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NOTICE: If you don’t read this article BEFORE you plan your wedding, you are going to lose money! I guarantee it!
I’m going to share a few secrets with you so that you can plan your wedding, save loads of money, and still be sane by your wedding day!
(1) Steps for planning a wedding: You can do all of this yourself without hiring a wedding planner or wedding consultant!
(2) Regardless of your wedding budget, you will save a huge amount of money!
(3) I don’t care if you have a year to plan or a month to plan, you can still have the wedding of your dreams at the price you want to pay!
We did a gorgeous garden wedding and outdoor reception and planned it in 2 weeks for under $1000! And that included the wedding gown!
TIP #1: When you are shopping for goods or services for your wedding, NEVER say it’s for a wedding! Wedding purveyors are part of the service industry, and service industry automatically mark up their goods for services. But wedding vendors mark up greatly! So you’re putting together a little function, retirement party, whatever, but not a wedding!
TIP #2: Negotiate from a position of power. For purposes of this article, let’s just state the principle as this: when you make your initial calls to the vendor, you are not checking prices, you are accepting bids for whatever good or service that you seek. That puts the ball in your court instead of the vendors.
TIP #3: When you call a vendor, you need to have exactly in mind what you seek. Changes can be made and negotiated later, but for now, you need bids from multiple vendors that are exactly alike so you are comparing oranges to oranges.
I am not a certified wedding planner or consultant. But I have been a bride several times 🙂 and am a minister that has married many couples and heard the horror stories. So many years ago, I began to develop my own wedding planning program, before we even had the internet to make comparison shopping so much easier!
I have heard brides say that they weren’t willing to get married in their back yard if that was the only way to save money. Well, guess what? It’s not the only way!
TIP #4: Many office buildings have beautiful gardens and/or fountains as an atrium area. Did you know how easy and inexpensive it is to hold your wedding in one of these?
TIP #5: Did you know that a $2000 wedding dress has about $200 worth of fabric and labor in it? That’s because almost all of these dresses come from overseas markets made in near slave market factories. But you can save on your own dress with this one trick: when you find a dress that you like, ask if it is available in a less expensive fabric? It is, I assure you!
TIP #6: I can give you many cost saving ideas for dresses and where to buy them, here’s just one: Buy a very simple white gown and make it your own wedding dress. Fabric stores, as well as online sources, have beautiful lace, appliqués, beading, and more which can be added to a plain white dress.
TIP #7: Never buy your wedding accessories from a bridal shop. This includes shoes, veils, tiaras, headpieces, ring pillows, etc. Why? Because wedding shops have built in “service fees” built into the cost of every product. They are a service intensive industry, and up sell is the name of the game. Their job is to part you from your money. Your job is to be a smart shopper and keep as much of your money in your pocket as possible.
You are the Queen of your wedding day. As the Queen, you have the final say so and the final responsibility to create your beautiful day. But that doesn’t mean you have to be crazy by your wedding day. So remember, delegate, delegate, delegate! I remember hearing famous businessman and former Presidential Candidate H. Ross Perot speak one time about succeeding in business. He said you cannot know everything, therefore you surround yourself with brilliance. Now there was a man who had a handle on control issues, ego, any Superman complex. He was absolutely correct. You can not be everywhere and do everything at once. You must delegate. Many of the duties, as well as follow up, should fall to your maid of honor, bridesmaids, and family members.
Yes, you absolutely can hire a wedding planner or coordinator to plan your wedding. But it will cost you approximately 15% of the total cost of your wedding.
Today’s weddings average $27,000-$40,000, depending upon your geographical location. So NOT having a wedding planner can save you major money! And of course, those average costs are just that. They are not the Platinum Weddings that you see on television. And wedding coordinator are not Mr. Short as seen in “Father of the Bride.” He was such a hoot, that I’d almost be willing to hire him just to experience his craziness. But wedding planners are regular people, just like you and me, and they all have their own foibles and preferences. That’s why when you work with a coordinator, you have to have definite ideas and really healthy boundaries, or you’ll end up with your coordinators favorite wedding instead of your own.
TIP #8: Plan your time wisely! First things first: no wedding without a venue to marry and/or have a reception in. So first you have the place, then the minister or officiate if you’re not marrying in your own church, then you focus on your vendors: flowers, food, rings, etc. Create a timeline and stick to it! Nothing left until to the wedding day other than pampering yourself!
TIP#9: Flowers are a large part of your budget. Stick with “in season” flowers. You’ll save much more than going for exotic varieties that are out of season. Besides, very, very few people are aware of what is in and out of season.
Tip #10: From your flower budget, focus the most of your alter flowers. That’s the direction that your guests will spend most of their time looking at. Then make these flowers do double duty for you on your reception tables. Spend less on a huge bridal bouquet. Your quests will be watching your radiant face as you come up the isle rather than your bouquet.
I hope these few tips will help you be on your way to a beautiful, cost saving wedding day. There really are as many possibilities as your imagination. And that includes your ceremony. Be flexible and make your day fun. After all, just because you “know” something was supposed to go a certain way, your guests won’t have any idea. Although family and friends will offer many suggestions, some of them very good by the way, it is, ultimately your day. Your job is to please yourself and your partner. You’re making memories that will last a lifetime. Make your day as special as your love!
write by Basil