07.12.2011 / Here Comes the Bride. There Goes the Budget.

Tying the knot used to involve a trip to the altar and a simple reception, but low-cost weddings are increasingly a thing of the past. The average American wedding costs almost $29,000, according to The Wedding Report, a market research publication.

" If you or one of your children will be tying the knot soon, there is no time like the present to think about creating a budget for the big day"

That money could buy a nice new car or be a 20% down payment on a $145,000 home. It’s also more than most Americans earn in a year.

So if you or one of your children will be tying the knot soon, there’s no time like the present to think about creating a budget for the big day.  The tips below can help you make the most of whatever funds you have, without sacrificing the joy and importance of the big day.

Date: Pick an out-of-season date, such as one in January, February or March.  Avoid holidays and opt for a Friday or Sunday instead of high-demand Saturdays.

Guest List: Reining in the guest list can quickly reduce expenses.  Consider dropping friends’ dates and children, business associates and casual acquaintances.

Wedding gown: Tweak tradition by selecting an elegant white or ivory evening gown from a department store.  Or consider renting a dress, which will cost much less.

Food and drink: People typically eat and drink less at brunch or lunch receptions than a dinner event.  These menus are often less pricey, too.  Or, consider serving just hors d’oeuvres and cake.  Limit beverage choices and/or the length of time the beverages are free.

Location: Consider lower cost reception venues, such as a room in your place of worship, the local community center, a public garden or a historic building.

Flowers: Pick local blooms that will be in season.  Imported or greenhouse flowers cost more, as do roses and orchids, regardless of season or location.

Photographer/Videographer: Hire a professional just for the formal shots/scenes and ask a skilled friend to handle the rest.  Or contact the photography/videography departments at a local college to see if a top student will do the job inexpensively.
Music: A disc jockey usually costs less than a live band.

Finally, it’s always important to check references before you hire any professionals.  Also, you should consider checking their reputation with the regional Better Business Bureau office.  A little effort up-front could make the difference between a dream-come-true wedding and a disaster.

Are wedding bells ringing in your near future?  Do you have any tips that you can share with our readers?  Please share them.

Posted at 10:28 AM | Permalink
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