Wedding Budget Breakdown: How to Allocate Your Funds

September 10, 2021

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Wedding Budget Tips and Wedding Budget Breakdown More Wedding Planning Tips from Indiana Wedding Photographer

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 traveled 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.

Budget Increases

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.

Big Picture

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.

Wedding planning checklist and timeline by indiana wedding photographer courtney rudicel


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Creating Your Wedding Day Timeline

I’d love to chat about your wedding day dreams!

Courtney is a Wedding Photographer in Indiana. Her specialty is joyful, timeless and playfully romantic wedding photography for classic and timeless couples and educating photographers on how to build a business that delivers an unforgettable client experience. Within Indiana, she serves Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Lafayette, Bloomington and South Bend. Areas in surrounding states that she serves: Columbus, Dayton, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, Ohio; Ann Arbor, Battle Creek and Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is available for destination weddings. Contact her for investment details and reserve your date.

xo, Court

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And I'm so glad you're here! I'm an Indiana wedding photographer and educator creating the ultimate client experience for playfully romantic, detail-oriented brides and teaching other photographers to do the same! I believe in creating relationships with my couples to create the truly genuine and joyful imagery that you find in my work!

Hi! I'm Courtney!


Most couples book their wedding celebration with me as far out as 18 months. Get in touch to reserve your date.

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