General

What Does a Typical Wedding Budget Breakdown Look Like?

So many couples that I speak with have told me they’re over their budget with planning their wedding. Typically, the reason for this is that they underestimate what wedding services cost and they set the bar too low. Unbeknownst to them, when they start contacting vendors for their big day, the costs are much higher than they anticipated.

How do you prevent that from happening? This helpful guide will point you in the right direction, so keep reading!

Beauty – 2%

  • Pre-Wedding Haircuts or Colors
  • Waxing
  • Facials
  • Mani-Pedis
  • Professional Shave
  • Tips (normally 15-20% for pre-wedding beauty treatments)
  • Spray Tan
  • Lash Extensions
  • Hair Trial Appointment
  • Day-Of Wedding Hairstyle
  • Makeup Trail Appointment
  • Day-Of Wedding Makeup

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Cake – 2%

  • Cake Display / Cake Cutting
  • Sheet Cake for Extra Servings
  • Special Design Elements (like sugar flowers or hand painting)
  • Cake Topper
  • Cake Stand
  • Cake-Cutting Fee
  • Delivery Fee
  • Additional Desserts (if you’re doing a dessert table/station/bar)
  • Preservation Kit for One-Year Anniversary
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Rings – 2%

  • Wedding Bands
  • Wedding Band Resizing Fee
  • Wedding Ring Insurance
  • Any Customization / Engraving
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Ceremony – 2%

  • Ceremony Site (if separate from reception venue)
  • Church Donation
  • Officiant Fee
  • Marriage License
  • Ceremony Accessories (ring pillow, flower girl basket, unity candle, etc.)

Favors / Gifts – 2%

  • Wedding Favors
  • Wedding Party Gifts
  • Gifts for your Flower Girl(s) or Ring Bearer(s)
  • Spouse Gift
  • Parents Gifts
  • Welcome Baskets for Out-of-Town Guests

Transportation – 2%

  • Bridal Party Transportation to the Ceremony Venue
    • Keeping the bride and groom separate, if you wish
  • Bridal Party Transportation to the Reception Venue (if different from Ceremony Site)
  • Gratuity for the Driver(s)
  • Shuttle Service to transport guests to/from their hotels
  • Valet Parking Service
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Wedding Planner – 3%

  • This percentage is on the low end and may only cover a Day-Of Wedding planning package. If you’re getting a Full-Service package expect to spend closer to 10-15%.
  • Day-Of, Month-Of or Full-Service Wedding Coordination
  • Venue and/or Vendor Referrals and Liaison
  • Budget Development
  • Timeline Creation
  • Rehearsal Coordination
  • Wedding Day Setup and Management

Stationary – 3%

  • Engagement Party Invitations
  • Save The Dates
  • Wedding invitations (including enclosure cards like RSVP cards or maps)
  • Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
  • Post Wedding Brunch Invitations
  • Envelopes (note that specialty size envelopes will be more expensive to ship)
  • Postage (for invitations, RSVP envelopes and thank you cards)
  • Return Address Labels
  • Wedding Ceremony Programs
  • Wedding Reception Paper Goods
    • Escort Cards
    • Place Cards
    • Menu Cards
    • Custom Napkins
    • Favor Labels
  • Thank You Cards
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Extra / Emergency Fund – 5%

  • Vendors Tips
  • Sales Tax
  • Service Charges
  • Wedding Insurance
  • Liquor License (if not provided by the venue and/or caterer)
  • Overtime Fees
  • Other Expenses

Attire – 7%

  • Outfits (with shoes and accessories) for:
    • Engagement Party
    • Engagement Photos
    • Bridal Shower
    • Bachelor / Bachelorette Party
    • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Wedding Dress
  • Wedding Dress Alterations
  • Specialty Undergarments
  • Veil, Wedding Shoes and Bridal Jewelry / Accessories
  • Groom’s Tux & Shoes
  • Reception Outfit (if you’re going to change out of your dress) or After Party Outfit
  • Post-Wedding Brunch Outfit (with shoes and accessories)
  • Wedding Dress Cleaning and Preservation

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Music – 8%

  • Ceremony Musicians
  • Cocktail Hour Music
  • Reception DJ or Live Band
  • Microphone (for wedding ceremony and reception toasts)
  • Sound-system or extra speakers
  • Photo Booth and Dance Floor lighting (if your DJ Provides these extra services)

Drinks – 8%

  • Cocktail Hour Drinks
  • Reception Drinks
  • Champagne Toast
  • Open Bar / Hosted Beer and Wine / Specialty Cocktails
  • Bartender Service
  • Mixers
  • Coffee / Tea
  • Non-alcoholic Beverage
  • Glassware (if not included in your catering package)
  • Bar Signage
  • Corkage Fees (if you opt to BYO)
  • Liquor License (if not provided by venue or caterer)
  • Bartender Gratuity
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Flowers and Décor – 8%

  • Bouquets (for brides and bridesmaids, toss bouquet if needed)
  • Boutonnieres (for groom, groomsmen, fathers and/or grandfathers)
  • Corsages (for mothers / grandmothers)
  • Flowers and Accessories for the Flower Girl / Ring Bearer
  • Ceremony Arch / Chuppah
  • Ceremony Arrangements
  • Reception Centerpieces (for guest tables, guest book table, food stations, etc.)
  • Wedding Cake Flowers (if additional cake décor is needed)
  • Wedding Chalkboards / Signage
  • Specialty Décor Rentals (e.g. tenting, lanterns, candelabras, etc.)
  • Delivery Fees
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Photography / Videography – 10%

  • Engagement Session
  • Rehearsal Dinner Coverage
  • Wedding Day Coverage
  • Albums or Prints
  • Same Day Edit
  • Raw Footage
  • Highlight Reel
  • Feature Film

Reception Venue – 18%

  • Room Rental Fee
  • Venue Deposit
  • Ceremony Fee (if ceremony is being held at the reception venue)
  • Additional Rentals (like tables, chairs, china, etc. if not provided by the caterer)
  • Dance Floor Rental (if not already installed/included)
  • Parking Fees
  • Liability Insurance
  • Tax and Service Fees
  • Security (some venues will require it)
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Food – 18%

  • Tasting Appointments (if not complimentary with your catering package)
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Passed Hors D’oeuvres
  • Plates, Buffet or Family-Style Meal
  • Food Stations
  • Service Staff
  • Catering Equipment (like plates, silverware, glassware, serving platters, etc.)
  • Catering Rentals (such as tables, chairs, linens, etc.)
  • Vendor Meals
  • Tax and Gratuities (sometimes called “services charges”)
  • Setup and/or Cleanup Fees
  • Bar/Beverage Service (see “Drinks” below; may be included in your catering package)

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