Wedding Expenses

Wedding Expenses

When planning a wedding it is very important to firstly work out your wedding budget before you start your planning. We suggest that when working out your budget be realistic and willing to compromise. As a couple you need to sit down and discuss exactly what it is you want and distinguish between the areas you are willing to compromise on and the areas that you might be willing to spend a bit more on. Once you have decided on a budget you need to stick to it as closely as you can so you do not end up running out of money or landing in debt to cover the expenses.

Below you will see the cost breakdown and budget percentages of wedding expenses.

Please note the percentages below are based on averages and should only be used as a guideline. Feel free to adjust them accordingly - you may choose to spend more or less in certain areas depending on your preferences and personality. 

Also the cost breakdown and budget percentages may differ depending on where you’re getting married, the size of your guest list, and several other factors.

We have also put together a budget checklist for you to use

Budget Percentages 



Venue, Catering & Décor


Attire & Accessories


Photographer & Videographer












Officiant & Legal


Stationary & favours


Aspects not included in the budget percentages are:

Wedding Planner:

A wedding planner can be very helpful to make the planning and coordination of your wedding a breeze, however should you decide to make use of one you can expect to put aside between 3 and 15% of your budget depending on the service you require. Services range from a Day-Of Wedding coordination package; where the planner only assists on the wedding day; to a Full-Service coordination package; where the planner is with you from day one and assists with the planning of the entire wedding.


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. So be sure to keep some funds aside for it.

Cost Breakdown

The following is a breakdown of each category and what may be included in that budget percentage. Please note that the breakdown below should only be used as a guideline and you should only focus on those aspects that are relevant to you and your needs.



  • 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

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

Photography and Videography

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

Engagement and wedding rings

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


  • 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)


  • 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


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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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)

Wedding Planner

  • Day-Of, Month-Of or Full-Service wedding coordination
  • Venue and/or supplier referrals and liaison
  • Budget development
  • Timeline creation
  • Rehearsal coordination
  • Wedding day setup and management


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