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Budget is not a dirty word!

Everyone has a budget for their events.  Whether they admit it or not, it's there.  Some clients prefer to get a lot of bids on aspects of their event, wedding, party and then compile a budget.  Many people really don't know what a reasonable cost is for specific line items; for instance flowers, limos and transportation, favors, music and catering. This example with focus on wedding budgets.  There is a percentage system that is used sometimes for weddings in particular and helps to give a guideline. 
This example came from Mahalo.com and provides a good benchmark for a percentage system.
Keep in mind that everyone has different priorities, certain things are imperative for some and not at all important to others.  You don't have to have everything on any list to have a perfect wedding!

Wedding Expenses
  • Use the budget planner of your choice to add up your wedding expenses one item at a time. To get a quick overview of major wedding expenses, see below:
  1. Ceremony and Overall Expenses:
    1. Buying wedding attire (Typically, attire is 10% of wedding budget)
    2. Buying wedding rings.
    3. Buying wedding invitations. (3% of the total)
    4. Renting a ceremony venue.
    5. Hiring a photographer and videographer. (Runs from 7% to 12% of your budget)
    6. Buying flowers and decorations. (8% of your budget)
    7. Transportation.
  2. Reception Expenses (This is generally 40% to 50% of your entire budget):
    1. Renting the reception hall.
    2. Hiring a caterer.
    3. Hiring entertainment.
  3. Account for peripheral and hidden costs:
    1. Your honeymoon expenses.
    2. Special parties, such as the rehearsal dinner.
    3. Taxes on goods, from the wedding dress to the wedding ring.
    4. Tips on services, from the catering staff to the ceremony officiant.
    5. Overtime costs, such as running over your booked time for the reception venue or your limo service.
  4. Add it all up: This is how much the wedding is going to cost: $_________.

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