What Your Wedding Budget Should Look Like, According to Data

Featuring a budget breakdown chart ( with percentages ! ) to keep your finances on lead. Setting a wedding budget is one of the first—and, honestly, most important— plan tasks to complete. After all, you ca n’t move advancing with your vision until you know how a lot money you have to spend. But if you ‘ve been avoiding your marry budget because it ‘s stressing you out, we ‘re here to help. It ‘s no secret that wedding budget plan can feel daunting, peculiarly because weddings are expensive. In fact, The Knot 2021 Real Weddings Study found that the average cost of a wedding is $ 28,000 ( excluding the engagement resound ). If you ‘ve never hosted an event of comparable size before, the fiscal aspect might feel like a completely new world of terminology and rules. We ‘ll let you in on a secret, though : Making your wedding budget does n’t have to be hard or chilling. It can actually be absolute simple, particularly with the serve of our comprehensive marry budget breakdown. Unlike other fiscal management tools out there, we have directly insight into what a typical marry budget looks like for actual couples just like you. Thanks to our annual Real Weddings study, we ‘ve created a wedding monetary value breakdown that ‘s based on actual data—and we ‘re revealing it proper here .

Consider this the ultimate finish for wedding budget planning. Below, you ‘ll find a sample wedding budget dislocation with percentages pulled immediately from our insights, which will help you determine how to allocate the funds you have available. Plus, we besides share the most crucial things to consider when making your budget, along with nine common mistakes to avoid, square from industry experts .

In this article:

    Wedding Budget Breakdown

    When creating your wedding budget, it can be helpful to use a sample as a guide. And if you ‘re a ocular learner, seeing wedding budget percentages will help you understand precisely where to allocate diverse dollar amounts. here, we ‘ve compiled a complete marry budget checklist, which highlights the lead expenses to include in your list. This marry budget breakdown besides indicates the general percentage each element should contribute to your overall spend, which we ‘ve calculated using our data from The Knot 2021 Real Weddings Study .

    It ‘s significant to note, though, that this marry cost breakdown is based on national averages and should just be used as a begin point. You might besides notice that the percentages do n’t add up to 100 % —and that ‘s on purpose ! Your final examination marry cost breakdown ultimately depends on a numeral of factors, like how much money you and your S.O. have to spend, the localization and meter of year you ‘re getting married, and your lead priorities. This will inform which expenses you ultimately include in your budget … which will be different for every couple. This marriage budget dislocation is plainly to be used as a starting point to give you a general understanding of how to allocate your funds .

    Printable wedding budget breakdown chart

    Venue: 30%

    Unsurprisingly, the biggest ball of your marry budget will go to the biggest investment, which is much the venue. Our study found that couples typically spend about 30 % of their overall budget on the fructify of their nuptials .

    Catering: 23%

    catering is another big-ticket token, taking up about 23 % of the median marry budget. ( This is the cost-per-head for food items at your reception. ) Depending on packages offered by your venue, this component may include alcohol and a coat. Some couples, though, opt to budget for those individually .

    Band: 13%

    live entertainment will make your wedding day that much more memorable. Couples who choose to have a live band typically allocate 13 % of their marriage budget breakdown to their performers .

    Wedding Rings: 7%

    Pro lead : Do n’t forget to include rings in your wedding budget checklist. Excluding the date ring, we found that couples normally spend about 7 % of their budget on wedding bands .

    Photography: 7%

    photography is one of the best investments for your marriage. Great photograph will last a life and become respect keepsakes from the big day, making this a splurge-worthy purchase. To-be-weds normally spend about 7 % of their marry budget on their photographer .

    Alcohol/Liquor: 7%

    If your wedding venue package does n’t cover alcohol and you ‘re planning on incorporating it into your nuptials, we recommend slotting about 7 % of your budget toward this expense .

    Flowers: 7%

    Flowers can wholly transform the look of your wedding. Plus, many couples opt to carry bouquets or tire boutonnieres besides. We found that, on average, 7 % of the wedding budget is dedicated to florals .

    Videography: 6%

    much like pictures, a television will besides memorialize your wedding day. We ‘re big proponents of investing in a marry videographer, because nothing will bring back your darling marriage memories quite like a short film. If your marry budget planning allows, we recommend setting away about 6 % for a videographer .

    Couples Attire (Dress & Suit): 6%

    Your outfits are samara components of your overall marry budget. Our data shows that couples typically slot 6 % of their budget on their attire. This percentage should include the cost of the wedding dress and/or suit, along with shoes and any accessories, such as jewelry or cufflinks .

    Wedding Planner: 5%

    A wedding planner can make all the dispute when it comes to your extra day. After all, you can rest easy knowing that your celebration will go off without a hang-up when you have a bang-up master taking caution of all the details. Save 5 % of your total budget to cover the cost of a marriage planner .

    Lighting & Decor: 5%

    In addition to flowers, lighting and decor are impactful ways to personalize the expression of your wedding. This includes everything from candles to argument lighting installations, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as signage, table displays, non-floral centerpieces, and other cosmetic elements. Use about 5 % of your budget on these accents .

    DJ: 4%

    For those that want a DJ treatment entertainment, we suggest using about 4 % of your budget to cover their fees .

    Guest Entertainment: 3%

    Guest entertainment is an extra chemical element of the wedding budget dislocation to consider if you have leftover funds available. This includes unique experiences, like be painters, dancers, extra musical performers, poets, tarot card readers, caricature artists, interactional food or drink servers, and more—the sky is truly the terminus ad quem. Set aside 3 % of your budget for this fun addition .

    Transportation: 3%

    many couples like to hire transportation to ensure their guests get to the properly venue at the right clock. This may involve hiring a bus or shuttle to run to and from the hotels. Others like to hire a limousine for the wedding party or an elaborate pickup car after the reception. Save at least 3 % of your marry budget for exile .

    Stationery: 2%

    Wedding invitations and paper goods are very significant details of your nuptials. Just think, your save-the-date cards and formal invitations are the first glimpses of your marriage that your guests will receive. This stationery budget will besides cover your ceremony programs, menus, thank-you cards and more. Reserve 2 % of your budget for your stationery suite.

    Hair & Makeup: 2%

    Earmark at least 2 % of your budget for your hair’s-breadth and makeup. And while you surely do n’t have to cover the cost of HMU for your bridesmaids or extra marriage party members, it ‘s something to keep in take care when building out this part of your marry budget dislocation

    Cake/Desserts: 1%

    It ‘s true that some venues include wedding cake or other sweet treats within their packages, but it ‘s common for couples to outsource the dessert part of their marriage. Whether you ‘re planning to have a traditional coat or a spread of alternate sweets, use about 1 % of your marry budget here .

    Wedding Favors & Gifts: 1%

    One of the concluding pieces of your wedding budget breakdown includes the cost of party favors and gifts for those who made your day excess extra. Some couples like to provide their guests with a parting endow to remember their wedding by. It ‘s a minor gesticulate that will go a hanker means. Set aside about 1 % of your budget for these items .

    Officiant: 1%

    If you ‘re hiring an officiant to legally marry you during the wedding ceremony, allocate 1 % of your budget to cover these costs .

    What to Consider When Allocating Your Wedding Budget

    now that you know what a typical wedding budget breakdown looks like, it ‘s crucial to familiarize yourself with the top things to keep in mind when allocating your funds. As mentioned above, a number of factors go into how you actually spend your money. This means that no two wedding budgets will look the same. here are five winder factors to consider when determining how to allocate your wedding budget .

    What You Can Afford

    It ‘s imperative to be honest about your marriage sidereal day expectations from the get down. What you can actually afford will impact how you spend your budget. “ The best way to stay on budget is to be realistic about what you are will to pay each footstep of the way, from the venue to the vendors to your dress and accessories, ” explains Kristen Gall, retail technical and president of the united states of Rakuten Rewards. “ Couples may need to compromise and cut back on spend in one area to get what they want in another. For case, you might cut back on the floral spend to account for your cater bill. ” Sit down with your S.O., arsenic well as anyone else who might be financially contributing to your wedding, and have an honest conversation about what you have to spend, and how you should prioritize the investments .

    The Guest List Size

    The size of your wedding has a massive affect on the amount you ‘ll spend. There ‘s a per-head price for food and liquor, and these two are typically the biggest expenses of the solid marriage. As a leave, changing the guest list size is the indisputable room to increase or decrease your costs. Plus, with a smaller marriage, you ‘ll save more on other details, including interior decoration, stationery, favors and rentals, because you wo n’t need american samoa a lot of everything .

    The Venue

    Some cities and towns are just more expensive than others. New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are the obvious culprits, but small towns and outback destinations can entail greater costs if things like flowers and endowment have to come from afar. tourist towns can besides up your marry price rag during bill travel season. Likewise, certain venues are more expensive than others. Some—such as a city park—come with no ( or depleted ) fees, while others, like a august ballroom, might cost you the equivalent of a year ‘s college tutelage. besides, be mindful that many democratic locations have head count minimums, meaning they wo n’t host a marry that ‘s besides small, and some may besides have a per-head minimum that requires your event to be a certain size .

    The Date and Time

    highly sought seasons and days of the week are pricier for obvious reasons. An consequence hosted in the middle of wedding season, which spans from May through October, will likely come with higher costs. An flush wedding reception is normally more expensive than a brunch or good afternoon reception, not only because of higher catering costs for dinner, but besides because people tend to drink less during the day. Plus, many couples choose to go more low-key on elements like lighting, music and interior decoration. similarly, weddings on Saturdays and Sundays tend to be more dearly-won than those hosted on a weekday .

    The Wedding Style

    broadly speaking, the more formal the matter, the more expensive. This is because you might find yourself matching the locate, food and musical entertainment to the overall upscale shade. The outgo for a fully six-course meal is typically greater than for a cocktail soirée with largely hors d’oeuvres ; the tip for a 12-piece band is greater than that for a DJ or quartet ; all-out interior decoration like lighting, forte linens and dramatic floral displays besides will run up the placard .

    Common Wedding Budget Mistakes to Avoid

    As a budding wedding budget adept, you ‘re well on your way to completing your expense breakdown. The final marriage budget plan step is to familiarize yourself with likely blunders you ‘ll want to avoid. here ‘s the full news : We know the most common wedding budget design mistakes couples frequently make, which means we can help prevent you from doing the like. Below, we explain where people go incorrect, and how to avoid doing it yourself .

    1. Not Allocating Funds Correctly

    When it comes to financing a marry, trope out how much you need to spend to get what you want. Set your expectations consequently, and use our budget breakdown above as a steer. Plus, if you ‘re paying for the honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well… or set up a honeymoon fund on your register to crowdsource some extra cash. You ‘ll be grateful you did !

    2. Not Keeping Track of Your Spending

    Put your account skills to the examination by deciding on a budget system to track all the money coming in and out. The easiest way ? The Knot Wedding Budget Planner, which mechanically tells you how a lot you should be spending on everything from music to mother-in-law gifts, and allows you to track all your payments and their ascribable dates. otherwise, you can put all your information in an antique Excel spreadsheet. Just make certain you record every payment, because arrangement is key for keeping your marry expenses breakdown organized. Schedule frequent check-ins with your fiancé, equally well as anyone else financially contributing to your big day, to ensure everyone is on the lapp foliate and your spend is on lead. “ I recommend that you sit down for a monthly reconciliation to document what was spent out of your budget, ” says Andrew Westlin, Certified Financial Planner at Betterment. “ That besides gives you and your spouse dedicate time to discuss and align on your plan. ”

    3. Forgetting to Budget for Hidden Costs & Extras

    Knowing all the costs upfront will guarantee that your wedding budget can actually cover it all. Of run, it ‘s closely impossible to budget for every single unanticipated hidden cost, but having some excess quad built out in your budget will save you in the long run. “ even the best planners who budget early on might forget to add items or will inevitably have things they need to add on, ” Westlin adds. “ A buffer gives you tractability which is such a potent joyride when it comes to fiscal planning. ” We recommend researching electric potential hidden fees that can add up over time to prevent unexpected surprises. here are five common extra to keep in mind :

    • Overtime: If the party’s still going strong on the dance floor, an extra 45 minutes may whiz by—but you’ll pay in overtime costs for everyone from the photographer to the venue manager. If you suspect the wedding may go long, work overtime costs into your budget. And if you don’t use it, it’ll be a nice surprise chunk of cash.
    • Service fees: The “service charge” is an additional fee venues charge to cover their own cost of hiring servers, coat checkers, and bathroom and parking attendants, which typically amounts to 20%-25%of the event’s total food and drink fee.
    • “Free” trials: A florist’s demo may be gratis the first time, but if you make repeated changes, you risk being billed. And you’ll definitely want to factor in your hair trial with your stylist into your overall hair budget.
    • Extra decorations: Things like stamps for the RSVP cards, ribbons for the favors and marriage license fees seem so small that you can shrug them off, but like any costs, they add up. Going “just over budget” in a few different categories with a vague plan of making it up somewhere else can push you past your limit.
    • Gratuities and vendor tips: From the sexton who cleans the church to the hotel steward who delivers your welcome bags, even conservative tipping can add hundreds to your wedding cost. Make sure to account for these costs in your initial budget. You should also set aside at least $800 for gratuities (the additional amount given to your wedding vendors for their hard work). As with a waiter or your hairdresser, tips are generally expected unless you’re unhappy with the service.

    4. Not Allowing Room for Overspending

    here ‘s the one wedding budget hack you need : If you account for budget overages, then you never actually blow your budget. “ Going over your marry is probable in 2022 more than always due to ostentation and an increase in goods due to supply chain issues, ” warns Gall. “ Couples should plan ahead by aligning on what they are will to spend, including the soap that they will spend for each seller, and cross-reference that with their overall budget. ” Try to earmark 5 % of your budget for unanticipated costs. here are three areas where you might go over : flowers ( a last-minute realization that something previously inconsiderate needs to be decorated, or a request that an extra family member wears a boutonniere or bouquet ) ; weather-related expenses ( umbrellas for a showery day, space heaters for an unseasonably cool day or extra tad for a peculiarly hot or humid one ) ; and minor accidents ( a nightgown that needs last-minute spot removal, something that breaks in the days before the ceremony or menu that get damp and need to be reprinted ) .

    5. Not Taking Advantage of Rewards Programs

    Take advantage of budget and money management tricks along the way. Put all your wedding money in one separate explanation, so you can well track additions and withdrawals without getting it confused with the rest of your daily funds. We besides recommend familiarizing yourself with the best credit cards for wedding planning and opening an history with the one best fit for your needs. then, yield for as many of your expenses as possible on one accredit batting order that offers benefits like mileage, rewards or cashback. Make surely everyone make purchases ( your collaborator, ma and so on ) is all on the same card system, allowing you to benefit from the rewards and besides from the easy trailing of your purchases. To avoid credit rating circuit board fees, pay the bill off in full each calendar month. Gall besides suggests using smart-shopping programs to make the most out of your purchases. “ Use cash-back programs, like Rakuten, on your marriage purchases, ” she recommends, noting that such sites offer this benefit on top of deals and credit card rewards. “ These programs are a bang-up way to maximize savings. ”

    6. Not Discussing Priorities from the Start

    Whatever your budget, you do n’t have to resort to last-minute DIY projects to come in on target. alternatively, be honest about what ‘s most significant to everyone involved up-front. Pick your top three priorities and allocate a little extra money for them ( such as your overdress, provide and band ). next, pick the three things that come lowest on your precedence list and budget accordingly. besides, note that glamorous details on items you ‘re inert about spike costs without adding any fun to your day. free yourself of the coerce to upgrade and rather make honest choices based on what you want. As a general rule, before you sign a contract, look through the enumerate list of what you ‘re buying and ask yourself, “ Will anyone notice if we do n’t do this ? ” Keeping your priorities in see is the best way to avoid taking on excessively much debt as well. “ You do n’t want to enter your marriage by taking on debt, as it can cause stress, ” warns Westlin. “ Your marry is an incredible life milestone, but you need to have a realistic understanding of your fiscal photograph and besides prioritize what is most authoritative. ”

    7. Not Being Tough on the Guest List

    It can be challenging, but one of the fastest and most effective ways to lower your marry price is to pare down the invitees. At $ 100 a head, taking 10 guests off the guest reckon saves $ 1,000. besides, consider the size of your wedding party ; Gifts and fare are cheaper for three than for ten .

    8. Forgetting to Invest in Insurance

    If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it ‘s that special event insurance is absolutely deserving the investing. “ particular event coverage that protects in the event of a cancellation or postponement—for whatever reason—is significant to consider, ” says Laura Piwinski, Insurance Product Director at Lemonade. She notes that insurance ( such as liability coverage ) is particularly significant for any marriage events held at home, like a backyard ceremony. But beyond that, some vendors will require insurance coverage besides.

    evening if it seems like wedding insurance is one area you can skip, consider the genial benefits of knowing your big day will be protected no topic what. “ The sense of security policy provides, like knowing deposits or non-refundable payments are covered, will make the planning serve that a lot easier, ” Piwinski adds .

    9. Not Being Realistic

    As mentioned above, it ‘s easy to oversimplify some of the fiscal aspects of a wedding. To stay on acme of your marriage budget, you have to be naturalistic about what each element by and large costs. once you know this, it ‘s easier to allocate funds from your budget. There ‘s a bunch to keep track of when it comes to wedding budget planning, but it does n’t have to be nerve-racking. Follow our tips above and you ‘ll be more equip to stay within your means .

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    Category : Finance

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