You can look at your wedding budget as an investment. Much like how you would plan your own personal household budget or even a savings/retirement fund that you and your financial planner work on, you need to devise a plan on how to spend that budget or achieve that goal. Most couples come to me with a number in mind depending on the guest count and the location. So now that you have an idea of your average number, how do you complete your wedding budget breakdown?
In this post I’m going to help you figure out how to break down your 2019 wedding budget and outline common wedding expenses. We’ll develop a budget plan using your average wedding budget number and I’ll share a spreadsheet that I created to help you keep track and manage the budget plan.
WEDDING BUDGET BREAKDOWN 2019
The first thing to do to start breaking down your wedding budget is to list out the wedding categories. Here are the categories I commonly see.
Food & Beverage
Here is a list of items not typically considered as part of the budget but if it’s something you want to keep track of, you’ll want to add that into your budget.
Honeymoon - All things related to your honeymoon like travel itinerary, flight tickets, packing list, and if you’re traveling out of the country, all correspondence you have with the embassy.
Rehearsal - This will have information regarding the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner, the guest list etc.
Wedding Planner - We are usually seen as keepers of the budget versus a line item in the budget so this is not typically considered a part of the overall budget.
COMMON WEDDING EXPENSES
Now that you’ve got the categories down you’ll want to flesh out what you want to have per category. It’s okay if you don’t know all the services you want now but jotting down a general idea of the services you’ll need to procure for you big event is good enough.
For each category make a list of all the major services you’ll need. Here are a few of the common wedding expenses my clients typically incur.
Attire - This category is all about your wedding dress, his suit, your shoes, accessories, tailors, ateliers, etc. The big ticket items you want to include here are your wedding dress, wedding shoes (hey, red bottoms), suit and tie.
Beauty - You’ll want to list out your hair/makeup and don’t forget to include the trial fee. If you plan to pay for your wedding party’s or mothers beauty services, you’ll need to add a line item for that.
Food & Beverage - This will contain information about your appetizers, reception meals, soft drinks, bar, desserts, snacks etc. The big ticket line items are catering, bar and dessert.
Details - These are small line items so you don’t need to think about these yet. They are so detailed you won’t know until you’re close to your big day if you will need these. This category typically includes details like the welcome table, favors, gift boxes, spa water station, reserved signs etc.
Ceremony - You’ll want to consider your marriage license fee, officiant, ceremony band/music and transportation in this area.
Entertainment - In general it’s safe to start with a DJ who will also MC. If your heart is set on a live band, make sure that they provide MC services. You can include vendors such as live band, DJ, MC, photo-booth, performers, sitters etc.
Floral Design - Estimate a budget for your wedding party flowers (meaning bridesmaids, parents, bouts, bouquets etc.) , your ceremony flowers, and your reception flowers.
Guests - Add the cost for hosting a room block if you’re hosting one.
Media - If you want a photographer or videographer, add that here.
Rentals - Will you be wanting a lounge, the pretty vineyard cross back chairs, fine linens and stylish napkins? This is something you’ll want to add a line item for. You can divvy this up by ceremony, cocktail hour and then reception and calculate this per person.
Stationery - Do you want to print invitations? You’ll want to include the invites, envelopes, stamps, RSVP cards, RSVP envelope, directional card, website hosting fees, escort cards, ceremony and reception signage, table numbers, and favor tags.
Venue - Will you be having your wedding at a church and then the reception at a different location? You’ll want to add a line item for each location.
If you’re not sure how to find your number for your wedding, please refer to “How Much Should I Save for my Wedding.“ Below is the spreadsheet I made just for you that includes everything we just chatted about. I used to use this for my clients before I got fancy software. Now we use online portal but the basic principles still apply. I even included a sample budget (see sheet 2 in the download) from one of my previous clients so you can see what that looks like in real life. That particular wedding didn’t have to pay a venue fee because it was at a private property. If you have a venue fee you can roughly estimate that it will be 20% - 25$ of your overall budget give or take a few points.
Now you’re ready to go and devise the best Wedding Budget Breakdown 2019 to prevent overwhelm and to prevent going too much over budget.
Do you need help in this area? I invite you to spark up a conversation with me to learn more about how my team and I can be a resource to you. To get in touch with us, you can message us on our contact page here. We’d love to hear from you!
If you’re not quite sure what to do next in the planning feel free to check out “Go From Engagement to Planning“ and will tell you exactly what to do next. This is only step 2.
Did you scroll to the end to find the spreadsheet? Here ya go