Breaking Down Your Wedding Budget

by Jenny Bryde 15. May 2013 01:09

I try as hard as possible to stay away from the checkbook in our house.  I will gladly take on just about any household responsibility, but making sure that our pennies are counted is NOT my forte.  I rely on my money-smart husband to help me out there.  Thank goodness one of us is good with money!  If you are engaged and share my money sense, you may have your head spinning when thinking about balancing your wedding budget.  Thank goodness, there are many tools out there to help you.  I find that most websites are pretty close when they talk about what percentage of your total wedding budget you should allocate to what kinds of purchases, rentals, etc.  Below, I have created a chart showing how your budget might be broken down depending on your total budget.  Remember this is a guide...a starting point.  You will also need to decide what kinds of wedding items are most important to you.  You might borrow from one category to beef up another.  


Generally speaking, here are the items that are included in each category:

Reception - reserving your venue, rental items, food and service, beverages, cake

Attire - gown, alterations, headpiece, veil, accessories, hair and make up, grooms tux/suit, groom's accessories

Flowers/Decor - floral arrangements for ceremony, flower girl's basket, ring pillow, bride's bouquet, bridesmaids' bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, reception decorations, lighting

Music - ceremony musicians, cocktail hour music, reception band/dj/entertainment, sound system, dance floor rental

Photos and Video - photography, videography, prints, albums

Favors and Gifts - welcome baskets for out of towners, bridal party gifts

Ceremony - site fee, officiant's fee

Stationery - save the date cards, invitations and RSVPs, programs, seating/place cards, menu cards, signage, thank you notes, postage

Wedding Rings - bride's ring, groom's ring

Transportation - limousine or car rentals, valet parking


  $5,000 $10,000 $15,000 $20,000 $25,000 $50,000 $100,000
Reception 50% 2,500.00 5,000.00 7,500.00 10,000.00 12,500.00 25,000.00 50,000.00
Attire 10% 500.00 1,000.00 1,500.00 2,000.00 2,500.00 5,000.00 10,000.00
Flowers/Décor 10% 500.00 1,000.00 1,500.00 2,000.00 2,500.00 5,000.00 10,000.00
Music 10% 500.00 1,000.00 1,500.00 2,000.00 2,500.00 5,000.00 10,000.00
Photos and Video 10% 150.00 300.00 450.00 600.00 750.00 1,500.00 3,000.00
Favors and Gifts 3% 150.00 300.00 450.00 600.00 750.00 1,500.00 3,000.00
Ceremony 2% 100.00 200.00 300.00 400.00 500.00 1,000.00 2,000.00
Wedding Rings 2% 100.00 200.00 300.00 400.00 500.00 1,000.00 2,000.00
Transportation 1% 50.00 100.00 150.00 200.00 250.00 500.00 1,000.00


We hope this guide helps you to get started!  Remember, when it comes to your budget, know what is important to you, make the plan, and then stick to it!  It is very each for a wedding budget to spin out of control.  Lots of brides and grooms become creative in certain areas to save money for other splurge areas on their budget.  Good luck!  


budget | Jenny Bryde

Some Helpful WebTools to Keep Your Planning a Breeze!

by Jenny Bryde 9. January 2010 13:07

First off, ladies and gents, I wanted to remind you all that tomorrow is the WeddingMax Bridal Show at the iWireless Center.

Check out all the info here! I hope to see you there!

Next on my list of to-do's... If you remember from a few posts ago, one of my new year's resolutions is to become more organized. Certain aspects of our wedding I have certainly paid close attention to lately, and others have fallen to the wayside because a) they are things we haven't decided upon yet, b) they look like boring tasks to me, or c) I am a procrastinator. I am trying to eliminate option C from my repertoire of excuses.

Recently Donna sent me an email about a company called Places Everyone which sells sets of magnetized shapes and a lay out that you can customize to look like your reception hall. The magnetized tables come with magnetized seats on which you can write your guests names. This is a brilliant idea especially for those of us who need a visual or who learn by touching and moving things around. On the site you can see the different options for purchasing, and as I was going through the site, I thought to myself, Self, you could probably make something like this with materials you already have. So for those of you who can do a little scaling math and don't mind scrounging up some construction paper and childproof scissors, go nuts. If not, Places Everyone is there for you.

One word to describe me would be procrastinator. Another would be Cheap A$$. The thought of plunking down $50 for this kit made me cringe a little, so I did a little researching and came upon the mecca of wedding planning, Martha Stewart, of course! On, you can register (for free) and find not only a virtual seating chart program, but an entire set of wedding planning tools of which I will be taking full advantage. Here are a few things that I am excited about...

1) The Seating Chart Planning Tool. There are options to change the size and shape of the reception area lay out, different sizes of tables, and the program will upload info right from your guest list that you can also create with the MSW planning tools! Neato!

2) The Budget Planner Tool. I've seen a lot of budget planning tools, and I've even kept our budget on an Excell sheet, but this one has so many bells and whistles! For example, if you end up underspending (ha ha), it will ask you how you'd like to redistribute the funds. It will also keep track of payment dates and send you reminders! Swell!

3) The Checklist Tool. Are there others like me who leave things off until the very end? This one's for you! For example, right now my check list tells me that we are overdue on making a wedding webpage (ironic). Dandy!

I really think I owe good ol' Martha a thank you note because her wedding planning tools are going to be really helpful here in helping us to stay on track with our wedding and to eliminate my procrastination problem. There are other organizations and websites that offer free and subscription based wedding planning tools. What are some of your favorites? What programs have saved your life and your sanity as you plan for your upcoming nuptials?

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About the Blog

Hi!  Welcome to the blog!  My name is Jenny, and I am a Quad Cities bride to be.  Our goal for this blog is to share information on all things wedding including local vendors, new trends, and amazing inspiration.  Let us know if there is something you'd like to see on here!  

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