The excitement of wedding brings with it its fair share of worries, and arguably the biggest of them all is the wedding budget. Summertime is generally the peak wedding season, and it’s around this time couples come to realize the real of cost of ‘tying the knot’.
The Knot’s Real Wedding Study of nearly 18,000 brides found the average wedding cost to be at an all time high of $32,641 and many still went over that average mark. Surpassing the budget can happen for a variety of reasons. At times, it’s the lack of discipline to be blamed, while at others, it’s simply the dearth of knowledge of how much the wedding services may cost. Fortunately, you can take some pre-emptive measure to avoid that post-wedding financial hardship.
1. Smart not stingy with food:
Yes you want to serve your guests the best food and beverages you can, but that shouldn’t come at a cost of sacrificing your honeymoon fund. Try to be inventive with your food. For instance, instead of a formal plated dinner, go for an all you can eat fare. That’s exactly what Valerie Fishbain, owner of the Spread the Love peanut butter did for her music festival inspired wedding of 150 guests.
Despite Valerie’s sizeable guest list, she was able to provide an artisan dining experience with just $4,662, which translates into $31 per guest; an exceptional bargain given the average catering cost is $68 per person, according to The Knot’s findings.
2. Be wary of DIY tips:
Pinterest has gained immense popularity in the recent past, and it’s become a great source of inspiration for to-be-brides. But proceed with caution before attempting any of those shabby chic decorations that seem to be the product of the junk pile right from the garage; they might not be as cheap or that easy to pull off as you might think at first. As more and more couples are inspired to DIY wedding tips, flea markets have picked up on the trend and started charging high prices for trendy, vintage decor. That’s evident in prices of Mason jars, lanterns and rustic handmade signs priced somewhere along $10, $20 and $50 each respectively.
So don’t get overly excited about a captivating DIY wedding idea, focus on simple projects that can go a long way. For instance, instead of renting a $500 electronic photo booth, you could buy a Polaroid camera and create your own photo backdrop. Also, by buying your own candy and jars for serving delicious candy bars you’d save yourself from offering desert through caterers.
3. Take a helping hand from your talented friends
Couples, who have talented friends in their circle, have an extra advantage, in that they can save money that might otherwise be spent on expensive vendors. Search through the list of your friends, you might have someone as a pianist with songbird vocals or a friend with cinematography background to record the event for you.
Being your friends, not only will they offer you a decent, friendly price, they’ll also try to provide their best service for your wedding. On your part, you must show courteousness and high regards toward them for their efforts so as to ensure your good and healthy relations are maintained as they were before.
4. Wedding Dress
Brides spent an average of $1357 on a wedding dress that worn for a day. As a budget-friendly measure, you should consider shopping sample dresses. Often, floor-sample gowns are available at considerable discounts.
Although price reductions in the form of discounts, which can be anywhere between 25-75%, may seem very attractive, you should pay particular attention to the overall state of the dress i.e ensure there are no odors or stains in it, especially on the inner side and around the hem. If you notice the dress has been damaged, for e.g. it has a few missing buttons or beadings, simply turn it down or ask to have it restored to its original state.
5. Stay open to an offbeat wedding date
Saturdays are the busiest days for wedding and because of that a Saturday wedding can cost you a fair bit too much. Your guests would obviously prefer attending a Saturday wedding, as it won’t require them to take a day off from work and the following Sunday would be ideal to replenish the energies lost in a day of partying and merriment. But if you’re in a frugal mindset, then booking your wedding from Sunday through Friday is your best bet, you could literally save thousands of dollars doing that.
6. Fake it to afford it:
Wedding cakes are a centerpiece to the wedding and their average cost is $555. To save a couple hundred dollars, you could have the cake decorated with foam tier to make it look like a grand wedding cake. But don’t forget to have your baker prepare a few extra sheet cakes for your guests to eat.
There’s a way to save on the centerpiece as well. If you’re thinking of filling it with sand, coffee beans or stones, consider placing plastic cups upside down in the vessel before filling it up. Doing this would mean less filler per centerpiece, i.e. less money spent on the cake.
7. Ask about the fees first
Before you enter into any contract with any vendor or book a venue for your wedding, ask for an itemized list of fees, in addition to the base service rate. For example, your venue might provide the chairs free of cost, but don’t forget to ask about the setup and tear-down cost. Some venues might waive the rental fee but instead charge you for the labor costs. Make sure you elicit all such information from your vendors.
As the wedding day comes closer and closer, that untrammeled desire to engage in a shopping spree and spend profusely on things that are mere luxuries kicks in. It’s easy to give in to the thought that this is perhaps the most important day of your life, but still you could afford to be level-headed with how you spend your money. After all, what you spend on your wedding isn’t necessarily a reflection of your love for your partner. Most of the business transactions involved with regards to your wedding should be dealt as they are i.e. business transactions. Vendors will apprise you of myriad of offers they have in store for you, but that’s their job, and knowing the occasion is wedding, they’re likely to redouble their efforts; listen to them patiently, but only do what you see fit in the knowledge of your budget.