Photo: LK Griffin Photography
One of the first things you need to do when starting to plan your wedding — besides shouting your engagement from the rooftops and posting a million ring selfies on social media — is to figure out your budget. It's not the most fun part of the bridal journey, but it is one of the most critical.
We've already shared how to use $15,000, $25,000 and $40,000 budgets, so now we're breaking down the details for couples that are aiming to spend a little less, with $10,000 allocated for their big day. And for couples that are working with a different budget entirely, visit our wedding budget tracker to calculate your own custom wedding budget and track payments.
Dress & Style: $1,300
You've got $600 to spend on your wedding dress, and — great news — there are tons of gorgeous and unique gowns for under $1,000 to peruse. Just remember that this number should include alternations, too. If you're planning to accessorize with a headpiece or veil, you have $100 to spend, $100 for your shoes, extra accessories, and jewelry and around $200 for hair, makeup and any beauty trials. Your groom has $100 to spend on his tuxedo or suit, and for your wedding bands, you should plan to spend no more than $200 on both.
Paper Products: $400
Plan to spend around $300 on your invitations and thank-you cards. Having a hard time picking the perfect customized suite? Visit the BRIDES stationery shop, where you can mix and match your favorite paper picks. While you're browsing wedding stationery, keep in mind that you have an additional $100 total to spend on any escort cards, menus and ceremony programs.
See More: Wedding Budget Myths Debunked
Ceremony & Reception: $5,500
Prepare to spend the biggest chunk of your budget in these areas. Plan to spend $200 total on any ceremony fees and officiant donations while your reception, including the venue, rentals, food service, bartenders and beverages should set you back about $4,200. You've then got $200 to put toward a wedding cake and $900 total for ceremony and reception music.
Accommodations & Transportation: $300
If you're planning an amazing entrance or getaway, keep your budget in mind, which allows $150 for any limo or car rentals, another $150 for guest shuttles or parking and $50 for a post-nuptials hotel room to relax after you say "I do."
Flowers & Décor: $900
Start with your bouquet since you have about $75 to spend on bridal blooms. Then pick out bouquets for your bridesmaids for a total of $100. Boutonnieres and your flower girl's loose petals or arrangement should cost no more than $40 total. As for ceremony and reception décor, including a chuppah, aisle runner or centerpieces plan to spend no more than $685.
Photo & Video: $1,200
Find a photographer in your area to capture all of your wedding memories for $700, and then you've got another $500 to spend on a videographer.
Favors & Gifts: $400
Don't forget to send your wedding party off with a little something special! Plan to spend on tokens for your bridesmaids and groomsmen, another $100 to spend on any gifts for guests and, if you want to thank your parents separately, another $100.