So you’re engaged. You picked a date and are beaming with glee about your upcoming nuptials. You’re culling through thousands of gorgeous, dreamy weddings online and wondering how much would it be something like this? Unless you have close friends and siblings who have recently got married and know how much their weddings cost, you have no idea where to begin setting your budget. This is why we’re beyond excited to start a little section about budgets from real couples who are kind enough to give us the skinny on how they divided their budget. We hope you like it as much as we enjoyed creating it!

Please keep in mind that costs vary in many ways, from the location of the event, vendor’s experience level to the time of the year, month, day of the week and even date if it’s a popular one in demand (like 11.11.11). The chart below is a ball park for Chris + Kathryn’s wedding featured earlier today. To see their wedding, click here.

Our number one tip to setting your budget is to give priority to what’s most important to you (photography, wedding gown, catering, etc), then work your budget around it. For Chris + Kathryn, they wanted organic catering, a conveniently located venue and photography.

How did their budget stack up?

Wedding wardrobe: $2500 (bride and groom)
Location: $2500
Food: $3000
Hotel accommodations: $400
Stationery: $1000
Gifts: $250
Dessert: $550
Band: $1500
Day of wedding planner: $500
Bar: $1000
Everything else: $3000
Total (approximately): $16,200

Fool proof buying guide for their Organic Elegance setting:

1. baby’s breath bouquets (available at most local flower markets)
2. Oleg Cassini CWG352
3. Black bow tie
4. ruffled girl’s dress
5. Walk Away with Bronze Dress