How To Make A REALISTIC Wedding Budget

In this video, Jamie Wolfer will be breaking down a realistic wedding budget for couples with an estimated budget of $30,000.

Jamie mentions that these numbers are more like guidelines, and couples have the freedom to adjust the budget as per their preference.

She provides an overview of different line items, including venue, food, coordination, drinks, rentals, photography and videography, wedding flowers, attire, DJ, stationery, hair and makeup, and favors, and gives a rough estimate of how much a couple should allocate for each.

The goal of the video is to provide a starting point for couples to plan their budget and adjust it according to their specific needs and preferences.

Jamie Wolfer's Realistic Wedding Budget Breakdown

Following lovely humans and welcome back to my channel if you are watching this on wedding chicks or over on Facebook, thank you so much for stopping by today we are going to be doing an actual realistic wedding budget breakdown.

I picked $30,000 because that tends to be where most of the couples that I work with fall within but that's not to say that if you are working with a $20,000 budget or a $40,000 budget that you can't base some of your numbers off of the numbers that I'm about to give you.

Let me make a disclaimer. You may pay a lot more for one specific line item than I've allotted. Or way less for another line item than I've allotted know that you absolutely have freedom to do that. But when you're trying to stick to a budget, these numbers are more like guidelines. So without further ado, let's break it down.

Wedding Venue 

The biggest line item for your wedding day will most likely without a doubt be your venue I've had plenty of success with using the number 5000 It does mean that you have to look a little bit harder and it does mean that sometimes you have to be a little bit more creative but there are plenty of options out there. It puts you in a better position to pay a little bit more towards some of the other things that you're going to need for your wedding day as well.

Wedding Food Cost 

Miscellaneous expenses are all the additional costs that come up when planning a wedding. These can include things like wedding attire and accessories, such as dresses, suits, and shoes for the wedding party, or special decorations and props for the ceremony or reception.

While these costs may not be as large as other wedding expenses like venue rental or catering, it is still important to budget for them. On average, most couples spend about 10% of their total cost of wedding on miscellaneous expenses.

When budgeting for this category, it is important to consider how many people are in the wedding party and what kind of items will be needed for them. Additionally, if there are any special decorations desired for the ceremony or reception, be sure to factor those costs into your budget too.

Day Of Wedding Co-ordinator

Good ol coordination. It wouldn't be my channel if I didn't pitch you some coordination numbers. I think it is absolutely necessary for you to have at least a day of coordinator there for your event. And I would dedicate about $2,000 to this line item in your budget that can be more long term depending on the coordinator that you select or it can be just a month of services. It just depends on who you booked...

Wedding Drinks - Alcohol and Non-Alcoholic

Drinks alcoholic and non alcoholic I would say you should devote about $2,000 towards that stick to beer wine and then a couple of non alcoholic options like water iced tea and lemonade both for disposable cups as well because they tend to keep costs down

Wedding Rentals 

Regarding hosting a special event, one of the most important elements are the fancy boxed invitations. These stationery and invitations can easily become one of the bigger expenses associated with an event, so it is important to budget for these costs accordingly. Depending on the size and style of invitation desired, the costs can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars per invitation.

The best way to determine a budget for these items is to contact local stationers and get quotes for various styles of cards and envelopes. This will give you an idea of what you should plan for when it comes to miscellaneous costs associated with your event.

Wedding Rentals 

(Wedding) rentals. This is absolutely no frills, rental $1,500 tables, chairs, linens, hopefully you can squeeze in some china and some flatware in that as well. And if not, I would go disposable for those....

Average Cost For Photography and Videography 

(Wedding) photography and videography.... I put both of these at $2,500 Each.  Photography may be extremely important to you and you may want to devote way more money to that than I've just said. Or you may not even include videography and your wedding budget. Again, move these numbers around a little bit if you need to, but put 2500 in both of those categories

Wedding Flowers 

Wedding flowers.... This includes all the personal so bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, flower crowns, any of the centerpieces and any sort of arch or arbor or other miscellaneous displays that you want to have included. $2,500 is kind of on the lower end of things, but it's a good number to work with. It might mean you have to make a couple of sacrifices when it comes to the number of arrangements that you have. But $2,500 is a pretty good place to start.

Wedding Day Attire 

Wedding day attire.... This includes dress shoes, underwear suit, shoes for the groom, any sort of hair accessories, the whole kit and caboodle. $2,000. For both of you combined, I would devote about 15 Yeah $1,500 That to the bride and about $500 Back to the groom. Does that a whole lot to work with but there are tons of dress options that fall within that keep in mind that you may need to get some tailoring done for either one of you. So that should be included in that budget too.

Hair and Make-up 

Hair and makeup.... and this is just for bride only should run about $300 150 for your face 150 for your hair sidenote, this may not include a trial. So that could be extra and sometimes a hair and makeup artists will not come out for wedding day if they're only doing it for one person. So if you if you come across that know that that's really really normal. And Rope in some bridesmaids and maybe your mom and the mother of the groom to get their hair and makeup done as well to make it a little bit more worth that artists while

Officiant if you're hiring professional efficient by $500 is the number that you're gonna want to be looking at. I know a lot of brides use a family member or a friend to do this instead.

Wedding Favors

Favors........ if you're going to do that. (She really doesn't like wedding favors) I would say get that about 500 bucks I talked about this before so I do think that you can skip this one for sure. Because a lot of times people forget to take them but if you aren't going to do them 500 bucks


and last but most certainly not least you have to have a category for this. This can make or break a budget sometimes you need to have a miscellaneous category. This covers anything that pops up out of nowhere that you kind-a need to plan for why because there's always something that pops up out of nowhere that you did not plan for it for this category I would say $1,500 is safe.

Again guidelines, not rules. This could include a cake cutting fee that you weren't anticipating or having to hire a service staff because you don't have anybody to bust the tables or the header. Now the list goes on. There's a lot of stuff that could come and just like pop up out of nowhere.

  1. Set a realistic budget: Before planning your wedding, decide how much you can realistically afford to spend on your wedding.
  2. Prioritize: Before making any decisions, figure out what is most important to you and your partner and allocate funds accordingly. For example, if having great food is really important

The answer to this question will depend on the type of project you are planning and what other aspects of the wedding you have already taken care of. Generally, it is best to start planning DIY projects at least 3-6 months before the wedding date so that you have plenty of time to complete them.

A good budget for a simple wedding can vary greatly depending on the location, the size of the wedding, and other factors. Generally speaking, a simple wedding can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 or more.

The cost of a homemade wedding can vary drastically, depending on the size and scope of the event. A small, intimate backyard wedding can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, while a larger wedding with more guests and more decorations could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 or more.

The cheapest way to have a wedding is to keep it small and simple. Hold the ceremony in a public location such as a park, beach, or your own backyard. Have a potluck reception with family and friends providing food and drinks. Opt for online invitations instead of paper ones and skip the flowers, decorations, and favors.


  1. Set a budget: Determine your total budget for the wedding, including expenses such as venue, catering, decor, and entertainment.
  2. Create a guest list: Decide who you want to invite to the wedding and create a spreadsheet or guest list tracker to help keep track of RSVPs.

Yes, it is possible to decorate your own wedding. There are many DIY projects that can help you create a beautiful and unique wedding space. Depending on your budget and the time you have available, you can make custom decorations, use items from thrift stores or craft stores, or rent items from speciality vendors.

A realistic wedding budget will vary depending on the size and scope of the wedding. Generally, couples should plan to spend 35-40% of their total wedding budget on the reception, 10-15% on attire, 10-15% on flowers and decorations, 8-10% on entertainment, 8-10% on photography

  1. . Choose a wedding venue and book it for the ceremony.
    2. Hire an officiant to conduct the ceremony.
    3. Plan the order of events for the ceremony, including readings and music.
    4. Decide on wedding reception area. 


So if you were jotting those down or following along with me that comes out to $29,500 So if you set for those numbers can come in under budget, you can find some honestly really, really wonderful vendors within those prices ranges.

You can do it and also so good to not go over budget who doesn't like staying within budget.

A couple of things that I did not include in that list would be transportation, hotel stay, gifts for your attendance, photo booth and rings, and I'm sure there's a bunch of other things that some people consider to be part of their wedding budget, but I didn't add them here.

The reason that I did that is because one if you're working with a $30,000 budget, a photo booth a little bit more of an add in or a little bit more of a luxury you may be able to find some ways to squeeze that in.

But I would put that on the backburner to make sure you devote the money where you need it transportation and hotel stay on people or Uber or driving their own vehicles or being driven by family members or friends and a lot of couples are foregoing the hotel save and either their wedding because they want to devote more of that money towards a honeymoon or the actual event itself and rings and it's really difficult to come up with a number for rings.

I would consider those outside of your wedding budget.

That's all we have for today. Folks, thank you so much for for hanging out with me for a little bit if this was helpful. And this was all fun.

LightMaster Studios - Final Thoughts on Creating a Realistic Wedding Budget

When it comes to planning a wedding, having a clear and realistic budget is crucial. The average cost of a wedding can range from $30,000 to $50,000, with the venue accounting for the biggest expense at around $5,000.

Other important elements to consider in your budget include food, coordination, drinks, rentals, photography, videography, wedding flowers, wedding day attire, DJ, stationery, hair and makeup, and favors, which can total up to around $30,000.

Wedding vendors such as a planner can be helpful in ensuring you stay within your budget and get the most value for your money.

However, keep in mind that these figures are only guidelines, and you can adjust your budget as per your preference and requirements.

So, set a realistic wedding budget, seek assistance from a wedding planner if needed, and turn your dream wedding into a reality.

Managing wedding expenses can be both exciting and overwhelming, and having a realistic budget is essential to ensure your big day is memorable and enjoyable without going overboard.

The cost of a wedding can vary based on factors such as the number of guests, location, wedding party, invitations, bands, ceremony, and favors. The average cost of a wedding in the US is around $30,000, with the venue and catering accounting for the largest percentage of the total budget. But don't fret, you can still have a beautiful wedding without overspending.

By prioritizing expenses, getting creative with DIY projects, and allocating funds based on personal values and priorities, you can save money and still have your dream wedding.

Remember, your wedding day is all about celebrating your love and commitment to each other, and with careful planning and realistic expectations, you can make it an unforgettable experience while staying within your budget.

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