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DIY Wedding Planning: Wedding Budget Breakdown

By: Jaclyn Holtzman, Editor, AllFreeDIYWeddings.com

The scariest part of wedding planning is the budget. No matter who is paying, a budget is necessary to stay organized and to avoid spending more than intended. While you can allow yourself some wiggle room if you wish, sticking to a budget is a surefire way to successfully plan a wedding. Here is a rough wedding budget breakdown to get you started. If one aspect of the wedding is extremely important to you, consider transferring some percentage points from a less important category.

*If you decide to have a wedding coordinator, set aside funds. He or she may be able to get you discounts from vendors, and that extra money will cover coordinator costs.
*If you spend less than estimated in a certain category, set those funds aside as miscellaneous. Lots of little things will pop up.
*Be sure to always factor in tax and tip.

Reception -48.5%
Ceremony -2.6%
Attire -9.9%
Flowers and Decor -8%
Rings -2%
Transportation and Lodging -3%
Gifts -3%
Music -8%
Video and Photography -12%
Stationery -3%

Reception -48.5%

Venue and Rentals 8%
-This includes any delivery costs for the rentals and set up and breakdown fees for the venue.
Food 30%
-This includes taxes and service fees.
Beverages 8%
-This includes tips and set-up fees for bartenders.
Cake 2.5%
-This includes any cutting fee from the venue or baker and delivery and set up fees.

Ceremony -2.6%

Location 1%
-This includes cost to rent the location as well as the cost of an altar, chairs etc.
Officiant 1%
-This includes any travel reimbursements, meals, lodging, and rehearsal fees.
Miscellaneous .6%
-This includes details like the flower girl basket, ring bearer pillow, and signs.

Attire -9.9%

Bridal Gown and Alterations 6%
-This includes any cleaning or shipping fees.
Veil 1%
-This includes any cleaning fees.
Bridal Accessories 1%
-This includes jewelry, shoes, and undergarments.
Hair and Makeup .5%
Pampering .5%
-This includes any spa visits, teeth whitenings, etc.
Groom .9%

Flowers and Decor -8%

Bridal Bouquet .75%
Bridesmaids' Bouquets 1%
Boutonnieres .2%
Flower Girl Flowers .15%
Additional Corsages or Boutonnieres .5%
-These may be for other attendants, parents, or grandparents.
Centerpieces and Additional Flowers 4%
-This includes any extra flowers in the reception room e.g. flowers for the guestbook table, dessert table, and escort card table.
Ceremony Flowers 1.4%
*If you are using extra lights that don't come with the venue or DJ, those should be included in this category.

Rings -2%

Transportation and Lodging -3%

Hotel Room for Bride and Groom .5%
-This includes any extra fees, taxes, and room service.
Guest Shuttle/ Parking 1%
Limo 1.5%

Gifts -3%

Attendants' Gifts 1%
Favors 1.5%
Parents' Gifts .5%
*Any out-of-town welcome bags should be factored in here.

Music -8%

Ceremony 1%
-This includes playing while the crowd loads in and out in addition to the music during the actual ceremony.
Cocktail Hour 1%
Reception 6%
-This includes overtime fees (be careful to check the terms on this carefully), set up, and breakdown.
-This could also include extra lighting, as sometimes DJs provide this.

Video and Photography -12%

Photography 6%
-This includes negatives, any travel reimbursement, and assistant fees.
Video 5%
Miscellaneous 1%
-This includes extra prints or video copies, albums for relatives, and slideshows for the reception.

Stationery -3%

Invitations and Replies 2.5%
-This includes postage, return postage, and calligraphy.
Other .5%
-This includes place cards, escort cards, thank you notes, engagement announcements, and save the dates.


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This post is absolutely brilliant! I know it terms of gifts, sometimes the bride will give her bridesmaids gifts as well (matching jewelry, nail polish, hair accessories etc.), so that can be factored into gifts as well. Overall though, I think this post is extremely helpful for any bride!

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