The Importance of Setting a Budget

Budgeting for an event may not be easy, but it is a crucial part of all event planning. It helps when you set your budget before doing any other planning for an event. This way, you know and understand exactly where you need to spend money – as well as how much you have to spend – before you start spending it.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Below is an outline to help you with getting started with budgeting for an event

Each event is unique and has its own requirements for success. There is one aspect of event planning which rings especially true though, regardless of the type of event: the costs will come from a number of places, but most of those costs will fall under specific categories.

You can use categories, such as the ones below, to help you with budgeting for an event.

On-Site Expenses

Venue Costs

These include the costs and fees that the event venue charges:

  • Room Rental
  • Security Deposit
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Parking


Food and Catering (Note: This could also be provided by a third-party vendor – see below)

  • Meals
  • Beverages
  • Bartender/Server Labor Fees
  • Tax and Service/Gratuity Fees


Audio Visual

  • Microphones
  • Screens and Projectors
  • Internet Access
  • Other Specialized Equipment

Third-Party Vendors

These include costs and fees for vendors you hire outside of the venue for your event. Each third-party vendor will bill you separately. Some vendors offer “bundled” packages and services, which can help keep costs lower as well as reduce the number of vendors you hire.

Event Rentals

  • Linens, Table Skirting, and Chair Covers
  • Tents, Staging, and Amusement Attractions
  • Physical Items Not Provided by Venue
  • Labor and Delivery for Setup/Teardown


Décor Vendors

  • Accent Lighting
  • Flowers and Centerpieces
  • Balloons



  • Musicians or DJ
  • Speaker Fees
  • Contract Riders (food, lodging, transportation)


At Chef du Jour Catering, we partner with fabulous third-party vendors. Our shared goal includes creating the highest quality and most pleasing events possible for our clients.

You can visit our page here if you are interested in learning more about services we offer in addition to our catering services.

Production Expenses

Geoff Beers, an event planning expert, explains budgeting for product expenses as follows:

Production includes all of the staff and resources required to plan and execute the event. These expenses begin the moment the event is dreamed up and continue through the post-event paperwork. In short, this category represents the cost of organizing the event, attracting attendees, and managing the administrative elements.


Marketing and Registration

  • Print and Design Work
  • Advertisements
  • Invitations
  • Registration Management


Planning and Organization

  • Event Planner Fees
  • Part-time and/or Temporary Employees
  • Office Supplies
  • Communication Costs
  • Travel Expenses


Administrative Expenses

  • Salaried Employee Assignments
  • Accounting Costs
  • Legal Fees
  • Consultant Fees


Cost Overages and Emergency Funds

It is always a good idea to allow yourself some “wiggle room” on your budget for any unexpected expenditures…just in case.

Per Beers:

Some event planners suggest budgeting five to ten percent over the anticipated expenses, while others choose a round number to work with. Larger events should of course allocate more because an oversight that is billed per person could run into the thousands of dollars. 


We enjoy helping our clients with all aspects of event planning – including the challenging task of budgeting for an event. Please contact us online or give us a call at (503) 222-4553 and let us know how we can help you with your next event!


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