Whether you’re throwing a celebration that’s bare-bones or blowout, here’s how Washington, D.C.-area planner Carol Marino, of A Perfect Wedding in Fairfax, Virginia, suggests divvying up your budget. Just remember to include sales tax in your calculations.

Reception (Food, Beverages, Rentals, and  Site)
40 percent to 50 percent

10 percent

10 percent

Bride’s and groom’s attire
5  percent to 10 percent

5 percent to 10 percent

Planner or Coordinator
10  percent to 15 percent

Miscellaneous (Invitations, Officiant Fees,  Favors, Transportation, Etc.)
10 percent

5 percent to 15  percent

5  Wedding Budget No-Nos

1. Never — and we mean never — go into debt to pay for a wedding. Consider having an intimate gathering and putting off the big reception for a year or two so you can save up for it.
2. Don’t put your wedding bills on plastic unless you can pay off the balance in full as soon as you get each statement.  Credit-card interest rates and finance charges can add hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars to your bill — even if you carry a balance for only a  month or two.
3. Don’t agree to any upgrades (colored table linens, fancy chair covers) without first asking if they cost extra.
4. Don’t spend more than you’d anticipated in one area unless you can cut back by that amount in another area.
5. Don’t budget for fewer guests than you invited. It’s better to overestimate.