According to The Knot, the 2019 national average wedding cost was $39,300 (including the engagement ring, not including the honeymoon). Here’s how my frequently travelled states came in:
- Indiana: $22,800
- Michigan: $29,700
- Ohio: $29,300
- Illinois: $39,700
Costs For You, Costs For Them
Your budget begins with a guest list. A count that informs most of your costs. Think of your budget in terms of costs for you and costs for them. Costs For You are fixed costs that include: Photography, videography, entertainment. And the costs For Them are the costs that rise and fall associated with the number of guests you have in attendance: Venue, food and beverage. Be prepared to spend about 40% of your budget on costs for them. Then you’ve got the other optional and logistical costs like transportation, stationery and whatever you’ve deemed necessary for your day!
Typical Budget Breakdown
- Venue and Catering: 40% of your budget
- Photography: 15%
- Music/Entertainment: 10%
- Flowers: 10%
- Décor: 10%
- Wedding Attire and Beauty: 5%
- Favors and Gifts: 2%
- Transportation: 3%
- Stationery: 3%
- Cake: 2%
*Note: Hiring a Wedding Planner will cost about 10% of your budget and a Day-Of Coordinator can charge on average about $1,500*
According to WeddingWire, guest count, location, and venue are the top three aspects couples consider when determining their wedding budget. Since the venue is often the first decision a couple will make, knowing this cost early on allows them to figure out how to divvy up the remaining budget to meet their needs.
PHOTO: 47% of couples increase their budget by spending more on photography. You can’t mess with those numbers! But, statistically, the number one regret of couples after their wedding is not spending more on their photographer!
FOOD: 41% increase their food budget. FOOD and MUSIC are two areas of a wedding that I myself as a guest will remember being BAD. Don’t skimp on the food and music! Your food will keep people full (and not too drunk) and your DJ keeps the flow of the evening.
In the budget area of your planning season, keep these questions in mind: Is your dream venue (or that dress, or fresh peonies, or whatever is currently weighing on your mind) non-negotiable for you? If it will put you over budget, cut down in another area that matters less to you. And if it isn’t a deal-breaker then find another pick that you’re sure to love just as much.
More Wedding Planning Tips from a wedding photographer who planned her own wedding!