As you can imagine, we get a lot of calls from brides. They need to start the process, but they rarely call with a budget in mind. Many times they are calling to ask, “What will my catering cost?” but the truth is that setting a budget before talking to a caterer will help you keep costs from getting away from you AND helps the caterer give you ideas that won’t disappoint once you see the estimate.

We love to work with brides or planners, but here in Joplin we are typically working with the bride or her family directly. We found this guide from planner Chancey Charm to be helpful. Below, you will find suggested cost and percentage breakdowns for allocating your budget. Listing any non-negotiables, or elements of the wedding you are willing to splurge on, is also an important part of the process. Having your heart set on a particular venue or vendor may mean you have to adjust your spend in other areas.

Average Costs

$1,000 Invitations and Paper Goods

$1,000 Transportation

$1,000 Ceremony Site

$750 Ceremony Music

$2,500 Flowers and Décor

$2,000 Gown

$2,500 Reception Venue

$750 Cake

$8,000 Catering

$2,500 Reception Music – Live Band or DJ

$3,000 Photographer

$1,500 Videographer

$3,000 Planner

$500 Miscellaneous (Favors, Welcome Baskets, etc.)

Total Costs: $30,000

If your budget comes in WELL under this amount it might be more helpful to look at your total budget by percentages. This will give you a realistic number and you can then customize it as the quotes come in. It also helps not leave an item out until late in the planning stages.

Average Percentages

3.5% Invitations and Paper Goods

3.5% Transportation

3.5% Ceremony

2.5% Ceremony Music

8.5% Flowers and Décor

6% Gown

8.5% Reception Venue

2.5% Cake

27% Catering

8.5% Reception Music – Live Band or DJ

10% Photographer

4% Videographer

10% Planner

2% Miscellaneous (Favors, Welcome Baskets, etc.)

If you’re interested in more like this, the information here can be found in the ebook, The Chancey Charm Practical Guide to Planning Your Wedding.

We hope this has been helpful and we would love to help you further with your wedding plans. You can browse our wedding package information or just contact us to arrange a tour of our event venue at (417) 825-1334.