As you embark on the journey of planning your wedding, it will be one of the most exciting, emotional, magical and fulfilling adventures of your life. However, one of the first and not-so romantic details you’ll have to address is the wedding budget. The budget is one of the most stressful aspects of the wedding, yet often one of the most important as it determines the overall direction of each decision, each detail, how every moment plays out on the wedding day. The popular wedding blog The Knot reports that, on average, US couples spend $28,400 for their wedding, with the majority spending between $19,000 and $32,000. (And that’s not including the honeymoon!) Those statistics can be overwhelming, but with a budget in place, costs can be trimmed in many places.
According to Martha Stewart, a good rule of thumb for estimating cost percentages is as follows:
- 50% Reception (includes the venue, food, drink, service, rentals and cake)
- 10% Wedding Planner
- 10% Music
- 10% Photography
- 10% Flowers
- 5% Attire
- 5% Miscellaneous (includes invitations, transportation and favors)
One of the first things that wedding planner Jenny Harding, owner of New Chapter Weddings and Events, always recommends to couples just beginning to plan their special event is to open a dedicated wedding account. This separate account will help you to keep to your established budget in the following ways:
- The wedding account will keep the expenditures separate from household expenses.
- With a wedding account, a partial payroll deduction can be deposited directly into the account to make saving for the wedding more likely, and more convenient.
- Many banks offer online access, bill pay, debit cards, a free first box of checks - all tools that will streamline your purchasing process for wedding expenses.
- One statement arrives each month that allows you to track your savings and expenses to date for the wedding, enabling you to ‘check in’ with your budget.