Etiquette

Critique my wedding budget / what am I missing?

So, we made our initial budget. We have about $75k to spend, so here's the breakdown I came up with. This does not include the rehearsal dinner or my dress (since my parents want to host / pick up those things separate from the wedding budget). Am I missing anything? Are my estimates way off? 

The venue fee ($5k) and ceremony fee ($2k) are based on our top choice venue, and we are planning to have 200 guests. The venue we're looking at is beautiful so we don't plan to do a ton of decor. 

So what do ya'll think?

Catering 40,000
Venue Fee 5,000
Band 12,000
Photographer 5,000
Décor (centerpieces, bouquets, escort cards, card table, etc.) 5,000
Ceremony Fee 2,000
Officiant 1,000
Invites / Paper 1,000
DOC 1,000
BP and Parents Gifts 1,000
Groom attire 500
Bride beauty (hair, makeup, nails) 500
Cake 1,000
Total 75,000


SP29

Re: Critique my wedding budget / what am I missing?

  • That looks pretty good as an initial budget to me. I think you’ve accounted, reasonably, for the must haves. The one thing that might be missing is transportation, but I’m not sure if that will be necessary for you. 
    charlotte989875
  • Looks good, besides transportation. You may also want to budget shoes/undergarments/jewelry if you're buying any of that new and it's separate from what your parents are gifting you for your dress. 
  • Good call on transportation! We're narrowed down to 3 venues - my favorite is maybe 20 min from where folks would likely stay, so we'd need a shuttle. My less favorite venues are in hotels or places where we wouldn't need transport. I will find a way to fit it in the budget. 
  • Good call on transportation! We're narrowed down to 3 venues - my favorite is maybe 20 min from where folks would likely stay, so we'd need a shuttle. My less favorite venues are in hotels or places where we wouldn't need transport. I will find a way to fit it in the budget. 
    And it might be possible to block rooms at a hotel with a free shuttle, or just not provide one. I don’t think it’s an essential you must work in now, just something to keep in mind! 
    charlotte989875
  • Good call on transportation! We're narrowed down to 3 venues - my favorite is maybe 20 min from where folks would likely stay, so we'd need a shuttle. My less favorite venues are in hotels or places where we wouldn't need transport. I will find a way to fit it in the budget. 
    And it might be possible to block rooms at a hotel with a free shuttle, or just not provide one. I don’t think it’s an essential you must work in now, just something to keep in mind! 
    Definitely. Just something to ask about. So much involved here! I'm planning in the NY area, BTW for budget context
  • How fancy a cake are you wanting? I'm thinking depending on your area, a tiered wedding cake could very easily be more than $5/serving.
    image
    MesmrEwe
  • How fancy a cake are you wanting? I'm thinking depending on your area, a tiered wedding cake could very easily be more than $5/serving.

    We're in the NYC area. This is good insight - i didn't have any idea what cakes cost and it already pained me to write down $1000. I don't have a crazy cake vision, just want something yummy and reasonably attractive for a cake cutting. But I know FI is into the idea of alternative deserts (he doesn't love cake) - something like a sundae bar or an ice cream cake for the groom's cake. 
  • What about favors?   Where are you and your FI sleeping the night before and the night of?  Are you going to be expected to house any family or WP?  


  • Since your budget is $75K, you should take 10% off and only plan with $67.5K. All budgets need contingency. 

    How many attendants are you having? Readers? Ushers? What about hostess gifts for your shower(s)? Are you taking a honeymoon? Why is the officiant fee separate from the ceremony venue fee? $3K seems quite steep for those things - does it include all chairs, set up/tear down, etc.? Are you having wedding bands? Are your parents also paying for alterations to your dress? What about your shoes, jewelry, veil, purse, hair clip, etc.? Are you staying at home or in a hotel the night of/night before? Do your numbers factor in tipping? If not, calculate 20% tips for everything needing tipping so you're covered.

    I don't think $1,000 for stationary is enough unless you plan to DIY some of it. You'll probably do STDs, invitation suite, programs, menus (for your 4 course dinner), escort cards, and thank you cards. Invitation suites are shockingly expensive. Then there's stamps for the heavy envelopes, RSVP envelopes, STDs and thank you cards - a surprisingly big chunk of change. 

    $1,000 seems low for a DOC as well, but you've probably gotten quotes so maybe not in your area. 

    $5,000 seems high for a photographer unless you're getting top of the line, multiple day of shooters, multiple sessions (e.g. engagement, bridal, etc.), and/or several prints/albums.

    $500 seems a little low for bridal services, unless you aren't including tipping. Average, you'll probably have two hair appointments ($100+/ea), 2 make up appts ($80-100/ea), mani/pedi ($100+). $500 would just barely cover it without tipping.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • Since your budget is $75K, you should take 10% off and only plan with $67.5K. All budgets need contingency. 

    How many attendants are you having? 5 BMs and 2 GM, no flower girls/ring bearers/children and no readers Readers? Ushers? What about hostess gifts for your shower(s)? Shower host will be my mom, I'll add this to "gifts" Are you taking a honeymoon? Yep, probably, but that's a different budget for us. $75k is what we have for the wedding itself Why is the officiant fee separate from the ceremony venue fee?  $3K seems quite steep for those things - does it include all chairs, set up/tear down, etc.? The venue we were looking at offered ceremony services (all the things you mentioned - set up, tear down, chairs, etc) for $2k. We would need to hire a separate officiant and I assumed it would be $1k. We are looking for something kind of niche - we'd like someone familiar with our cultures and traditions but isn't a religious figure. I figure we might need something kind of high end. Are you having wedding bands? Yes, again - separate budget. Are your parents also paying for alterations to your dress? What about your shoes, jewelry, veil, purse, hair clip, etc.? My mom said "your father and I want to pay for your dress". I have not clarified what this means *exactly* but I have a very relaxed relationship with my parents, don't imagine there will nickel-and-diming on either side. Are you staying at home or in a hotel the night of/night before? Hotel the night of and before. This needs to be added for sure depending on which venue we chose (one of them is a hotel and includes this). Do your numbers factor in tipping? If not, calculate 20% tips for everything needing tipping so you're covered. Yep! Catering cost is $155 per person, so I've figured it tax and tip and it's pretty much exactly $200.

    I don't think $1,000 for stationary is enough unless you plan to DIY some of it. You'll probably do STDs, invitation suite, programs, menus (for your 4 course dinner), escort cards, and thank you cards. Invitation suites are shockingly expensive. Then there's stamps for the heavy envelopes, RSVP envelopes, STDs and thank you cards - a surprisingly big chunk of change. This is very helpful feedback. I really don't want to spend $1000 on paper and it hurts the environmentalist in me to create that much waste, but we'll want all the stuff you mentioned - I don't anticipate getting a caligrapher or anything, and I'd want to keep it somewhat simple, but we'll need a lot of stuff here. 

    $1,000 seems low for a DOC as well, but you've probably gotten quotes so maybe not in your area. I have not, this was just an estimate. Again, dully noted.

    $5,000 seems high for a photographer unless you're getting top of the line, multiple day of shooters, multiple sessions (e.g. engagement, bridal, etc.), and/or several prints/albums. This is also helpful!! I went off of a girlfriend who is paying $6k for her photographer, but again, she's getting a super high end one. I can probably notch this down a bit (this is the only thing so far I've gotten to notch down haha)

    $500 seems a little low for bridal services, unless you aren't including tipping. Average, you'll probably have two hair appointments ($100+/ea), 2 make up appts ($80-100/ea), mani/pedi ($100+). $500 would just barely cover it without tipping. Eh, yeah you're probably right. I normally pay $40 for my monthly mani pedi, but point taken.

    This is extraordinarily helpful. Some answers in the quote
    southernbelle0915
  • Tips for your vendors - are they included in the fees that you assigned to each?
  • When we were creating our budget, we used a wedding budget calculator, might have been from here, that gave you the % of the total budget each item should cost. Of course some things cost more, some cost less.

    Depends on your area, but unless you really are looking for someone specific, you can find a JOP for less than $1000. You could potentially also find less than $5k for photography- depends on what you want.
    missJeanLouise
  • SP29 said:
    When we were creating our budget, we used a wedding budget calculator, might have been from here, that gave you the % of the total budget each item should cost. Of course some things cost more, some cost less.

    Depends on your area, but unless you really are looking for someone specific, you can find a JOP for less than $1000. You could potentially also find less than $5k for photography- depends on what you want.

    Thanks - again, these were my random estimates and this is exactly the feedback I'm looking for. I've revised my photog budget down to $3k (since I don't want multiple days/shooters/etc, I just want fairly standard wedding photography) and will look into the JOP thing more.
  • NYC - your cake budget is low by at least half or more in comparison to the rest of the budget.  For the "level" of event you're planning, you're going to want to triple that part of the budget.  Same for your Groom's attire.  That said, your band budget seems high considering the costs of acts that are out there (this from a performer's perspective - great your budget is living wage, OTOH, js you'd be amazed the level of performer you can get for that)...  
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    PrettyGirlLost
  • MesmrEwe said:
    NYC - your cake budget is low by at least half or more in comparison to the rest of the budget.  For the "level" of event you're planning, you're going to want to triple that part of the budget.  Same for your Groom's attire.  That said, your band budget seems high considering the costs of acts that are out there (this from a performer's perspective - great your budget is living wage, OTOH, js you'd be amazed the level of performer you can get for that)...  

    Thanks! We actually booked a venue today and it includes a designed custom cake in the PP price, yay! Price is $175 PP, including premium open bar including a signature cocktail and champagne toast, 8 passed apps, 2 stations, salad course, choice of entrees, and desert buffet and custom designed cake. Also includes valet service, coat check, a bridal attendant. Plus tax and tip, so actually $230 PP all in. I know it's not cheap, but it does feel like good value.

    TBH - my groom is wearing a tux he already owns, most likely. He got one custom tailored for him as a GM in a wedding this year, and it looks amazing on him. I don't really see any reason for him to buy a new one? unless I'm crazy. Maybe he'll add some new pocket square/bow tie/cuff links, but I actually feel like we can cut that down.

    On the band, my thinking is, "we really want an awesome band!" and people have been telling us anything from $5k to $15k. I wanted to make sure we had room for it in the budget, though I definitely hope to find something I love for under $10k
    I’m normally just a lurker here, but I had to chime in with a band recommendation! My H and I were married a little over 4 years ago in the northern NJ suburbs of NYC. We had a band called Rock and Soul at our wedding and they cost us about $9k. They were AMAZING and a pleasure to work with - the band can be configured in many different ways to fit your venue space and budget. They also have a videographer if you are interested in that. Congratulations on your engagement and good luck with your planning! 
    short+sassy
  • MrsRap720 said:
    MesmrEwe said:
    NYC - your cake budget is low by at least half or more in comparison to the rest of the budget.  For the "level" of event you're planning, you're going to want to triple that part of the budget.  Same for your Groom's attire.  That said, your band budget seems high considering the costs of acts that are out there (this from a performer's perspective - great your budget is living wage, OTOH, js you'd be amazed the level of performer you can get for that)...  

    Thanks! We actually booked a venue today and it includes a designed custom cake in the PP price, yay! Price is $175 PP, including premium open bar including a signature cocktail and champagne toast, 8 passed apps, 2 stations, salad course, choice of entrees, and desert buffet and custom designed cake. Also includes valet service, coat check, a bridal attendant. Plus tax and tip, so actually $230 PP all in. I know it's not cheap, but it does feel like good value.

    TBH - my groom is wearing a tux he already owns, most likely. He got one custom tailored for him as a GM in a wedding this year, and it looks amazing on him. I don't really see any reason for him to buy a new one? unless I'm crazy. Maybe he'll add some new pocket square/bow tie/cuff links, but I actually feel like we can cut that down.

    On the band, my thinking is, "we really want an awesome band!" and people have been telling us anything from $5k to $15k. I wanted to make sure we had room for it in the budget, though I definitely hope to find something I love for under $10k
    I’m normally just a lurker here, but I had to chime in with a band recommendation! My H and I were married a little over 4 years ago in the northern NJ suburbs of NYC. We had a band called Rock and Soul at our wedding and they cost us about $9k. They were AMAZING and a pleasure to work with - the band can be configured in many different ways to fit your venue space and budget. They also have a videographer if you are interested in that. Congratulations on your engagement and good luck with your planning! 

    Thank you!!! I will look into them. 


  • TBH - my groom is wearing a tux he already owns, most likely. He got one custom tailored for him as a GM in a wedding this year, and it looks amazing on him. I don't really see any reason for him to buy a new one? unless I'm crazy. Maybe he'll add some new pocket square/bow tie/cuff links, but I actually feel like we can cut that down.


    Totally fine to wear a tux he already owns, particularly if it is custom tailored. Unless he was planning on buying a new one, it'll fit better than anything he can rent. Make it new again with the pocket square/bowtie/cuff links.
    short+sassycharlotte989875

  • On the band, my thinking is, "we really want an awesome band!" and people have been telling us anything from $5k to $15k. I wanted to make sure we had room for it in the budget, though I definitely hope to find something I love for under $10k
    Current Affair gets my most enthusiastic recommendation.  They’re one of the best bands I’ve heard- they sounded amazing whether playing oldies or current hits. A quartet for cocktail hour and full band for 4.5 hour reception was $8,000 (in 2013).
  • eileenrob said:

    On the band, my thinking is, "we really want an awesome band!" and people have been telling us anything from $5k to $15k. I wanted to make sure we had room for it in the budget, though I definitely hope to find something I love for under $10k
    Current Affair gets my most enthusiastic recommendation.  They’re one of the best bands I’ve heard- they sounded amazing whether playing oldies or current hits. A quartet for cocktail hour and full band for 4.5 hour reception was $8,000 (in 2013).

    I actually just contacted them! They quoted me $8100 for the 4-hour reception and guitarist at cocktail hour. Great to hear the recommendation! Love the videos so far
    charlotte989875
  • eileenrob said:

    On the band, my thinking is, "we really want an awesome band!" and people have been telling us anything from $5k to $15k. I wanted to make sure we had room for it in the budget, though I definitely hope to find something I love for under $10k
    Current Affair gets my most enthusiastic recommendation.  They’re one of the best bands I’ve heard- they sounded amazing whether playing oldies or current hits. A quartet for cocktail hour and full band for 4.5 hour reception was $8,000 (in 2013).

    I actually just contacted them! They quoted me $8100 for the 4-hour reception and guitarist at cocktail hour. Great to hear the recommendation! Love the videos so far
    They’re out of this world.  I know it’s hard to believe that they performed Frank Sinatra and Frankie Valli songs as well as Gangnam Style and Blurred Lines (again, it was 2013  :D) but they really did.
     Happy planning!  You seem to have a real handle on things but if you need any other NYC area recs let me know.
  • eileenrob said:
    eileenrob said:

    On the band, my thinking is, "we really want an awesome band!" and people have been telling us anything from $5k to $15k. I wanted to make sure we had room for it in the budget, though I definitely hope to find something I love for under $10k
    Current Affair gets my most enthusiastic recommendation.  They’re one of the best bands I’ve heard- they sounded amazing whether playing oldies or current hits. A quartet for cocktail hour and full band for 4.5 hour reception was $8,000 (in 2013).

    I actually just contacted them! They quoted me $8100 for the 4-hour reception and guitarist at cocktail hour. Great to hear the recommendation! Love the videos so far
    They’re out of this world.  I know it’s hard to believe that they performed Frank Sinatra and Frankie Valli songs as well as Gangnam Style and Blurred Lines (again, it was 2013  :D) but they really did.
     Happy planning!  You seem to have a real handle on things but if you need any other NYC area recs let me know.

    Awesome - thank you! I'll PM you
    eileenrob
  • eileenrob said:
    eileenrob said:

    On the band, my thinking is, "we really want an awesome band!" and people have been telling us anything from $5k to $15k. I wanted to make sure we had room for it in the budget, though I definitely hope to find something I love for under $10k
    Current Affair gets my most enthusiastic recommendation.  They’re one of the best bands I’ve heard- they sounded amazing whether playing oldies or current hits. A quartet for cocktail hour and full band for 4.5 hour reception was $8,000 (in 2013).

    I actually just contacted them! They quoted me $8100 for the 4-hour reception and guitarist at cocktail hour. Great to hear the recommendation! Love the videos so far
    They’re out of this world.  I know it’s hard to believe that they performed Frank Sinatra and Frankie Valli songs as well as Gangnam Style and Blurred Lines (again, it was 2013  :D) but they really did.
     Happy planning!  You seem to have a real handle on things but if you need any other NYC area recs let me know.

    Also - I am so impressed you think I have a handle on things! This whole process has been SO foreign to me
    eileenrob
  • eileenrob said:
    eileenrob said:

    On the band, my thinking is, "we really want an awesome band!" and people have been telling us anything from $5k to $15k. I wanted to make sure we had room for it in the budget, though I definitely hope to find something I love for under $10k
    Current Affair gets my most enthusiastic recommendation.  They’re one of the best bands I’ve heard- they sounded amazing whether playing oldies or current hits. A quartet for cocktail hour and full band for 4.5 hour reception was $8,000 (in 2013).

    I actually just contacted them! They quoted me $8100 for the 4-hour reception and guitarist at cocktail hour. Great to hear the recommendation! Love the videos so far
    They’re out of this world.  I know it’s hard to believe that they performed Frank Sinatra and Frankie Valli songs as well as Gangnam Style and Blurred Lines (again, it was 2013  :D) but they really did.
     Happy planning!  You seem to have a real handle on things but if you need any other NYC area recs let me know.

    Also - I am so impressed you think I have a handle on things! This whole process has been SO foreign to me
    You just seem very organized and level headed :) it was foreign to me too when I was wedding planning.
  • Marriage license and any premarital counseling costs?
    "Marriage is so disruptive to one's social circle." - Mr. Woodhouse
  • Marriage license and any premarital counseling costs?

    Thank you - I don't think we plan to do premarital counseling, but will obviously need a marriage lisence
    LadyCatherineDB
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards