The Beginner's Guide to Wedding Planning
With 20 years of wedding planning experience, Debi Lilly from A Perfect Event shares her insider tips to make your planning pure romance.
By Debi Lilly
Original Content | April 02, 2010
Photo: BananaStock/Jupiter Images
Some people have a specific set budget to work within, while others figure it out as they go along. If you are the former, it's time to put pen to paper and make sure you know what the wedding budget will be. Typically, the costs break down as such:
Cost saver: A morning ceremony with an elegant luncheon is always less costly than an evening affair—many restaurants are slow at lunch and have wonderful pricing to book a big party
- 40 percent: Reception, to include reception venue, catering (tax and tip can be an additional 30 percent, so make sure this is included!), bar, wedding cake, linens, valet
- 10 percent: Flowers for the ceremony, bridal party bouquets and boutonnieres, centerpieces
- 10 percent: Entertainment, including ceremony music, cocktail and dinner music, dancing for three hours after dinner
- 10 percent: Photography for the engagement session, ceremony and reception (typically eight hours of coverage)
- 10 percent: Attire, including the wedding dress, veil, jewelry, shoes and groom's tuxedo
- 5 percent: Wedding planner to make the planning stress-free and to save you time and money through negotiations, contracting cost savers and more
- 5 percent: Wedding stationery for invitations, save the dates, thank-you notes, wedding ceremony programs, menu cards
- 5 percent: Transportation to and from ceremony/reception, including limousines, trolleys, double-decker buses and more
- 5 percent: Extras, like favors, rings, gifts for attendants, marriage license and other misc.