more about Kate & Nicole
I'm Kate-- Associate Wedding Planner and lover of learning! I'm here to provide perfectly polished lists that teach soon-to-be newlyweds how to make their dream wedding a reality. We believe every love story is unique and beautiful, and we can't wait to bring your vision to life. Welcome to the family!
Budgeting for a wedding can be a daunting task, especially if you have no idea where to begin. There are a million factors to take into consideration for your wedding budget-- photo, video, planning fees, attire, design, vendor gratuity… the list can go on and on depending on your expectations for your wedding. You can say goodbye to that overwhelming feeling and hello to your Wedding Budget Crash Course! Here we are going to share our best tips and tricks for creating, maintaining, & staying within your budget.
Let me start by saying this post is not meant to tell you that your budget needs to be higher or lower than what it is. This is meant to educate you about how much weddings cost today so you can be better prepared to start planning your uniquely beautiful wedding!
Creating Your Wedding Budget
1. Determine who is contributing to your budget.
A key to figuring out your wedding budget is knowing who is contributing. Parents? Grandparents? How much can you contribute yourself? Take note of names and monetary amounts of who may be pitching in to help cover the costs of your wedding.
2. Create your list of must-haves for your wedding.
This list should include vendors & items that you know for a fact will be taking up room in your budget such as your venue, catering, wedding planner, photographer, videographer, floral, beauty, entertainment, and attire. This can also include extra items such as a photo booth, a custom neon sign, or another specific decor item that you are dreaming of having! This is also a good time to determine what won’t be included in your total budget. Some couples choose to leave attire and wedding planning as a separate cost outside of their total budget, but do whatever makes the most sense to you!
3. Decide on a rough guest count.
Your budget very much depends on your guest count. Think about this: if you have a guest count of 200, and we’ll say the average catering price per person for dinner & bar is $70, that’s $14,000. If you cut that guest count down to 100-150 people, now you lowered that cost by 25%-50%. Knowing at least a range for your guest count can help give you a more accurate idea of what your budget will be!
Our biggest, most helpful tip for determining how much to allocate to each vendor is this:
50% of your budget should cover your venue, catering, & rentals. The other 50% will cover everything else.
Since your venue is one of the first vendors you book, you will have a pretty good idea of what your budget will come out to. For example, if your venue + catering (food, beverage, extra rentals such as chairs or specialty linens) is $20,000 your total budget will land around $40,000. Below are both the national average and the average price that Sirpilla Soirees couples spend for various vendors to give you an idea of how much is spent on each part of your day:
Maintaining Your Budget
To maintain your set wedding cost, always know the status of your budget so you do not go over on previously allotted amounts for each vendor. Adjust your budget as needed and be sure to update your budget with any completed payments as you make them.
1. Choose a date that is not during peak wedding season.
Peak season varies based on location, but generally the peak wedding season in Ohio is from the months of May to October because of the warm weather and naturally beautiful backdrops!
2. Choose a venue where you can bring your own alcohol.
This saves money because you can control the alcohol you are buying and there is no up-charge by the venue or bar service to bring in their alcohol selections. This can sometimes save you thousands of dollars!
3. Repurpose your flowers.
Saving money with your florals can come from using your ceremony arrangements, such as those that line the aisle, as centerpieces at your reception too. It is very common for bridal party bouquets to be repurposed at the reception as well, and choosing in-season flowers can also save you big bucks too!
4. Skip the guest favors.
Favors for guests are not really necessary unless you have your heart set on something meaningful and specific. The favors typically get left at the reception which gives you an abundance left over to either throw away or try to resell, so save your wallet and skip the favors! If you really want to give gifts to your guests, go for something edible (cookies or little candies) or something useful (mini olive oil or a small candle). You could also use the money that would be put towards guest favors to donate to a charity and let your guests know that the donation was made in lieu of favors in their honor!
5. Buy or sell wedding decor on wedding resale sites/groups.
Use Facebook to find your nearest resale group, such as “Northeast Ohio Wedding Resale.” You can buy and sell in these groups which can save you money and/or put some of the money you spent on decor right back in your pocket after the wedding!
6. Put money towards things that matter most to YOU.
Weddings are common and it is rare that your guests will even remember what they ate at your wedding, let alone the color of the napkins. You are the person looking back on your wedding day for the rest of your life so do what makes you & your partner happy.
Whew!! After reading through, I’m hoping you feel less stressed out about your wedding budget. There are so many little details to keep in mind for your wedding, so we (of course) suggest fitting a wedding planner into your budget to ensure that your day goes exactly as you've always dreamed! While we offer design, our packages can also include contract review to make sure you are getting everything you are asking of your vendors at a fair price, payment reminders to help keep you on track, and budget management to help keep you within your allotted budget the best we can!
Inquire with us today about our availability for your wedding date-- we would love to talk about how we can help you plan your beautiful day. Regardless of whether we get to chat or not, I truly hope you found something helpful in this post and you can use the Pinterest graphic below to save it for later so you won't ever lose it!
Lastly, if you'd like to receive a copy of our Mini Budget Worksheet and learn more about how to use it to track your wedding costs, reach out to me using the "Let's Chat" button on the right side of the page, or email me at email@example.com! I can't wait to hear from you. ♡
National Avg: $2,400
SS Couples: $4,500 - $6,000
National Avg: $2,000
SS Couples: $5,000 - $8,000
Food & Beverage
National Avg: $70 pp
SS Couples: $60 - $130 pp
National Avg: $2,400
SS Couples: $3,500 - $4,500
Venue Rental Fee
National Avg: $5,000
SS Couples: $5,000
National averages taken from TheKnot.com