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Wedding Budget Hacks

Wedding Budget

The wedding budget should not control your wedding day, but will probably make a few decisions. There is a way to have the wedding you want without sacrifice. We are sharing a few tips for planning with your wedding budget.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is the total amount you will use to create your dream wedding. Mom and dad might not be financing the big day. Determine how much you can spend, and if possible, recruit some contributors. The wedding budget requires a list of who is paying for what. Traditionally, the bride's parents pay for the wedding. The groom’s parents usually pay for and host the rehearsal dinner. Sometimes the groom’s family helps pay for the flowers and the bar. It is common for couples to pay for their own weddings. You might find aunts and uncles willing to contribute to some portion of the event, such as invitations or catering. Once you have a solid number for your wedding budget, you will need to utilize some creative wedding finance to make it work.

Making the Wedding Budget Work

Your wedding budget must work to create the experience you envision. The wedding venue, guest count, catering and every element of your magical day will have a number. Knowing how to spend is the key. Most wedding planners have a formula that estimates the percentage you should spend in each category in the wedding budget. It is important that you discover all the hacks to help you save in each category.

Wedding Budget for the Venue and Catering

The venue and the catering are probably going to be the most expensive items in the budget. Keep in mind that these are also the most important. You will need to budget for the ceremony, reception, furnishings, catering, alcohol, cake and dessert. Plan to spend about 50% of your wedding budget on this category.

Wedding Budget

Catering Hacks

A professional caterer with a reputation will cost between $25 and $40 per plate. Catering can cost less or much more, depending on quality, talent and reputation. Negotiate and customize your packages to receive the most savings. Having a drop-off service that works with the banquet staff at your wedding venue can deliver a superior dining experience for much less. Drop-off service is not right for everyone. If you desire full-service wedding catering with plated meals and table service, be prepared to pay more.

The Wedding Cake

Baking a cake is a labor-intensive project. The cost is determined by the effort, time, materials, size and all the embellishments. A larger cake will be more expensive than a smaller one, since there are more materials and it takes more hours to bake and design it. Fondant is more expensive than buttercream. Adding extra fillings and flavors can drive up the cost. You should also consider the topper and other embellishments. The cost of a wedding cake is commonly calculated by the slice. The average cost is about $8 to $10 per slice. Using dummy tiers can add to the wow factor and save on the cost of creating those skyscraper tiers. Keep in mind that the designer will still charge to decorate the extra tiers.

Wedding Budget

Wedding Venue Hacks

Hosting your wedding ceremony and reception at one venue can create more savings. An all-inclusive venue allows you to host both events at one location. This can eliminate the extra expense of securing two locations and the transportation between. These types of venues include all of the furnishings and décor, which can save more in the wedding budget.

Documenting Your Wedding Day

The photography and videography can consume about 12% to 15% of your wedding budget. Wedding photography is one of the most important elements of your wedding day. This is one area that all wedding planners agree is a true investment. The cake will be devoured, flowers will wilt, and the dress will be retired to storage. The wedding photography is a true keepsake. The average couple spends between $2,500 and $5,000 on their wedding photography. Reputation, skill, talent and style can drive the cost up or down.

Wedding Budget for Entertainment

The wedding entertainment will be one of the most remembered elements of your wedding day. On average, couples allocate about 7% to 10% of their wedding budget for the entertainment. A live band exists on the opposite end of the spectrum as the DJ. They both might play the same music, but each will provide a different experience at a very different cost. Talent, popularity and time can drive the cost up or down for both. The average DJ costs between $800 and $2,000. In contrast, the average cost of a live band is between $2,000 and $6,000. Keep in mind that you can pay more or less for your talent.

Wedding Budget

Wedding Budget for the Transportation

Transportation costs will depend on the type of entrance and exit you want to make. Sports cars and rare vintage cars can cost the most. You might envision an arrival with your wedding party in a party bus. The bride and groom usually arrive separately and make their exit together. Most couples only spend about 2% of their wedding budget on the transportation. The amount you spend will be determined by your vision and your bottom line.

Budgeting for the Décor

According to wedding planners, most couples spend between 6% and 10% of their wedding budget on the flowers and décor. Wedding flowers range from $2,000 to $5,000, and can cost much more. How much you spend on your wedding flowers will depend on the types of blooms you choose and the amount of flowers you require to create your dreamy space. The flowers might not be up for compromise, but if they are, quality artificial flowers can be combined with fresh flowers to stretch the wedding budget. You might choose to forego fresh flowers altogether and design with silk floral arrangements. An all-inclusive wedding venue includes the flowers and décor.

Wedding Budget

Crystal Ballroom on the Lake

Create your dream wedding at Crystal Ballroom on the Lake. The everything included concept will save you thousands on planning your fairy tale. Services include professional wedding designers to decorate the entire ceremony space and reception ballroom, bartender service and banquet staff. All of the furnishings, chinaware, flowers and designs are included. Hand select your centerpieces, colors and accent pieces. Contact Crystal Ballroom on the Lake to begin planning your wedding day.


We invite you to discover the
Crystal Ballroom difference found in the unparalleled elegance and uniqueness written into the design of each of our venues. The themes are as limitless as your imagination.

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