A budget begins with a guest list that informs most of your costs. Be prepared to spend the most (around 40 percent) on taking care of guests’ basic needs—that’s venue, food, and beverage.” The remaining amount includes fixed costs like your photographer, videographer, and entertainment. Then, there’s the more logistical and arbitrary stuff—transportation, labor, lighting, stationery, and anything else you’ve deemed essential in the mix.
Use the handy guide below as a rough outline for spending breakdowns and adjust according to your priorities.
- Venue and Catering: 40 percent of your budget
- Photography and Videography: 15 percent of your budget
- Wedding Attire and Beauty: 5 percent of your budget
- Music/Entertainment: 10 percent of your budget
- Flowers: 10 percent of your budget
- Favors and Gifts: 2 percent of your budget
- Transportation: 3 percent of your budget
- Stationery: 3 percent of your budget
- Cake: 2 percent of your budget
- Decor: 10 percent of your budget
And keep these questions in mind: Is your dream venue (or that dress, or imported peonies, or whatever is currently weighing on your mind) nonnegotiable for you? If it will put you over budget, cut down in another area that matters less to you. And if it isn’t a deal breaker, then find another pick that you’re sure to love just as much.
**This article first appeared on www.yourdjs.com, January 6, 2019.