 a sheet of “Wedding Stamps” is $11)
Return Address Labels
Thank You Cards, including Envelopes
Dinner Menu Cards
Reserved Table signs
Place seating cards
Tips for the Budget Bride: Websites like Vista Print and Walgreen provide a wide variety of editable templates to choose from. Both sites also have sales year round!
Rings – 2%
All Wedding Bands
Resizing / Cleaning Fees
Customization & Engravings
Tips for the Budget Bride: Skip the big Jewelry store and visit your local pawn shop, you will save hundreds to thousands of dollars! Trustworthy pawn shops will have a return window which gives you time to take it to a jeweler to get cleaned and checked for authenticity.
Beauty – 2%
Hair & Make-up Trial Appointment
Wedding Hair & Make-up
Special make-up products specifically for the wedding day
Tips for the Budget Bride: If hiring a professional makeup artist is out of your budget, ask if someone in your wedding party, a family member, or friend who is good at doing make up can do if for you. Most people would be more than happy to do your wedding make up. Just make sure to do a test run before the big day.
Transportation - 2%
Bridal Party transportation to and from the Ceremony & Reception locations
Valet Parking Service
Bride & Groom getaway car
Tips for the Budget Bride: Transportation for the wedding party is the first thing I nip when it comes to Budget Brides. Use the money instead towards the food or dress.
Favors & Gifts – 2%
Wedding Party, Flower Girl, & Ring Bearer Gifts
Tips for the Budget Bride: The last thing you want is to spend a ton of money on wedding favors that no one actually takes home. The best option is to think simple, edible, or both. Here Comes the Bride gives a list of 10 totally cute Wedding Favors for Under a $1
Extra Fees / Buffer Money – 5%
A buffer zone for unaccounted for cost
Unaccounted for Sales Tax
Vendor overtime fees
Tips for the Budget Bride: Before you think you won’t need this much set aside for buffer room, trust me you will. It’ll happen, whether it’s not accounting for the amount of stamps you actually need, dress alterations costing more than expected, or a ceremony weather contingency plan being put into action, having money set aside with in your budget for all the what if’s is a must.