As you go to establish your wedding budget, it’s important to be cognizant of how much each piece of you your wedding should cost. If the benchmark for how much your reception should cost is 30% and you’re spending 40%, perhaps you’re neglecting other aspects of your wedding. Or, it could mean that the reception is important to you, more important than the other parts, and so you’re willing to splurge and cut back on other parts of the wedding. Either way, it’s important to make educated decisions, not haphazard ones. What you’ll find next is a list of each piece of your wedding and approximately (remember, this is merely a rule of thumb) what percentage of your total budget most couples spend.
Another way to look at this list is to discover where you should focus your penny pinching energies. You will see below that the “everything else” category only counts for 10%… that includes invitations, save the date mailings, gifts, etc. Finding ways to squeeze a few cents out of that won’t be as effective as looking for deals on reception halls or attire.
Reception: 50%. The reception is the biggest piece of your wedding budget since it’s the one most dependant on the number of guests you invite. The church will hold as many as it will hold and you won’t need to donate more simply because another seat is filled, you will with the reception. In addition to paying for the food and drink, some places may charge a flat reception hall fee (if you look hard enough, some places will throw in the reception hall for free if you have a minimum number of guests).
Attire: 10%. A big piece of this 10% will be the bride’s gown and the groom may consider buying a tuxedo if they plan on going to many more black tie events in the future.
Photographer, Videographer: 10%. Part of the Big Three vendor spends on your big day, the photographer and videographer will be spending 8 hours filming and photo’ing plus all the post-wedding editing and cropping, which is why the costs will amount to a fat 10%.
Flowers & Decor: 10%.
Music & Entertainment: 10%.
Everything Else: 10%. Yep, everything else includes the ring, invitations, gifts, cake, etc. Everything else will cost as much as flowers & decor, as much as music & entertainment, as much as photographer and videographer.
From “The Knot’s Guide for the Groom.”