Event Budget Organizing [Guide and Tips]

Your event budget is an essential part of your event. Knowing how you can spend on the overall event will help you allocate funds accordingly to get the best bang for your buck. ( Such a cute expression).

Let’s establish some key considerations to planning your event budget.

  1. What type of event is it?
    • What is the event’s purpose?
    • Is this a sponsored event?
  2. Event size
    • How large of an audience or guest list and I am planning for?
  3. What type of venue would suit your event?
    • Venue cost
    • Indoor and outside spaces
    • Amenities
  4. Technology needs
    • Is it supplied by the venue or vendor you are using?
  5. What vendors will you need?
    • Catering, Attire, Marketing, Linen, etc.

These are just a few this to consider, but they can help establish the foundation of your event budget.

There are two ways to do an event budget. The common one that I’ve seen has a lump sum, and that is all you have to spend; you have to make that budget work for your events. The second is deciding what you want out of the event and finding the money to make it happen. I see the second method is usually done as sponsored type events.

This budget guide will go over the first type to help you see a potential breakdown in finding ways to make your budget work.


I always start my budgets with a basic percentage breakdown by category. These are estimations that help me see how much we can potentially spend on some areas.

Non-wedding Event Budget Percentage Breakdown:

  • Venue: 40% ( If catering is included). 30% without catering
  • Marketing:3%
  • Invitations:4%
  • Transportation:4%
  • Decorations:3%
  • Music:2%
  • Rentals/ Tech:5%
  • Photography/Videography: 13%
  • Guest gifts: 2%
  • Catering: 10%
  • Rooming:5% ( With rooming, this should really only cost a fee to block out rooms and/or be a part of paying for speakers to attend.)
  • Planner:9%
  • Program:6%
  • Misc:4%

Things that can help you save:

  • Really think about your venue. A nicer venue may help cut cost is decor or cause you to spend more. Does the venue offer transportation, such as shuttles? Honestly, after you’ve made you tentative budget and set an event template, you should find a venue. This will help you finalize date and location, which will help you set the program.
  • I choose to separate invitations and marketing. I want there to be a set budget that highlights personal participation in the event. The extra marketing would be used for signage, advertisement, and such. The invitation and marketing budgets should feed into each other.
  • Check with vendors to see if they provide their tech needs or can give you a concise list. Sometimes tech needs are an afterthought that can add unnecessary extra cost when it’s too late to catch.
  • Either you or your planner should be checking in periodically to make sure vendors and staff are clear on what is needed.
  • Keep records of everything.
  • Go over contracts before signing.
  • Ask about discounts for groups.

Wedding type event budget:

Please note that for weddings, there is no budget specifically for the venue in this breakdown. In many cases, the wedding is broken into two-parts minimum, a wedding ceremony and a wedding reception. The venues are included in both the ceremony and reception. Be sure to use this as a guideline and review the specific needs of the individuals getting married to see what they need is included in the budget.

  • Attire:5-7%
  • Ceremony:4
  • Decoration:2%
  • Floral:6%
  • Gifts:2%
  • Honeymoon:5%
  • Marriage prep:2%
  • Pre-wedding events:4%
  • Photography: 7%
  • Reception: 40%
  • Rentals: 3%
  • Stationary:4%
  • Transportation:2%
  • Videography: 4%
  • Wedding bands:2%
  • Planner:8%

Ideas to help save money:

  • Consider your decor and floral carefully.
  • What is important about you, our venue?
    • Existing decor?
    • Location?
    • Sentimentality
  • How big is your guest list?
  • There are some interesting trends: videography is being used to help bring guests who cannot physically be there to participate.




5 thoughts on “Event Budget Organizing [Guide and Tips]

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  3. Oh, wow. Talk about luck. I am in charge of planning my high school reunion, and have been struggling with budget and money issues. This definitely helps out. I have a starting point now!! Thanks so much!!

    Liked by 1 person

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