After the initial excitement of the engagement wears off, young people start to wonder how much a wedding costs. Most couples find it shocking to learn that the average cost of a wedding in the United States is about $ 22,000. As soon as brides and grooms hear this, they go off in search of sample wedding budgets to see how the typical wedding costs breakdown.
A wedding cost calculator can be a big help because it allows users to keep changing variables in the wedding budget as they consider different scenarios. For people who set their expectations based on viewing weddings staged on fictional television programs as well as the recent slew of reality TV wedding shows (most of which are focused on high end so called "platinum weddings" which are way beyond the budgetary capabilities of the average bride and groom), they may be disappointed to discover what they can actually afford bears no resemblance to the extravagances indulged in by TV couples and celebrities. Most real weddings are not produced with the same extraordinary financial resources that television weddings enjoy.
There are many ways for price conscious brides to economize without feeling that they have to skimp on quality for such an important event. Let's go over some areas of wedding budgets in which brides can find ways to keep prices down while retaining the look and feel they desire.
The first step is research and comparison shopping. Wedding vendors are used to providing written quotes so brides shouldn’t be afraid to ask for them. Some vendors are also willing to price match their competitors so just because one vendor's initial quote is higher than the wedding budget allows, getting that vendor is not necessarily a lost cause. Wedding shopping for big-ticket goods and services is also a chance to break out those negotiation skills. Sometimes, it is as simple as asking for lower prices or lower priced options. Other times, more work will be involved, but it will be worth it if the dollars stretch farther in the end.
The rest of the article details some specific tips for how to lower wedding costs and get more from your budgeted funds.
Find your dream dress and then find out how to get it at a price you can afford. Previous year dress floor models are available for a deep discount at some bridal boutiques. (Yes, just like previous year car models.) Designers also have liquidation sales of their sample dresses. The used wedding dress market is bigger than ever thanks to sites like eBay and Craigslist. It's much cheaper to pay for alterations than have a dress made or ordered in your size.
The venue at which you hold the reception may have different prices for different times of the day, week, month, or year. You can save thousands of dollars simply by finding out the details and then booking the place at the most advantageous time.
The catering menu is also a place in which costs can climb quickly and unnecessarily. There is a reason that having chicken at a wedding reception has become a cliché. That reason is the average cost of a chicken plate is less than other options. Some couples have chosen to skip the meal altogether and serve appetizers and desserts instead. An alternative to a wedding cake is to have cupcakes or a full dessert buffet. Providing an open bar will drive costs up quickly. A partial open bar or a strict cash bar will prevent the bride and groom from becoming overburdened in this area.
Spending judiciously on most items will allow you to splurge a little more on other facets that are most important to you.