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The How-To Lounge: Budgeting your Wedding

Now that your save the dates have been sent and your time line is in place, it is time to budget for the big day. Weddings can be extraordinarily expensive and like everything else, the cost of an average wedding keeps climbing. With that said, outlining a budget is imperative before breaking the bank.

For tips on how to budget your wedding

  • Gone are the traditional rules of the bride's family paying for the wedding and the groom's parents paying for the rehearsal dinner, many couples are now taking on the expense themselves
  • No matter who pays for what, your budget will determine the kind of wedding you have so knowing what you can and can't afford needs to be determined before you get too carried away
  • According to, the average cost of a 150 person wedding in the $25,000 range should break down like this:
    • Reception 48%-50%
    • Ceremony: 2%-3%
    • Attire: 8%-10%
    • Flowers: 8%-10%
    • Entertainment/Music: 8%-10%
    • Photography/Videography: 10%-12%
    • Stationery: 2%-3%
    • Wedding Rings: 2%-3%
    • Parking/Transportation: 2%-3%
    • Gifts: 2%-3%
    • Miscellaneous: 8%
  • While we want every aspect of our wedding to be perfect, sometimes we have to pick and choose our battles to keep the cost down. Perhaps you nix a course at dinner so you can have 10 more guests, etc.
  • While the invitation is the first thing your guests will see, you can cut the cost by printing your own invitations and going without a calligrapher for addressing
  • Flowers add a beautiful touch to any event, although they are expensive. Instead of using a florist, opt for a trip to your local flower mart the morning of the wedding and creating your own arrangements
  • The time of year and day can dictate the cost of your wedding. Saturday is the most popular day of the week for a wedding, so to cut the cost, opt for a Friday or Sunday wedding
  • Having an open bar can skyrocket your food and beverage bill. Offering only wine and beer is a good way to satisfy your guests while respecting your pocketbook
  • Music can really get the party started, but live bands are pricey. Having a DJ is a less expensive option, or you could always use your iPod for the musical entertainment
  • Eating buffet style and skipping out on passed hors d'oeuvres will cut the cost on wait staff
  • While there are places to cut costs, the photographer is not one of those places. Although your memories are priceless, a picture really does say a 1,000 words
    • Since you are spending so much money on your special day, be prepared for the unexpected-- don't skip out on wedding insurance. Every bride is unique and prioritizes her needs differently, so with a structured budget in place, hopefully your wedding day can be everything you always hoped it would be!

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