Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: 'Tis the Season...

Did you know that over 33% of engagements happen during the holiday season?  If your social media outlets haven't started looking like jewelry store displays, get yourself prepared!  Most brides love to get a jump on planning as soon as they are engaged, so when Jenny Creno from the Credit Card Insider contacted me about sharing some budget saving wedding tips, I couldn't of thought of a better topic myself!  There's a TON of wedding tips that I always try and share on the blog, but here are some below that come to mind (with a few non-financial related tips as well, I couldn't resist!)

1.  To save money, book a venue that's NOT a hotel/catering hall and allows you to bring in your own catering!  Those types of venues can up charge you on food/beverage.

2.  Book your vendors early!  Not only do you secure them for your date, but you may be able to get this year's pricing before they increase in the next calendar year.

3.  Once you buy a dress, STOP LOOKING.  You'll drive yourself crazy and 2nd guessing things will lead you to dress remorse, and even worse, the purchasing of another gown!

4.  If you have a non-hotel vendor, buy/bring your own alcohol for the bars.  Most liquor stores will take back any unopened bottles which you can get back from the bartenders at the end of the night, therefore only paying for what you need!

5.  It's not always best to bundle!  While your decor vendor may have included chairs in his proposal, unless he owns them, he probably added an additional percentage for himself on top of the rental pricing he got.  By doing some research yourself, you can cut your rental costs WAY down.

6.  If you are supplying any items, label them (and even include a picture!) when packaging everything up to ensure it is set up exactly as you want it on wedding day.  I have an "items to be displayed" list that my brides fill out that include all these details, and most importantly, with who takes it all home at the end of the night!

7.  DIY when possible!  I'm not saying your wedding has to scream CRAFTY! but the little things (like Welcome Bags, paper goods, or cute signage) can be done with little skill and will be easier on the budget.

8.  Hire a wedding coordinator!  It will save you lots of time, stress and money.  Plus, I happen to know a great one ;)

9. Meet with all applicable parties and decide on a budget.  Stick to it!  Rank your must haves (the meat & potatoes-- like photo, venue, food/beverage) first and stick your lust-worthy items on a wish list.

10.  Budget about 5-7% for last minute expenses and surprise costs.  Come wedding day, you may have some things you forgot about and doing this will ease your mind (and wallet).

And last, (on a non-financial related note) on your wedding day, let go!  No watches or cell phones-- live in the moment.  Everyone else can worry about the details and timing at that point.  Be sure to take it all in throughout different moments in the day-- it will fly by.  Don't sweat the small stuff-- as long as your married at the end of the day it should still be the happiest day of your lives, everything else is just a cherry on top!

You can read Jenny's article HERE where you can view her infographic for all you visual learners!  She also has a budget calculator you can try out, but remember, these percentages aren't always applicable for everyone.  Prices on vendors may differ by location and also you may spend a larger portion on floral/decor while someone is a bigger foodie, so keep in mind these are just generalizations to give you an idea!
What are your favorite budget saving tips?  Share away!
xo, Elissa

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