So you just got engaged… Congratulations! It’s time to pull up that Pinterest board you’ve been working on. You may have been drawn to some pretty extravagant pins, but everything comes down to a reasonable budget. Whether you and your significant other have been saving up for the big day or your parents are footing the bill, the wedding budget is possibly the most daunting aspect of the planning process. If you don’t work in the industry, you probably don’t know where to start. That’s where we come in. We’re going to teach you how to split up your budget!
These days, the average wedding costs around $20,000 for approximately 125 people. How you break down your budget really depends on your specific priorities. For instance, if music is more important to you than flowers, dedicate more of your budget to that live band you’ve been dreaming of. We can give you a practical place to start, and then you can adjust according to your desires.
Venue and Catering – 50%
Venue and Catering will always take up the most significant chunk of your budget. You can expect to spend roughly 50% on the space and food for the big day. As you search for the perfect venue, pay attention to what they include. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. They may only offer the space, meaning you’ll have to spend extra cash on rentals, i.e. chairs for both the ceremony and reception, tables, and linens. When it comes to catering, there is such a wide range of options. From full service catering companies to food trucks to restaurants, you can find something for every budget, so be sure to explore.
Photography – 12%
Photography may be one of the expenses that sneaks up on you. A quality photography will most likely start around $1500, and that may only be for 6 hours. Most couples want “getting ready” photos, which means you’ll want to upgrade your package. We’ve designated 12% of your budget to photography, giving you more opportunity to capture all the sweet moments of your day.
Flowers – 10%
Flowers can truly make a space some alive. If you’re looking to make a statement, floral design is the way to do it. The thing is, flowers cost more than you might think. Different kinds of flowers cost more than others. Be sure to take inspiration photos to your floral consultation, so the florist can let you know how much you can really expect to spend. To be on the safe side, we’ve allocated 10% of your budget to your floral package.
Music – 8%
Entertainment plays a huge role in your reception. A live band will always cost more than a DJ. Decide what’s important to you. If you go with a DJ, you could spend less than 8% and use the remainder on another part of your wedding, like the cake, stationary, or wedding planner.
Attire – 5%
Attire is actually very difficult to pinpoint. Wedding gowns can cost thousands of dollars, as can your groom’s tux. If you’re doing the math, 5% of $20,000 is only $1000. That doesn’t sound like much, right? Well, it’s not. If this is something that’s really important to you, you may want to consider taking part of your budget from another category and adding it to attire. Otherwise, you should check out New Tradition Bridal in Ball Ground. They specialize in unique, affordable gowns, and they offer suit/tux rentals from Jim’s Formal Wear.
Decor – 5%
This one is up for discussion. Some venues include house decor at no extra charge, which is great for your budget! If they don’t, you may want to look into rentals or scour Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Home Goods, etc. for those pieces that will take your event to the next level. If you book a large floral package, you may not need much decor at all. Consider all your options before making a decision about this part of your budget!
Stationary – 3%
We love all the little details, and stationary is just one part of that. 3% of a $20,000 budget will most likely get you an adorable set from Minted, Zazzle, Basic Invite, or one of the many other sites with customizable templates. If you’re looking for hand-lettered, fine art invitation suites, you can expect to spend more.
Wedding Coordinator – 3%
We can’t stress the importance of a wedding coordinator enough! You’re going to want someone keeping track of the day, so you don’t have to. At the very least, look into a day-of coordinator. They will help you pull together all the final details, create a timeline, manage vendors, and set up and facilitate the wedding day.
Favors – 2%
Many couples are choosing to forgo favors, but if you want to hold onto this tradition, you can expect to spend a few hundred dollars to make sure every guest feels the love. If you want to do something fun and a little funky, you could look for more creative options. For instance, if you and your significant other love coffee and tea, head to the local thrift shops and antique stores to find mismatched coffee and/or tea cups to share with your guests!
Cake – 2%
Last but not least is that sweet treat toward the end of the night. Wedding cake may just be our favorite part of the entire event. Cakes can cost more or less depending on flavors, tiers, and level of decoration. A good average cake price is $400. That will typically get you a three-tier buttercream cake.
When considering how to split up your budget, make sure you pay close attention to the venue’s package levels. For instance, when you book The Lodge at Old Mill’s Inclusive Package, you’re actually getting a bigger bang for your buck than when you just book the site venue. We’ve formed relationships with some of Atlanta’s finest wedding vendors. In turn, they’ve given our clients special rates. Our package is $13,950, leaving plenty of room in a $20,000 budget for photography, florals, and any special treats you want to include in your big day. Get in touch to see how we can help you plan your dream wedding!