The Wedding Budget

Budget for your wedding? Why do some people think that having a budget is not important? When it comes to figuring out what your budget should be for your wedding, it is an all important topic that should be discussed with your fiancé in the early planning stages. Many couples today are contributing financially to their own wedding and most likely both individuals work. It’s no longer the sole responsibility of the bride’s parents to assume the financial task of paying for their daughter’s wedding. The grooms parents may offer to contribute, although they typically pay for the rehearsal dinner. Many second, third and possibly even fourth-time brides and grooms are definitely footing the bill for their nuptials.

What I think is very important is understanding as a couple what is your ideal wedding. Many couples have no idea what the cost of having a wedding is today. The average cost of a wedding is about $20,000. Here in the Washington DC Metropolitan area, the average cost of a wedding in 2013 was $35,306. Events such as these have become very expensive but it doesn’t have to be overly expensive. A couple on a budget can still have a decent celebration that possesses all of the typical traditions of a more expensive wedding. The difference is that the more money you have, the more you can purchase and the less you have to do. With less money you have to be more creative or possibly start a fund early on.

The estimated breakdown of a typical bridal budget is:

Honeymoon – 5-15%
Transportation -3 -5%
Attire – 5-15%
Parties – 2-5%
Ceremony – 4-8%
Photographer – 7-10%
Decorations – 2-3%
Reception -40 -60%
Flowers – 10-12%
Rentals – 3- 5%
Gifts – 2-5%
Stationery – 4-5%
Marriage Prep – 2-3%
Videographer – 5-7%
Wedding bands – 2-5%
Music – 4-9%
Miscellaneous – 8-15%
Wedding Planner – 8-12%

By far, the most expensive part of a wedding is the reception. if your budget is $10,000, then you can already be prepared to spend about $5-6K on food and drink to accommodate your guests in a catered meal situation. This is where, couples can really lose track of their dollars if they don’t stay on task and on budget.

Trying to include everyone in your friends and family network may not fit with your budget, which is why you and your fiancé need to have that all cumbersome task to agree on who to include and eliminate. The bottom line, more people equals more money. It’s not about who you are trying to impress, but more what you can afford. But if you just can’t say no, try being creative and have a pot luck type of event where everyone bring a dish, an early in the day celebration where the food is less expensive or a less popular day like during the week, a Friday or a Sunday. Starting your marriage in debt is not what you want to be aspiring to do.

Hiring a professional to help you stay on course and on budget will come in to be the most valuable investment in your wedding. Be sure to trust this with someone who you have the opportunity to get to know and who possesses the credentials and experience to back it up.


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