Cost Breakdown and Budget Percentages

A lot of research has been done in connection to the percentage breakdown of a wedding budget.

The below table is the result of all this research:



Venue, Catering & Décor


Attire & Accessories


Photographer & Videographer












Officiant & Legal


Stationary & favours


You may be looking at this table and thinking that it does not look right, and that is fine...

This table represents the average percentages based on hundreds of weddings.

The reason I am sharing this table with you is not for it to be used as a literal representation of how you should break up your budget, but simply to give you an idea of what the average percentages are.

You can use it as a guideline or starting point from where you can adjust the percentages as needed to fit in with your requirements, preferences and personality.

Further more you can have a look at our Budget Checklist to help you keep track of the costs, payments as well as paperwork.

There are 2 aspects that we have not worked into the percentage breakdown:

   1. Wedding Planner

When it comes to your wedding a wedding planner can make life a lot easier for you, from supplier referrals to timeline creation and even wedding day setup and management.

If you are looking at using a planner you can expect to put aside between 3 and 15% of your budget depending on the services you require.

   2. Honeymoon

We did not include the honeymoon in the budget breakdown as it is not an essential part of the wedding itself, however we do believe that it is still a very important part of the whole experience - it allows you as a newlywed couple to celebrate this new beginning together.

When looking at your honeymoon budget you need to keep the following in mind:

  • Travel/flights
  • Accommodation
  • Activities (scuba diving, bungee jumping, wine tasting, etc)
  • Spending money

We have also included a detailed list of the cost breakdown of the 11 basic aspect below, just to help you get a sense of what each aspect holds and make sure you don’t forget anything. Keep in mind that it serves only as a guideline.

   1. Ceremony & Reception


  • Ceremony venue (this may be separate from reception venue)
  • Reception venue
  • Church donation
  • Accommodation (honeymoon suit/guest rooms)
  • Security



  • Basics - tables, chairs, cutlery, crockery, linen, etc. (most venues include these)
  • Specialty Décor - tenting, lanterns, candelabras, centrepieces etc.



  • Welcome drinks and hors d’oeuvres
  • Champagne for the toasts
  • Open bar and/or complementary drinks (e.g. wine is on the house but the guests need to pay for other drinks)
  • Bar rental & corkage fees
  • Tasting appointment (if not complimentary with your catering package)
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Plated, buffet, or family-style meal
  • Coffee and tea
  • Service Staff (waiters and barmen) incl gratuity fee (tips)
  • Setup and/or cleanup fees

   2. Wedding Attire

  • Engagement party outfits, shoes and accessories
  • Engagement photos outfits, shoes and accessories
  • Bridal shower outfits, shoes and accessories
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette outfits, shoes and accessories
  • Rehearsal dinner outfits, shoes and accessories
  • Wedding dress, alterations, veil, shoes, jewellery, lingerie & accessories
  • Maid of honour/Bridesmaids outfits, shoes and accessories
  • Groom’s outfit, shoes and accessories
  • Best man/Groomsmen outfits, shoes and accessories
  • Reception/After party outfit (if the bride is changing out of her dress)
  • Post-Wedding brunch outfit, shoes and accessories
  • Wedding dress cleaning and preservation

   3. Photography and Videography

  • Engagement session
  • Rehearsal dinner coverage
  • Wedding day coverage
  • Albums or prints
  • Same day edit
  • Raw footage
  • Highlight reel
  • Feature film

   4. Engagement and wedding rings

  • Engagement ring
  • Wedding rings and resizing fee
  • Wedding rings insurance
  • Any customization/engraving

   5. Cakes

  • Cake Display and cutting knife
  • Sheet cake for extra servings
  • Specialty design elements (like sugar flowers or hand painting)
  • Cake topper
  • Cake stand
  • Delivery fee
  • Preservation kit for one-year anniversary
  • Wedding cake flowers (if additional cake décor is needed)

   6. Flowers

  • Bouquets for bride and bridesmaids, and if required a toss bouquet
  • Boutonnières for groom, groomsmen, fathers and/or grandfathers
  • Corsages for mothers and/or grandmothers
  • Flowers and accessories for the flower girl(s)/ring bearer(s)
  • Ceremony arch
  • Ceremony arrangements
  • Petals for the chapel aisle
  • Reception centrepieces (guest tables, guest book table, food stations, etc.)
  • Delivery fees

   7. Music

Please note that most venues may include a DJ in their pricing which may or may not be mandatory.

  • Ceremony music
  • Welcome hour music (with welcome drinks and hors d’oeuvres)
  • Reception music
  • Microphone for wedding ceremony and reception toasts
  • Sound-system or extra speakers
  • Dance floor lighting, fog machine etc.

   8. Beauty

  • Waxing
  • Facials
  • Mani-Pedi
  • Nails
  • Spray tan
  • Lash extensions
  • Professional shave
  • Pre-wedding haircuts and/or colour
  • Hair trial appointment
  • Day-of wedding hairstyle
  • Makeup trial appointment
  • Day-of wedding makeup

   9. Stationery

  • Wedding Announcement
  • Save-the-Date Cards
  • Wedding Invitations
  • Thank-You Cards
  • Wedding Program
  • Place Cards
  • Seating arrangement
  • Welcome board
  • Menus
  • Favour labels
  • Postage and RSVP envelopes for invitations and thank you cards
  • Return address labels
  • Other Invites:
    • Engagement Party
    • Shower
    • Bachelor/Bachelorette Party
    • Rehearsal Dinner
    • After Party

   10. Favours

  • Wedding guest favours
  • Wedding party gifts
  • Gifts for your flower girl(s) or ring bearer(s)
  • Spouse gifts
  • Parents gifts
  • Welcome baskets for out-of-town guests

   11. Miscellaneous

  • Officiant fee
  • Ceremony accessories (ring pillow, flower girl basket, unity candle, etc.)
  • Transport
    • Bridal party (and if applicable guests) to the ceremony venue and reception venue (if different from ceremony venue)
    • Shuttle service to transport guests to/from their hotels
    • Valet Parking Services
  • Wedding/liability insurance
  • Liquor license (if not provided by the venue and/or caterer)
  • Overtime fees
  • Parking Fees
  • Extras (photo booth, chocolate fountain, etc)