We'd like to welcome you to the first edition of our Wedding planning newsletter! First off… CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement! This is the beginning of the rest of your life and we hope it starts out in a way that fulfills your dreams!
So now to business! The first thing is you need to decide what you are willing to spend on your wedding day! This will determine where you get married, where you have your reception and how many guests you will invite. You are going to know who is paying for what parts so that they can all set their budgets as well. All of this will give you your date as you will have to coordinate open dates for church and or reception halls.
So grab a pen and let's get started!
Setting A Budget For Your Wedding
Well, it’s time to set aside the romance for a moment and talk dollars and cents. Unless your one of a chosen few, where the “skies the limit”, you need to set a budget for your wedding.
First, you’ve got to determine two things:
- How much money you want to spend on your wedding?
- Who will be contributing to the wedding and how much?
The traditional rule of the bride’s family paying for the entire wedding is fast becoming history. Today, there is much more sharing of expenses between the bride's family, the groom's family and the bride and groom. Many couples are getting married later in life and are well established with their own careers. These brides and grooms are able to pay for more of the expenses and sometimes want to pay for the entire wedding themselves.
A good way to help you define your budget is to set priorities. The bride and groom should discuss which elements of the wedding are most important to them. For instance, is it the reception location, the bridal gown, or the entertainment that is most important? You should choose about 3-4 items that are your top priorities and set the rest of your budget from there. It's more likely that you will spend more of your wedding budget on those items you consider a higher priority.
Now, let's look at some of the costs. Your reception, including the food and beverages, can average 50-65% of your total budget. Therefore, the reception location you select and how many guests you invite will have the most impact on your budget.
Today, the average wedding costs between $12,000-$25,000. Here's a recommended guideline based on a $15,000 wedding budget for about 100-125 guests: That's a huge range but you will find that is the kind of range that exists. The Knot has the national average between 22,000 and 25,000. Let's base our numbers on a very conservative $15,000 wedding.
Reception Site, Food & Beverages: 50% / $7,450
Photography & Videography: 13% / $2,000
Entertainment: 11% / $1,600
Apparel: 10% / $1,500
Flowers: 7% / $1,000
Invitations: 2% / $350
Wedding Cake: 2% / $300
Transportation: 2% / $300
Miscellaneous: 3% / $510
Total: 100% / $$15,000
The above is simply a guideline to help you get started. Good luck!
Who Pays For What?
A growing trend today is for wedding expenses to be shared among the bride's family, the bride and groom and the groom's family. But, just in case you're wondering, here are the traditional “who pays for what”…
Groom and His Family
- Bride’s engagement and wedding rings
- Groom’s wedding attire
- Rehearsal dinner
- Marriage license
- Accommodations for out-of-town ushers
- Alcohol at reception
- Wedding gifts for the bride, best man and ushers
- Flowers for the bride’s bouquet, corsages for the mothers and grandmothers
- Boutonnieres for ushers, ring bearers and fathers
- Officiant's fee
- Honeymoon and transportation to the honeymoon
Bride and Bride's Family
- Wedding consultant’s fee
- Invitations, personal notes and mailing expense
- Transportation for the wedding party
- Wedding dress, headpiece and accessories
- Attendants’ bouquets
- Groom’s gift
- Guest book
- Cost of the reception
- Cost of the ceremony
- Photography and videography expense
- Groom’s wedding ring
- Accommodations for out-of-town bride’s attendants
- Wedding attire – Bridesmaid dress, shoes & accessories
- Travel costs
- Shower and wedding gift for the couple
- Shower given by bridesmaids and/or maid of honor
- Wedding attire rental
- Travel costs
- Wedding gift for the couple
- Bachelor party given by best man and/or ushers
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