Tag: wedding budget

Your DIY Wedding Guide

As the cost of the average wedding continues to rise, it’s understandable that couples ready to tie the knot may be seeking any and all ways to save money.

While some aspects of a wedding are better left to the professionals, others are prime for a little do-it-yourself cost cutting. Couples should just be sure they have the skills and resources available to handle portions of their weddings on their own. Otherwise, the cost savings may be negated by trial and error. The following are some areas that may be a good fit for couples looking to try their own DIY techniques.

· Floral centerpieces: While floral bouquets and boutonniéres are probably best left to professional florists, couples may want to try making their own reception table centerpieces. Such centerpieces can be simple displays of fresh flowers in vases or more intricate designs. Test out any ideas prior to the wedding. Remember to keep arrangement height in mind. You do not want to obscure the views of seated guests.

· Cake: Ask a pastry chef or bakery to make you a small cake that can be used for cake-cutting traditions and photo opportunities, but have your own cake available to serve. Sheet cakes are much less expensive than more intricate tiered cakes, but they can be just as delicious. Guests may not even know the difference if the cake is sliced and served out of the reception site’s kitchen. Purchase the cake or make it on your own.

· Invitations: Professionally designed invitations can look beautiful, but not everyone has the budget for embossing or engraving and expensive paper stock. Thanks to graphic design and page layout software, computer-savvy couples can design and print their invites right from home. That makes it easy to create a new invitation if you miscounted or if you have a last-minute addition to the guest list.

· Favors: Create favors that work with the theme of your wedding and make them yourself. These can be candles, fruit preserves, soaps, baked goods, or anything else that appeals to you. The cost of making them in bulk may turn out to be less than purchasing manufactured items. Plus, guests get to take home something that came directly from you.

· Video: Enlist a friend or family member to capture the wedding and after-party on video for you. You can use video-editing software available through popular apps to piece together your own wedding video memento.

Couples about to tie the knot can become more hands-on in wedding planning and execution. By handling some of the work themselves, couples can save a considerable amount of money. A do-it-yourself approach also may foster feelings of pride in a job well done.


How to Build Your Wedding Budget

Couples engaged to be married have a lot on their plates as they begin planning their weddings. Whereas tradition once demanded parents of the bride pay for a couple’s wedding, nowadays more and more engaged couples are completely or partially financing their own nuptials. That means prospective brides and grooms must develop wedding budgets that won’t ensure their first act as Mr. and Mrs. is paying down debt.

In its 2015 Real Weddings Study, online bridal resource The Knot found that many couples still receive substantial financial support from their parents to pay for their weddings. The survey found that, on average, the bride’s parent’s contributed 44 percent of the overall wedding budget in 2015, while couples financed 43 percent (the remaining 13 percent was financed by the groom’s parents and additional sources). Couples who hope to follow that formula or pay for their weddings on their own can heed the following tips to build wedding budgets that won’t break the bank but will still ensure a day to remember forever.

· Examine your collective finances. Few couples know the details of each other’s finances before getting engaged. While some may still hesitate to share their personal financial information upon getting engaged, an open and honest discussion and examination of each person’s finances is the only way to develop a realistic wedding budget that both partners can live with. Once couples know what they can contribute, they can then consult their parents to determine if their mothers and fathers are intending to contribute.

· Develop a preliminary guest list. A preliminary guest list can give couples an idea of how large and expensive their weddings will be. According to the Real Weddings Study, the average cost per wedding guest in 2015 was $237. While that cost can vary greatly depending on geography and other factors, couples should keep that figure in mind when drafting their guest lists. If need be, keep costs down by trimming the guest list so it includes only close family members and friends.

· Don’t count on gifts. Many couples justify runaway wedding budgets by telling themselves that they will ultimately get the money back via wedding gifts. While many guests will give financial gifts, counting on such windfalls is a recipe for accruing debt. Do not build potential wedding gifts into your wedding budget. If you do so and your expectations fall short, you could be facing considerable debt upon returning home from your honeymoon.

· Gather quotes before choosing where to tie the knot. Where couples get married will have a great impact on how much money they will spend on their weddings. For example, the Real Weddings Study found that, in 2015, the average wedding in Manhattan cost couples slightly more than $82,000, while the average Alaskan wedding cost just over $17,000. Venues within the same city can vary greatly with regard to pricing and offerings as well, so couples should give themselves ample time to gather quotes and find an affordable venue they like.

· Build extra costs into your budget. When determining a budget you can live with, remember to include a little extra for unforeseen costs. Weddings are large undertakings, and it’s reasonable to expect some unforeseen costs to arise. Building such costs into your initial budget will make these unforeseen circumstances that much easier to handle.

Budgets can help couples stay on track and avoid debt as they plan their weddings.