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Making Your Money Work For Your Wedding Budget

Five Examples of Wedding Budgets and How To Allocate Funds For Your Big Day

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Typical Wedding Expenses

malerapaso/E+ / Getty Images / Via thebalance.com

Appearance

Your dress, shoes, jewelry, hair, AND makeup

Your groom's suit, shoes, jewelry, and hair

Stationary

Save the dates and invitations

Programs and menus

Ceremony

Ceremony rental space

Officiant's fee

Venue

Tables, chairs

Staff gratuities

Decor

Bouquets, corsages, & boutonnieres for the bridal party

Reception decorations and centerpieces

Food and Beverage

Pretty self explanatory lol!

Staff gratuities are usually forgotten, and they can most definitely eat away at a budget

Entertainment

Ceremony and reception dj or band

Photographer and/or videographer (This includes photobooths as well)

Favors and gifts

Lodging & Transportation

Pretty self-explanatory

However, transportation for the bridal party should be considered as well

Basic Budget Formula

As you can see, based on this graph, the largest portion of your wedding budget will be allocated to food and beverage (30%). You will spend about the same on your venue fees, your appearance, and your video & photography needs (13% for each. Your music and decor/floral costs will also be relatively close (9% each). While your stationary, transportation, lodging, and gift costs will be the lowest expected costs (5, 4, & 3% respectively). The absolute least amount of your budget will be set aside for miscellaneous costs, and really should be used for wedding emergencies or completely unforeseen costs (2%).

$2,500 Budget

Via apracticalwedding.com

Appearance: $325

Venue: $325

Decor: $225

Stationary: $125

Food and Beverage: $750

Music: $225

Videography & Photography: $312.50

Transportation & Lodging: $87.50

Gifts: $75

Msc: $50

**Keep this wedding simple now, and splurge later. Celebrate your union with a casual ceremony, Carrie and Mr. Big style, and keep it intimate with a dinner get together afterwards**

$5,000 Budget

Valerie Schooling at Valerie & Co. Photographers / Via slimpickinskitchen.com

Appearance: $650

Venue: $650

Decor: $450

Stationary: $250

Food and Beverage: $1,500

Music: $450

Videography & Photography: $625

Transportation & Lodging: $175

Gifts: $150

Msc: $100

**With $5,000 consider a quick getaway for a wedding Have a laid back ceremony on beach, and treat your guests to a small gathering afterwards.**

$10,000 Budget

Via everafterguide.com

Appearance: $1,300

Venue: $1,300

Decor: $900

Stationary: $500

Food and Beverage: $3,000

Music: $900

Videography & Photography: $1,250

Transportation & Lodging: $350

Gifts: $300

Msc: $200

**With $10,000 I would aim for a small scale wedding, not exceeding 100 guests.**

$25,000 Budget

DAN STEWART PHOTOGRAPHY / Via theknot.com

Appearance: $3,250

Venue: $3,250

Decor: $2,250

Stationary: $1,250

Food and Beverage: $7,500

Music: $2,250

Videography & Photography: $3,125

Transportation & Lodging: $875

Gifts: $750

Msc: $500

**A $25,000 is still ~10,000 less than today's average American wedding. Plan accordingly and make the most of your budget by saving where possible and splurging on 2 must haves for your big day. **

$50,000 Budget

Milanés Photography / Via thecelebrationsociety.com

Appearance: $6,500

Venue: $6,500

Decor: $4,500

Stationary: $2,500

Food and Beverage: $15,000

Music: $4,500

Videography & Photography: $6,250

Transportation & Lodging: $1,750

Gifts: $1,500

Msc: $1,000

**With a $50,000 you are almost guaranteed the wedding of your dreams, in most states. Enjoy the fruits of your labor, and make your day one to remember! **

Making Your Budget Stretch

Tina Rowden Photography / Via piedmontpark.org

To efficiently make your budget work for you, think completely outside of the box to bring your vision to life AND limit your guests. The most expensive weddings see their costs rise when their guest list follows suit.

Appearance: Stores like David's Bridal, Windsor, and even Macy's are limitless in terms of affordable formal wear.

Venue: Don't think wedding- instead opt for an outside space, or even a chic restaurant with a private room.

Decor: DIY as much as you can. This allows for maximum creativity and a truly personable wedding. If DIY isn't your thing, but you still would like to save, forego real flowers for silk, or even feathers and jewels.

Stationary: Eliminate paper items! Sure people like the mementos, but save yourself the expense. Programs and menus are becoming a thing of the past, and save the dates are becoming obsolete with modern technology, and social media. Definitely send paper invitations (But skimp on RSVP cards), and design and print them yourself.

Food and Beverage: It may not be ideal, but consider an hors d'oeuvres/small bites only party, or a cash bar if necessary. Again, these are not IDEAL scenarios, but they will allow you to stretch your budget.

Music: Forego a band or DJ, and load up a playlist. Simple, and you can guarantee that you'll only hear songs that you like. Just don't forget to have someone in charge for your bridal entrance, and your family dances during the reception.

Videography & Photography: Nowadays EVERYONE has a smart phone. Using your guests' photos from your wedding is a great way to get a diverse selection of memories. You may also choose to eliminate the video, and maybe only hire a photographer for professional photos during the ceremony and immediately following it.

Transportation & Lodging: AirBnB and Rideshare services are becoming increasingly popular. They can be an affordable option for taking care of your bridal party.

Using Friends, Family, and Associates

JUSTINE BURSONI PHOTOGRAPHY / Via theknot.com

Recruit a close friend or family member to act as your officiant. This does require a fee to become licensed, however this can still be more affordable than hiring an officiant.

Everyone knows someone who is an event vendor of some sort. A good enough friend will offer their services as a wedding gift, or at least at a discounted rate. If you have a make up artist, hair stylist, DJ, caterer, videographer, or photographer within your social circle they will most likely contact you when they hear of your engagement, just use those connections to your advantage.

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