Wedding Budget Checklist

Tips and tricks for creating a realistic and controlled wedding budget

Discover our tips for drawing up an accurate wedding budget and effectively managing the expenses of your big day without stress.

Wedding planning is a process exciting, but often complex. One of the most critical, and sometimes stressful, aspects is budget management. A poorly managed wedding budget can lead to unnecessary debt and tension between you and your partner.

This article helps you avoid common pitfalls and take informed decisions to make the most of your big day. how to create a realistic wedding budget? Shades Waves is there to guide you every step of the way. wedding planning and in particular the aspect of realistic wedding budgeting, which you will discover through this reading.


Realistic wedding budget: important steps


Understanding average costs

Before diving into the figures, it is essential to understand the average costs associated with a wedding. Depending on location where you live and type of wedding you want, these costs can be vary considerablyt. In general, the biggest expense items are the venue, food and beverages, wedding dress and costumes, photography and videography, and music or entertainment. Research the average costs in your area and use this information as a guide to help you make the most of your wedding day. starting point for your budget.


Wedding budget for 100 people: average costs 

Here's a summary table of average expenses for a 100-guest wedding. Amounts are estimates based on general averages and may vary according to many factors, such as location, season, personal preferences and specific services chosen.

Expense item Estimated cost
Place of reception 3 000 € – 15 000 €
Catering (meals and drinks) 50 € - 100 € per guest
Wedding attire (wedding dress, groom's suit) 1 500 € – 5 000 €
Photography/Videography 1 000 € – 3 000 €
Flowers and decoration 2 000 € – 5 000 €
Musical entertainment (DJ, band) 500 € – 3 000 €
Announcements and stationery 300 € – 800 €
Wedding cake 300 € – 600 €
Hair and make-up 100 € – 400 €
Transport (limousine, classic car) 200 € – 600 €
Alliances 500 € – 2 000 €
Miscellaneous expenses (guest gifts, ceremony officiant) 500 € – 1 500 €

Estimated total : 12 400 € – 40 400 €

It's important to note that these figures are estimates, and that the actual cost of a wedding can vary considerably depending on the personal choices and priorities of each couple. It's advisable to set a clear budget at the outset of the planning process and stick to it to avoid overspending.


Steps to calculate your wedding budget

Step 1: Assess your financial situation to prepare your realistic wedding budget

The first step in creating a realistic wedding budget is to evaluate your current financial situation. How much have you already saved? How much can you reasonably save each month until the wedding date? Do you have parents or relatives who will contribute to the budget? Answering these questions will give you a clear idea of your financial starting point and help you to avoid ruin yourself.


Step 2: Setting priorities

Once you have an idea of your financial situation, the next step is to establish priorities. What are the most important aspects of your wedding for you and your partner? Is it the venue, the food, the music, or perhaps the photography? Rank these items in order of importance and allocate more of your budget to the areas that mean the most to you.


Realistic wedding budget: the musical aspect


Step 3: Search and compare prices

Once you've established your priorities, it's time to make research and compare prices. Ask for quote to several suppliers for each service you are considering. This will give you a better idea of market costs and help you negotiate prices. Don't forget to read online reviews and ask for recommendations to make sure you're working with reliable suppliers.


Step 4: Take hidden expenses into account in your wedding budget

One of the most common mistakes in wedding budget planning is to forget hidden or unexpected expenses. This can include things like tips, taxes, travel expenses for guests coming from afar, and even last-minute costs like wedding dress alterations. Be sure to allocate a portion of your budget to these unexpected expenses to avoid unpleasant surprises.


Couple Talking About Wedding Budget


Step 5: Create an emergency fund

Even with careful planning, unforeseen circumstances may arise even with a realistic wedding budget. That's why it's wise to create a emergency fund specifically for the wedding. A good starting point might be to set aside around 5% of your total budget to deal with unexpected expenses that may arise as the big day approaches.


Step 6: Monitoring and adjusting the budget

Creating a budget is only the first step. It is just as crucial to keep track of your expenses as you get ready. Use spreadsheets or budgeting apps to track every expense, no matter how small. If you find you're going over budget in certain categories, take the time to reassess and adjust accordingly to keep your realistic wedding budget on track.


Mastering Your Wedding Budget
Mastering Your Wedding Budget


A few more tips for managing your wedding budget

Use of budgeting applications or software

In the digital age, there are numerous online tools that can help you to track and manage your wedding budget. Apps like WeddingWire, The Knot, or even custom Google spreadsheets can be great ways to keep an eye on your expenses.

Tips for saving money on various aspects of the wedding

There are always ways to reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of your big day. For example, consider getting married in low season to benefit from reduced rates on venues and suppliers. Or opt for a daytime reception rather than an evening one, which could reduce food and beverage costs.



Wedding on the French Riviera with Bilitis Belval, wedding planner PACA and South of France
Wedding on the Côte d'Azur with Bilitis Belval, wedding planner PACA and south of France


Creating a wedding budget may seem like a daunting task, but with the right meticulous planning and proactive managementit is possible to make your dream wedding come true without going into debt. The key is to start earlyto make extensive researchand track your expenses up close. Don't forget that the most important thing is to celebrate your love for each other, and that's pricelessIt's easy to say, but it's true 😉


Project manager for over 10 years, including 4 years abroad, entrepreneurial mom and passionate about events, I'm here to help you coordinate your big day and organize your entire wedding.

As a representative of the Shades Waves franchise in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, and as the architect of your dreams, my team and I will be at your service to help you realize your project.

As an expert in organization, my experience, professionalism and attention to detail will be our watchwords in assisting you.

Together, we create the unique.

There's nothing so beautiful as a well-adjusted, peaceful marriage... Pierre Charron


I'm Joëlle, born in Beirut and having lived in Rio de Janeiro, the love of weddings and the charm of nature have always attracted me.
Passionate about Provence and the wonders of southern France, I moved to Marseille.

Coming from a paramedical background, my work as a nurse has given me a solid grounding in organization, dedication and attention to detail.
It has also enabled me to develop the listening skills that are essential in both my professional and personal life.

After training as an event and wedding planner in Aix-en-Provence, it is with great pleasure and passion that I will design and organize your big day. Together, we'll create unforgettable moments that will stay with you forever.

Whether you want a timeless Parisian wedding, a romantic Provencal wedding or a unique wedding in a heavenly location, I'll be at your side to help you design the wedding that suits you, with elegance and chic à la française.

I look forward to meeting you!


After a 15-year career in Paris in the events industry and a move to be closer to her family in the South-East of France near the Gulf of Saint Tropez, Vanessa Roussel, created the Shades Waves agency in 2016, passionate about her job, dynamic and motivated to take up every challenge that organizing a wedding represents.

Always listening to her customers, ready to innovate, curious about life, she enjoys discussing the projects entrusted to her with future brides and grooms, to get to know you better and suggest the best scenography to suit you and create emotion.

A perfectionist at heart, she will organize your wedding or corporate event as if it were her own, with method and rigor, meticulousness and good humor, always planning the smallest detail.


My name is Florence and I accompany future brides and grooms from the conception to the coordination of their wedding. Weddings have always been a dream of mine!
So, in 2019, I'm training to become a wedding planner and event project manager at the Jaëlys school in Aix-en-Provence.
Since 2020, as a private event planner, I've had the honor of helping couples organize and coordinate their weddings.
I specialize in elegant, romantic and refined weddings, for a French-speaking clientele looking to get married in Provence. A native of Aix-en-Provence, I've made the South-East my playground.
From Provence and its vineyards, to the Côte d'Azur and its seaside resorts, to the snow-capped mountains of the Alps, I'll accompany you wherever your love takes you.
My watchwords are: patience, kindness, calm, organization, discretion and respect.
I draw my inspiration from literature, beautiful things and the charm of the old.
Let's talk about your beautiful project.


I'm Bilitis, mother of an adorable little girl and entrepreneur. I have the pleasure of living on the Côte d'Azur, near Toulon, in the South of France. Before obtaining my wedding planner diploma, I trained at EFMM, which I obtained in 2018.
I'd been organizing private events for several years before turning to my profession.
My greatest pleasure? Creating unique, innovative and exciting experiences that reflect my customers' image. My aim is to help my customers organize unforgettable, festive events.
I bring a dynamic, innovative and organized perspective to every event. My love of planning and attention to detail are sure to create the perfect ambiance for your special day.
I'll be there to support you with the tools you need to ensure that "organization" rhymes with "tranquility and serenity".