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Budgeting for Your Wedding? How Much of Your Budget to Allocate for the Dress, the Rings, the Venue, and the Rest

Posted on by Arya Miller

If your wedding is on the horizon - congratulations! This is a super exciting time, but it’s also likely to be an extremely busy one as you juggle multiple balls checking out venues, finding suppliers, and attending dress fittings. It’s easy for your budget to slide, but keeping it in check is vital to avoid inadvertently going into the red and having the stress of a large post-wedding debt.

Before sampling any more wedding cakes or meeting with potential photographers, take a moment to get on top of your budget using our guide. Below, you’ll find an approximate idea of what you can expect to spend on elements such as the dress, rings, catering, and more to ensure your day goes perfectly - and your bank balance doesn’t take an unexpected hit.

The Wedding Attire and Rings

wedding rings

You should aim to spend around 7% of your total wedding budget on the wedding dress and suit for the big day. This also includes shoes and accessories such as the veil, jewelry, and cufflinks. And the wedding bands themselves. On average, couples set aside around 9% of their wedding budget on the rings.

And talking of the rings, don’t forget to sort out insurance - it’s something else that can be easily forgotten in the exciting build-up to the big day. Wedding bands and engagement ring insurance can protect your precious jewelry, just in case.

The Venue and Catering

Let’s move on to the big hitters when it comes to your wedding budget. Couples tend to spend around 66% of their total nuptial budget on the venue and catering combined. Some venues may include the cake and alcohol as part of their catering package, or you may choose to budget for these elements separately. Where this is the case, it’s wise to allocate around 8% of your total wedding budget to the cost of alcohol and 2% to the cake.

Music and Entertainment

bride and groom

Time to think about music and entertainment. The average couple spends around 3% of their wedding budget on the ceremony music, 4% on the cost of guest entertainment, and 5% on a DJ for the party afterward. If you choose to book a band, this is likely to make up around 13% of your budget, while 6% of the total amount should be allocated to event rental if relevant.

And All the Rest

We’re not done with the budget yet! Here’s a breakdown of roughly the rest of your budget to allocate:

● Photographer - 9%

● Flowers - 8%

● Videographer - 7%

● Wedding planner - 6%

● Transportation - 3%

● Stationery - 2%

Officiant - 1%

● Favors and gifts - 1%

● Hair and makeup - 1%

How to Keep Your Wedding Budget on Track

When making a wedding budget, it’s important to remember that the above figures are just a guide. It’s important to prioritize, especially if you’re on a tight budget, and allocate amounts based on what elements of the wedding are most important to you and your partner.

Creating your wedding budget is just the start. Sticking to it can be a much harder task! A budgeting spreadsheet or app can be a great way to stay on top of expenditures and alert you early if an overspend could occur. It’s also worth getting several quotes from various vendors and possible venues so you can compare costs and the value you’re getting from each.

How to Plan for a Wedding on a Tight Budget

wedding venue

Weddings can be extremely expensive: fact. However, if you’re on a tight budget, there are things you can do to keep the costs down:

● Consider holding your wedding on dates and times likely to be cheaper, venue-wise. For example, consider opting for a month outside of the peak times of May to September and not opting for Saturday nuptials.

● Limit the guest list by inviting only close friends and family.

● DIY some elements, such as invitations, decor, or the favors.

● Consider creating a magical outdoor space with fairy lights and lanterns and having a backyard reception.

● Let friends and family members help by, for example, supplying the cake, creating the seating plan, or arranging the flowers, according to their skills.

● Build up a wedding contingency fund, if you can, for unexpected expenses.

The Takeaway

Budgeting for your wedding day may not be the most exciting part of the build-up to the big day, but it’s one of the most important elements in ensuring everything runs as smoothly and stress-free as possible. Use the guide above to create your budget and figure out roughly how much to allocate to each element of your wedding. Once this is done, be sure to stay on top of this budget and remain alert for possible overspending.

There are plenty of ways to keep your wedding budget down without any detriment to the day. In fact, DIY-ing certain parts of your big day can make for an even more meaningful experience. So, if your best friend is a wizard at cake making or your aunt is a dab hand at calligraphy - bring them on board!