Friday, October 17, 2008

The Average Wedding Costs What???

The average wedding in the United States for 2007 has increased to $30,000 across the board. While there still are a small number of states that fall under this amount and a few on the East coast that are over the average at $33,000 ( What most brides and grooms are finding in NJ and the tri-state area is that most budgets fall under $30,000. With a wedding of 125 guests or less you can still have the wedding of your dreams for $20,000 and under by just being a bit flexible with dates, décor, photography, music and miscellaneous extras. Below are 6 ways to keep you on the ball with the big number and may even save you a few extra dollars in the process! Venue: $0-$8500 Choosing the venue is the first area which needs to be secured before any other item on your list of to do’s. When choosing your date and location you must realize that the wedding season is really just 4 months of the year. The months to stay away from are May, June, September and October. You can save anywhere from 30-50% just by planning your day outside that block. One thing to keep in mind is that the venue should only take up 35-40% of your budget. If you do find the venue of your dreams you may want to ask them if they have a time where the price per person can be less. Maybe you can go with a less expensive entrée or a beer and wine beverage package. However, by going with the same venue during an off peak month you may not have to give up anything at all! Floral and Décor $600-$2000 Flowers are always a beautiful enhancement in any setting. However, they are not the only way to provide ambiance. The best way to not splurge in this department is to stay with flowers that are in season. The more detailed you become in your arrangements the more the price begins to sky rocket. Why not have the best of both worlds when you design by using floral and candles to enhance your surroundings. Diversity always gets the guests talking and the outcome is still amazing in photos. You can also alternate between high and low centerpieces when trying to cut back. This again gives movement in the room and allows for many different looks that will wow your guests! Photography and Video $2500-$4000 While photography is one of the few tangible items that you can take home at the end of the evening, you should remember that video shows everything that occurred live. Video can always be done for the more important areas of the day such as the ceremony. Most brides regret when they can’t see their father walk them down the aisle or grandparents watching them exchanging their vows. Why have regrets when you can pay for straight footage with no editing. This may cost a mere $300-$400 in total and is worth every dime! Save the editing for later! This memory will last a lifetime! There are many ways to cut back on both categories while saving money in the process. While a couple may not have the funds to purchase a large book from a photographer while planning, the funds may open up after the wedding when you may have freed up some bonus $$$ to afford what you need after the big day is over. Most photographers do not ask for the balance until the prints from the negatives have been processed. This can take anywhere from 30-90 days after your wedding. Some photographers charge by the hour, by asking them to cut a few hours off the end of the day you could save yourself a few hundred dollars. If you choose a smaller package in the beginning you always have the opportunity to increase the package after the fact. There may also be incentive from a discount standpoint when it is time to choose your photos. So saving the best for last is a true statement after all in some cases! Music $500-$2000 While most people feel music and cocktails are what make or breaks the wedding, you can still pick fantastic companies that are up and coming that will get your guests out of their seats for the entire evening. DJ’s are always open to negotiation especially on off peak days and afternoon weddings. You may want to check out a local dance club or companies that have a one man show for DJ-ing and MC’s.. They are usually a lot less expensive than several members and can usually do a great job. You can also use an up and coming bar band. There are several 4-5 piece bands that are great at getting the crowd going and keeping the dollars from beating their way out your wallet! It would be safe to say you could find a 4-5 piece band for $2000 or under for 4- 5 hours. They have to start somewhere! The Gown $99-1500 While this plays a crucial part for the bride there is no reason to say she can’t have her Vera Wang for $1500 or less. Keep your eyes open for trunk shows in the city or major retailers having their blow out sale! There are so many fantastic deals for the Bride and her Bridesmaids. You can even find Bridesmaids dresses for under $50 with a retail price of $400 or higher at some of the designer sales. You may also want to buy your dress in an area where you can forgo the sales tax! In some cases you could save 7-9%. Traveling to the big city is a great experience however; you can get the same dress delivered from NYC at n/c and save the tax! Now that’s a savings that could assist in buying your accessories! There are several areas that can work with your budget. Just keep in mind if you do the proper research and stay savvy about what is most important, you can ensure your guests will have a fantastic time. No fee is ever set in stone and everything can be negotiated. With the number of vendors starting in the wedding industry today, everyone has to start somewhere and you may be their ticket to sky rocket in many directions! A win/win situation in the end for everyone! Happy Planning!

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I devote my time to ensuring our clients recieve fab service. There's another "calling" for me. To give back to my peers that aspire to be the next "best" fancy pants somebody! Those who play it safe standing behind me, will fail. I do serve as a warning to others and yes, I'm nutty. It's who I am & it's not going to change, as it works. Feel free to comment & join me on what could be the best road trip EVER!

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