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Wedding Budget Breakdown 2017

Let's start with this figure.  The average Wedding in 2017 cost $35,329.  Let that sink in.

Now let's break that down in the average cost per category in your budget.


The biggest expense.  48% - 50% of the budget an estimated $16,957 to $17,664

  • 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


The most important expense.  10-12% of the budget an estimated $3,532- $4,239
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • 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 savings skip the photo booth


The prettiest expense.  8-10 % of the budget an estimated $2,826 - $3,232
  • 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


The best expense to shop for.  8-10 % of the budget, $2,826 - $3,232
  • 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


Get the party started expense. 8-10 % of the budget, $2,826 - $3,232 

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


Getting to the Church on time expense.  2-3% of the budget, $706-$1,059
  • limo, to the venue, from the venue to the hotel
Influencing Factors:  size of limo, party bus needed
Where to save $$: see if the hotel has a shuttle to pick the wedding party up 


The 'I do' expense. 2-3% of the budget, $706 - $1,059

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.


The everything else expense .  8-10 % of your budget, $2,826 - $3,532
  • Wedding Party Gifts
  • Stationary: Invitations, programs, Thank you notes, postage
  • Rings
  • Licenses
  • Hotel welcome bags
  • Favors
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 -

Happy Planning!



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