Let's start with this figure. The average Wedding in 2015 cost $31,213. Let that sink in.
Reception. 48 - 50 % of your budget, $14,982 - $15,606 in 2015 dollars.
This is your biggest expense. This includes:
- Food, including appetizers, dinner, cake, and midnight snack
- Venue Rental
- Open Bar
Influencing Factors: size of your guest list, serving style (sit down, stations, family style)
Where to save $$: consider dropping or down sizing the midnight snack, close the open bar an opt for wine service only during dinner
Photo/Video. 10-12% of your budget, $3,121- $3,745 in 2015 money.
- Photo Booth for Reception
Influencing Factors: the number of hours both are on site, photo package
Where to save $$: don't skimp here, if you need to skip the photo booth
Flowers. 8-10 % of your budget, $2,497 - $3,121 in 2015 money.
- Ceremony Flowers
- Reception Flowers (Centerpieces)
- Family Flowers
- Wedding Party Flowers
- Brides Bouquets (one to carry, one to throw)
- Pew Bows, pew decorations
Influencing Factors: size of wedding party, amount of flowers
Ways to save $$: limit who in the family gets flowers, stick with immediate; re-use ceremony flowers as decorations at the reception, consider making your own pew bows
Attire: 8-10 % of your budget, $2,497 - $3,121 in 2015 money.
- Brides Dress(es)
- Groom's Clothing
Influencing Factors: theme of dress(es)
Where to save $$: consider only have one dress (think removable train), rent all the tuxes from one place, typically the Groom's will be free
Entertainment. 8-10 % of your budget, $2,497 - $3,121 in 2015 money.
This mainly just covers your DJ or band. Unless of course you are planning on having a clown at your reception.
Influencing Factors: length of the reception, how long you will have them play
Where to save $$: Provide your own music (think Ipod) during the cocktail hour and dinner
Transportation. 2-3% of your budget, $624-$936 in 2015 money.
- limo, to the venue, from the venue to the hotel
Where to save $$: see if the hotel has a shuttle to pick the wedding party up
Ceremony. 2-3% of your budget, $624 - $936 in 2015 money.
The most important part has one of the smallest budget lines. This will include the donation that the church will require. If you are getting married at the same venue you are holding the reception the there should not more that a minimal cost, if any.
Miscellaneous. 8-10 % of your budget, $2,497 - $3,121 in 2015 money.
- Wedding Party Gifts
- Stationary: Invitations, programs, Thank you notes, postage
- Hotel welcome bags
Influencing Factors: Quality of stationary, size of Wedding party
Where to save $$: only send save the date cards to out of town guests, put the welcome bags together yourself
Of course these are all just averages, you may choose to save alittle money here, spending alittle more over there. Over the coming months we will dig even deeper into all these categories and help you decide where you want to spend and where you want to save.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org