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An important aspect of financial planning is not only balancing your expenses on a day-to-day basis, but also planning ahead for larger anticipated expenses. A wedding is a joyous celebration. Yet the big day can also come with a big price tag; the average American wedding in 2015 cost more than $30,000.

Whether you’re paying for your own wedding, or you’re a parent or grandparent footing the bill or sharing the costs, it’s important to set a realistic budget for the event and plan accordingly. Here are some subtle ways to save on costs, while still achieving a perfect day. 

Save The Date

  • Diligent research, careful cost comparison, and planning ahead can yield big savings. For example, depending on where you live, research and book during the ‘off-season’. Rates are usually more negotiable and often heavily discounted.
  • Booking in advance guarantees your costs don’t go up, but be sure to work with a well-established provider to safeguard any up-front payments.
  • Consider holding your ceremony on a weekday instead of the weekend. A weekday before a public holiday e.g., July 3, can save you money, and guests can still enjoy the event without worrying about work the next day.

Location, Location, Location

  • For large groups and destination weddings, consider renting a vacation home, which can multitask as:
    • Accommodations for the wedding party
    • A picturesque location for the ceremony
    • A reception venue. (Holding your ceremony and reception in the same place offers further savings, as you don’t need transport for the wedding party between venues).
    • A honeymoon retreat once guests leave town.
  • For smaller groups, hosting the reception in the private event space of a high-end restaurant can result in significant savings on décor costs like linens, tableware, and centerpieces, which are often provided.
  • Avoid venues that require you to use selected providers. Their prices are usually inflated to include a percentage cut for the venue.
  • Some universities allow alumni and others to marry on-campus, offering beautiful historical buildings that double as an economical reception venue as well as a picturesque backdrop for your wedding photos.
  • Consider a destination wedding with a pricing structure that allows you to reduce your costs as the guest list grows.

Décor, Dresses, And More

  • A winter wedding means many venues are already decorated for the holidays.
  • Purchase flowers or floral arrangements in bulk from providers like FiftyFlowers.com or Costco.
  • Make use of other non-traditional suppliers e.g., purchasing evening dresses for bridesmaids can prove cost-effective, plus your attendants may be more able to wear them again in the future.
  • Consider asking relatives and friends with special talents e.g., cake decorating or photography, to help in lieu of a wedding gift.
  • Track expenses carefully:
    • Purchasing materials and doing it yourself can sometimes cost more than hiring a professional.
    • Delivery charges can mount up quickly. If you’re buying locally, have a trusted friend or family member act as a courier to pick up flowers and other items.
    • Personalized items are typically a lot more expensive, so limit these to essentials only.
  • Shop around for a credit card that offers useful points or cash back rewards, plus a zero or low introductory APR, to use for wedding purchases. Just be sure to pay it off as soon as possible to avoid incurring interest or outstanding debt.

One of the first questions we ask you as a client relates to significant future expenses such as a wedding in the family. SageVest Wealth Management works with you to develop personalized financial plans that meet your individual and family wealth objectives. Please contact us to discuss further.

Prepared by SageVest Wealth Management. Copyright 2017

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