Ask the Expert

Let’s Talk About Your Wedding Budget

Budgeting can be a headache and a half—believe us, we know! Almost every bride we talk to goes over her number, but we can’t stress how important it is to have one in mind. Talk it out with your spouse-to-be and family, and arrive at a clear total. Heidi Miller, co-owner of Altar Ego Weddings, outlines how you should expect to break down that total by category—read below and then prioritize from there. This will empower you as you move forward with the wedding planning process.

Start with This Template

We always customize budgets for each of our clients based on their priorities, but here’s a template we start from.

Ceremony: 3% (includes ceremony site fee, officiant fee, ring-bearer pillow)
Reception: 49% (includes food, drink, rentals, cake, favors, toasting glasses, lighting)
Attire: 8% (for bride and groom)
Flowers: 9%
Entertainment: 10%
Photography: 11%
Transportation: 4%
Stationery: 4%
Gifts: 2% (includes gifts for bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, and welcome baskets for out-of-town guests)

Prioritize and Reshuffle

From there, the bride and groom can alter their percentages based on their priorities. For example, one couple may prioritize reception music over stationery. Therefore, they can “borrow” from the stationery budget. Another may consider photography most important and flowers less so. They can adjust how they see fit! The percentages are a good starting point.

There can be give and take throughout the process, but you as a couple need to make sure you’re on the same page with every financial decision. Do your research so you can understand what pricing is realistic for each category and be flexible in your decision-making.

Consider a Planner

The best advice regarding budget is to hire a wedding planner! We can guide you through this process and show you where you can maximize your investment in your wedding.

A note from the D Weddings team: you should be prepared to spend 10% of your total budget on your planner.

Illustration by Carrie & Seash.

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