First Things First…Who Pays?
Traditionally the bride’s family assumes the burden of most wedding costs, a custom derived from the ancient practice of providing a large dowry to attract a good husband. Nowadays however, just 27% of weddings are paid for solely by the bride’s parents. Up to 70% are paid for either by the couple or by a combination of the bride’s and groom’s family.
Photo by Allison Reisz Photography
Step 1 of Wedding Planning is to determine your budget, or what you can afford to contribute to your wedding. By doing so, you’ll be spared the nightmare of running up unnecessary debts and will alleviate the potential for anxiety and stress between you and your loved ones. Simply stated: Base your budget around what you and your parents can afford.
  • Start with a Figure. Before signing any contracts with vendors, determine a dollar amount of what you believe you can spend on your wedding. If you have $40,000 to spend on the wedding and you’ve fallen in love with a venue that has a $30,000 food and beverage minimum, you likely are not leaving enough money to spend on other costs {photography, dress, entertainment, cake, etc.}. Unless someone else is going to contribute to the costs of your wedding, you need to think more realistically in lines with your budget. 
  • Economy versus Value. Value is knowing precisely what you want and what you are willing to pay. Economy is finding what you want at the best available price. The best way to achieve economy is to hire a professional wedding planner who will save you valuable time and money by referring you to vendors that will deliver the best quality product while staying within your budget.
  • Tips on Budgeting. The best way to get the most value out of your budget is to hire a professional planner who can realistically explain what you can get out of the figure you’ve established. Additionally, they can negotiate with vendors to get better pricing and then pass those savings on to you {often times these savings will almost completely off-set the costs of hiring a planner in the first place}! 
  • Best Way to Economize on Big Items. 
    • Cut your guest list. Not always easy to do, but is the fastest way to take a big chunk out of your budget.
    • Choose a date in the off-peak months when prices are not at a premium.
    • Choose a day during the week other than a Saturday. Perhaps the venue fee will be waived or the food and beverage minimum can be reduced. Both could shave off thousands from your budget!

Tomorrow’s Topic: Size and Location
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