Getting married should be a joyous occasion for all concerned. Unfortunately, budgeting for a wedding may bring unwanted stress. Weddings can be very expensive, and there may be costs associated with your wedding that you may not have anticipated. Here are a couple of items that you may not have thought of and tips to help ensure your special day remains budget friendly.
After the engagement, the first thing you need to do is pick a date! Whether you want a spring wedding or a nice late September wedding, be smart about your choice. Based on a forum on WeddingWire.com, venues are offering discounts of up to $4,000 to host your wedding on a Sunday as opposed to a Saturday. Also, while September is the most popular month for weddings, the summer months can be just as busy. Most venues are willing to negotiate on price or include extras such as free valet parking to generate business in slower months. This also gives you a better chance of having your dream date available. Seeing as the average cost of a wedding in the United States is about $21,000, being able to save 20% just on the venue alone is a great way to cut costs.
Once you have saved the date and picked your bridal party, the next step is sending out invitations and making sure you have all your friends and family there. When selecting invitations, make sure you take the time to read the fine print as many printing companies don’t include shipping costs in your package. Also, if your envelopes exceed one ounce or are oddly shaped, you can be subject to costs of up to $2.00 from the U.S. Post Office per invitation. If you plan on having a big wedding with many guests, these costs can add up quickly.
Next, it’s time to focus on ordering the cake – so you go to your favorite dessert shop and find the perfect Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (YUM!). It costs you a little more than you wanted but it’s worth it because this is your big day. Be cautious though; ask your reception venue if you are allowed to bring in a cake from an outside bakery. Many establishments will only allow you to bring outside food in from one of their approved vendors. Also, there is a good chance that you will be subject to a cake cutting fee. This fee is established to ensure the cake is cut correctly, maintaining the integrity of each slice so your guests all get the same experience. On average, cake cutting fees are usually between $2.00-$5.00 per slice.
Now, it’s time to focus on you and pick out that perfect wedding dress! Once you have made your choice, you may want to consider a payment plan. Many wedding couples prefer to make incremental payments on their debt so as not to have several large payments all due right before the wedding. This can be a risky strategy, however. Wedding galleries, photographers and banquet halls might suddenly go out of business with little to no warning at all. Just recently, an article by CNN (July, 2017) announced, “Alfred Angelo, a Florida-based bridal shop has apparently shut down without telling its customers.” This company’s products were sold in almost 2,600 stores across the United States, and their unexpected closure no doubt left countless brides devastated – unsure if they would ever see deposits and other money again. And adding insult to injury, they now have to scramble to find a new dress. To avoid the same trap with payment plans, just pay the least you possibly can at each installment. If you are worried about saving the money to make these payments, a great idea is to have a separate bank account specifically for your wedding.
Lastly and most importantly, it is virtually inevitable that something will go wrong during your wedding planning. A bride may forget her veil, or a groom may forget his shoes. There may be a “last minute scramble.” Always have a little extra money set aside just for that “rainy day” moment at the last minute. Not only will it give you comfort knowing it’s there, but it could end up saving the day if things do go wrong.
We have written this article in order for wedding and event planners to provide to their clients as an inside look at some of the unexpected costs of throwing a wedding. Feel free to use this as a marketing element as to why your expertise is necessary to aide them in the wedding planning process.
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