5 Ways to Save Big Money on Your Wedding
Beautiful Budget Wedding
Budgeting Is Beautiful
The average wedding is said to cost just under $30,000, yep, Average. Unless your will is made of steel, you can easily get caught in the wedding spending-trap. By using the 5 tips for a beautiful budget wedding, you can prevent a disaster from happening to your bank account.
Wedding costs all add up very quickly and those professionals who are skilled in the wedding industry are masters in the art of making you feel inadequate when it comes to managing the cost of your wedding. Because you may need to pay less for an item, does not mean it's not just as beautiful or meaningful. But the masters of wedding know-how can lure you mindlessly into the spending-trap.
Paying For A Wedding
The reality is that most couples can not afford to pay $30,000 for their wedding without finding themselves in a heap of debt. Starting your new life together will not be as smooth or endearing when the paychecks stop adding up to the outgoing wedding bills. Next to purchasing your first home, and raising children, the wedding has become the highest debt incurring expense in young lives. The expensive wedding of your dreams can end up being the financial nightmare of your future finances. And strapping your parents with this kind of financial burden in the face of retirement plans, is just self-serving at best.
Staying Within Your Wedding Budget
To keep you on track and within your means, a wedding budget must be in place. Saving for your wedding and knowing your limits can save you the anguish of financial distress later. Without a budget strictly dedicated to the cost of your wedding, it is all but guaranteed to spiral out of control; and before you know what happened. You must protect your future and remain within the restraints of your wedding budget, no matter how hard wedding vendors attempt to drag you into that wedding spending-trap!
Know Your Wedding Budget Percentages
Knowing how to delegate the portions of your wedding budget will help you manage the cost, and avoid the spending-trap. Knowing your wedding budget, and the limits of each component percentage of your wedding will be helpful when you begin the dreaded negotiations with your wedding vendors. Making it clear to the vendor what your budget limits for their service is, puts you in the driver seat. You will avoid being the bad guy, because the budget limits clearly define the rules. Everyone knows your expectations and the percentages bring real value in time as well as dollars to the negotiations. Not even the most savvy wedding professional can argue with tangible numbers.
What Are The Percentages?
Keep this information at the top of your budget sheet.
Wedding Preparation Percentages
- Wedding reception = 50% (This is typical, and yet it shocks me every time)
- Photography = 10%
- Music = 10%
- Stationary = 4%
- Flowers = 10%
- Wedding attire = 10%
- Additional expenses = 6%
Etiquette Tip: It is not a mandate, but tipping the wedding official is often overlooked, even when the service has been particularly perfect. You may wish to provide a small cash tip ($25 to $50), or a small well thought-out gift.
An Ultimate Disney Wedding on a Budget? Check out these great tips! (2 min. video)
Planning Your Wedding Ahead of Time Can Save Big Buck$!
5 Tips For A Beautiful Budget Wedding
1. Start planning early
Make sure to give yourself enough time to manage your wedding plans. If you get forced into a time constrained situation, it can give a wedding professional the advantage, leading you to miss-manage the budget percentage for that particular wedding service. Unexpected decisions generally cost a lot more than the ones we get to contemplate.
Budgeting For Your Wedding
2. Open a wedding account (budget)
The priority decision has to be the budget amount. Deciding on the amount of your wedding budget is key to maintaining good financial health before, during, and after the big day arrives. Open a wedding account as soon as possible—some people start these as young as 15 years old . For those of us who started planning a little later in life, it will take at least a year to eighteen months to effectively fund this account. Parents, relatives, and friends can help you by making deposits into an online wedding account while you remain within the constraints of etiquette. You must resolve yourself to only withdrawal from this account for the wedding. Using the percentage for each component service will help you decide on the ultimate account value. Do your research on each portion of the wedding, this helps you find real amounts that can easily be managed when buying the beautiful things that your wedding demands.
Digital Wedding Pictures Make Your Memories More Affordable!
3. Hire a Photographer Who Has Digital Leverage
Hiring a photographer isn't so much about how much his/her time may cost, but rather how much the prints are going to cost you after previewing your favorites. It's the tangible prints that put a dent in your pocketbook. It is easy to fall outside of your budget perimeter when it comes to the memory of the event being viewed over and over again through the pictures you covet. The picture preview usually takes place after you have returned from the honeymoon and after all of the money worries are left behind. But it is easy to get taken by surprise here.
Digital Wedding CD Copyright
The release of the image copyright is implied, because having the original images on a CD is like having the negatives in your possession; making the pictures copyright free to you. But, it never hurts to get a copyright release from your photographer as a matter of respect, as well as self-protection.
The prints and reprints provided by Professional photographers make up the bulk of the expense you will pay for. By hiring a great professional wedding photographer who is willing to shoot your wedding with digital gear (professional grade only here) can save you big money. Make a deal for high-resolution image files to be put onto a CD. You can make the prints yourself online or at a professional lab for about one-quarter of the cost. Posting the images on any of the photo processing web sites you will find allows your family and friends to order their own pictures easily and cost free to you. Everyone will be thanking you for making it so convenient for them to shop for their favorite pictures of your wedding!
4. Use a Caterer's Trick
When tasting your potential four tiered wedding cake with the perfect filling and creamy frosting consider this; no one has to know it's a mock cake; okay come down from ceiling and hear me out. An old caterers trick was to assemble a very beautiful and classy visually appealing wedding cake that was smaller and quite elaborate for the display table during the wedding reception. In the mean time, a lusciously decadent sheet cake was prepared in the couples favorite flavor and frosting, and waiting to be sliced for service in the back of the kitchen. No one at the reception knows that ONLY the traditional "cutting" layer of the cake is real, while the rest of the cake is actually a Styrofoam mock-up. Your budget is preserved by avoiding the cost of a dangerously expensive real four tiered wedding cake. The saving here is immense and no one but you and the baker will know the for sure!
A Beautiful Red Beach Sunset
5. Find a Venue that can accommodate both the wedding and reception
Not only does this tip save money, it really simplifies the aspects of the planning process for you. A large number of ceremony sites have gathering or fellowship halls located adjacent to the chapel or wedding room. In some cases the wedding can be held indoors and then a short walk takes you and your guests to an outdoor reception upon lavish green lawns. You can save several hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars by keeping things at one location. You will save on transportation of your wedding party to another location, the hassle of managing timing for the photographer, you gain the convenience of having everyone where they need to be for catering timing, and the list goes on. The biggest advantage other than the cost saving surrounding a second venue, is your peace of mind. On the biggest day of your life, this is going to turn out to be a priceless commodity!
Wedding Shower Etiquette Tips
What You Think Really Does Matter!
Are you plannig your wedding with some budget minded tips found here?
5 Wedding Shower Etiquette Rules
- Showers are not just for the girls anymore. Jack-and-Jill wedding showers include the groom and his friends. The focus is on having fun with friends at this party!
- Even though office wedding showers are rare, they do occur. Do you have to invite the entire office to the wedding because of it? No way. This is the one occasion where the rule "anyone invited to the shower should be invited to the wedding " does not apply! Just let your office pals know you simply aren't able to invite them all.
- If this is your second wedding, it's okay for the matron of honor to throw you a shower. The rule here is close friends and family ONLY.
- A common question that pops up is, "can registry information be included with a shower invitation?" The answer is Yes. The whole idea of a shower is about gift giving, so the shower host may include a separate sheet listing where the couple is registered.
- Should you send thank-you gifts to those who gave you showers, provided rooms for guests or attendants, and those who did other favors/duties for you? Only if it fits within your budget . Keep in mind a thank-you note is a very personal touch that can be considered priceless when budget constraints prevent costly gestures.