Arizona Wedding Budget Part 4: What's in YOUR Budget? / by Laurie Cohen

There are so many pieces of this pie, it's hard to know which ones to take a bite of next!  But this one is kinda fun and it will help you organize your wedding budget plans.   Let me ask you a very important question: When you say, "My budget is 'X' number of dollars, what exactly do you mean?"

Whenever you are planning for a big project, one of the first things that helps set the stage for all things to come is to define your scope.  What is the 'scope' of your budget? This may sound like a funny question, but you might be very surprised to hear the sweeping variety of budgetary scope that we hear.  

For some couples the scope is limited. 
Diane and Phil had booked their photographer and were having an intimate dinner party after their ceremony.  The Ceremony would be at a private estate, the dress was purchased. They had already reserved their dinner reception and chosen their menu. The deposit was paid.    For them, "Budget" included: flowers, linens, cake, reception decor, ceremony decor and any necessary rentals (chairs, tent, etc).  

For some couples, the budget is much more inclusive.  

Commonly seen budget items include: Ceremony and Reception Venue, Wedding Gown, Groomswear, photographer, DJ, cinematographer, catering, bar, invitations, flowers, linens and decor.

Some budgets include items that are less commonly thought of and may or may not be consider as part of the "initial budget":  insurance on engagement ring, wedding party gifts, hotel rooms, wedding rings, transportation for couple and/or wedding party/family, guest travel, wedding party attire, decor rentals, rehearsal dinner, engagement parties, honeymoon.  

Let's define our terms for the sake of this conversation.

To keep it simple, our budget includes:

Wedding Attire


Wedding Planner

Floral: Personal and Decor

Photographer and/or Cinematography


Food and Beverage Service

DJ or Band

Desert or Wedding Cake

Transportation for Couple

Rentals--tables, chairs, linens, furniture, decor, etc..

Don't forget to include Gratuities

And here's a great tip:  Add a line item with a couple thousand dollars for Miscellaneous so that should you decide to add something unexpected to your budget, it won't affect your bottom line. 

So what should you expect to spend on each of these vendors I mentioned? Funny you should ask...

Next up! Arizona Wedding Budget Part 5: The Wedding Vendor Sweet Spots