Wedding Budget Breakdown

In our last issue, we discussed the average cost of a wedding in 2022 being $30,000 based on a study by The Knot Real Weddings. This may or may not be your budget, and that’s ok. To help you plan your wedding day and ensure it’s within your budget, we will break down the expenses and show you the average percentage couples spend on their vendors.

The first thing you need to do, and probably the most important, is decide your max overall spending budget. It’ll be hard to move forward with planning your dream wedding if you do not set a max budget. Wedding budgets can be stressful, and planning can feel daunting, but having a budget and breaking it down can help alleviate some of those feelings. 

The wedding budget breakdown is from data collected from The Knot 2022 Real Weddings Study and is a general guide for the different elements of a wedding. Using this information as a starting point is best as it is based on national averages and adds up to more than 100%. That’s because your final breakdown depends on different factors related to you, your soon-to-be spouse, and your priorities for your wedding day.

• Venue: 37%

• Catering: 29%

• Band: 13%

• Photography: 9%

• Wedding Rings: 9%

• Alcohol/Liquor: 8%

• Flowers: 8%

• Videography: 7%

• Attire (Dress & Suit): 7%

• Wedding Planner: 6%

• Event Rentals: 6%

• Lighting & Décor: 6%

• DJ: 5%

• Guest Entertainment: 4%

• Transportation: 3%

• Ceremony Musicians: 3%

• Stationery: 2%

• Cake/Desserts: 2%

• Hair & Makeup: 1%

• Wedding Favors & Gifts: 1%

• Officiant: 1%

You’ve seen a wedding budget breakdown; now what? Start with the top elements that are most important to you. As mentioned earlier, all weddings are different and different factors come into play for other couples. Here are a few things to remember while you work on your budget. What can you afford? Be honest with your wedding day expectations. Kristen Gall, retail expert and president of Rakuten Rewards says, “The best way to stay on budget is to be realistic about what you are willing to pay each step of the way, from the venue to the vendors to your dress and accessories.” You may have to cut back from another to get what you want in one area.

Think about your guest list size. With weddings, you pay per head for the food and drinks, so the larger the guest list, the higher the food and drinks cost. It also contributes to the cost of other details like stationery, décor, and favors. The date, time, and venue can play a big part in figuring out your wedding budget. Wedding season typically runs from May thru October, so expect to pay higher fees during this time frame. The venue may also charge more during the wedding season due to the higher demand. So, if you are set on a venue, maybe consider a time of year that does not fall during the wedding season.

A lot goes into planning a wedding and hashing out your budget plans. This breakdown is not intended to be used literally but more as a guide to help you start planning your budget. November 15th will be our next issue, and we will discuss the mistakes commonly made with wedding budgets.