Hey guys! It's Hannah again!

Today, we're talking about wedding budgets! There are a lot of resources online that are super helpful but it's important to keep in mind that there can be a lot of discrepancies when it comes to budgeting. Finding the budget planners online are definitely a great start, but depending on what city you're getting married in, cost for things can vary greatly. 

When I started looking at wedding budgets, I did what any bride would do and I resorted to Pinterest! I found a typical wedding budget on Pinterest and used that as a guide to doing a more realistic budget for a Savannah wedding. 

For this "wedding" we're going to be looking at a budget of $30,000 and a guest count of 100 people. Your wedding and budget are going to be different, but this will still give you a good idea!

TIME TO CRUNCH NUMBERS!

I used a few different budget outlines, but one of the ones I used set it up this way:

  • Catering- 39%
  • Photography/Videography- 12%
  • Ceremony/Reception Venue- 9%
  • Flowers- 8%
  • Music- 8%
  • Dress- 8%
  • Invitations- 3%
  • Cake- 2%
  • Wedding Rings- 2%
  • Wedding Planner- 2%
  • Transportation- 1%
  • Favors & Gifts- 1%
  • Officiant-  1%
  • Hair/Makeup- 1%
  • Tux- 1%
  • Misc Charges/Additional Costs- 2%

When I started doing the math with the $30,000 and the percentages, certain things came up either too high or too low for typical Savannah vendors. I also decided to take out things like; tux, dress and rings because they're very subjective to what you as a couple are looking for and are often not included in the wedding budget but rather are paid for separately by the parents, bride or a family member. 

IN THE END!

In the end, these are the percentages I had:

  • Catering- 40%
  • Photography/Videography- 11%
  • Reception Venue- 9.3%
  • Ceremony Venue- 2%
  • Rentals-  3.5%
  • Flowers- 8%
  • Music- 4%
  • Stationary- 5%
  • Cake- 2%
  • Planner- 8.3%
  • Transportation- 2%
  • Favors & Gifts- 1%
  • Officiant- 1%
  • Hair & Makeup- 0.9%
  • Misc- 2%

Catering is going to be one of the biggest expenses you're going to take on. This percentage includes, food, service, alcohol, cake and cake cutting fees. When trying to put together your catering budget, think of it as taking your guests out to a fancy dinner.  So whatever quality you're providing them with, is about how much you're going to spend. For example are you treating them to $70 steak and potatoes and a few drinks or a more casual meal - use this as a starting point estimate for how much your catering budget will be.

Photography is going to be one of the other big things you're going to want to think about when planning out your budget, but for an important reason... you want to pay for the quality since these pictures will be yours forever. There are good photographers in many price ranges, but this is still an expense where the quality is worth the money. You won't regret having beautiful pictures of your day!

I broke down the ceremony, venue and rental costs because there can be a lot of variance between all of them. Receptions and ceremonies can be separate or together and rentals can be included with venue or you have to do them separately. When doing the budget on this, keep in mind that rentals can include, linens, tables, chairs, bigger furniture, candles, decor, etc. Some things will be a need- chairs, tables, linens, but decor and candles will be a want so the percentage above will change depending on your vision and desires. 

Flowers are one of the bigger costs in any wedding and they can add up pretty quickly. It did end up being the same percentage, but I think it's important to note that you shouldn't underestimate this cost in your budgeting. They show your personality and wedding style and enhance your theme or color palette. Your bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnieres are the main things you'll take into account, but you will have to decide on if you're using flowers in your ceremony and reception. Having flowers as centerpieces or as a ceremony backdrop really make your wedding special.

For music, I decided to lower the percentage to almost half of what the original suggestion was due to the average quotes of DJ here in Savannah. If you're looking to add specialty lighting or your wedding logo, there will be additional costs and if you're thinking a band over a DJ it will be a lot more expensive. If you're looking to get married in a bigger city like New York City or in a smaller town, this percentage may change for you! 

I raised the stationary expense a little to include not just invitations, but RSVP's and wedding programs as well. This can also be adjusted to whatever your needs may be, but I feel like a lot of brides look for these three things in general. It's entirely up to you if you want to include escort cards, menus, or other paper goods and signage.

Skipping past cake, we go into hiring a wedding planner. This percentage can change a lot depending on whether or not you want one for the entire process or want someone for the day of your wedding. The good thing about having a wedding planner, even if it's just month of or day of, is that they know local vendors and how things work in your venue, who to talk to, and on the day of, they keep things on track and running smoothly so you don't have to think about it.

Transportation can also change a lot depending on your needs and where you are. Here in Savannah, many couples opt for the trolley or pedicabs (which aren't offered everywhere so it's a big hit) so I decided to raise the percentage a little higher. Depending on what city you're getting married in, the percent you may be looking at could be higher or lower. It also depends on what you're looking at to get you to and from your venue and if you're including guests.

On to hair and makeup! Most brides get hair and makeup for themselves for their wedding day (I mean, that's pretty obvious!) so this percentage includes just that. If you're looking to include more people like your bridal party or other people, this percentage will go up of course. We also have a lot of clients who will often offer the service to their bridal party and only pay for hair or makeup but not both. This is a great budget saver since this service is not cheap.

For our last little bit, the miscellaneous or additional cost. It is SO important to include a buffer amount into your budgeting. Things can come up and change and having some money to buffer the cost with will really help you in the long run and you'll be so thankful in the end. 

Well, that wraps it up for today! Thanks for reading and I hope this helps! Always keep in mind that costs will change depending on where you're getting married and what's important to you! This budget outline is a suggestion on the big things to think about and the categories listed could change depending on what you feel like you need over another. 

Lastly, if budgeting stresses you out, it may be helpful to hire a wedding planner to help you budget and stay on track. We have been planning weddings since 2012 and have a lot of experience with the cost of things in the Savannah area. We are still booking for 2018 and can't wait to hear from you!!! Click below for more information! 

[Photo Credits] (1 & 2) Oyster Bar & Candace and Kevin's Wedding; photography: Mackensey Alexander, venue: Omni Shorehouse // (3, 5 & 7) Flower Wall, Cake, Hair & Makeup via Coloring Book Styled Shoot; photography: Apt B Photography, venue: Welmont, featured on Wedding Chicks // (4 & 6) Cornhole Sign & Trolley Picture via Allison & Blake's Wedding; photography: Jenna Davis, calligraphy: McKenzie Does Calligraphy // (8) Sara & Logan; photography: Christina Karst

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