For richer or poorer?

This is a guest post from Anna Nguyen, Marketing Specialist and soon-to-be bride.

With all of the details to mull over like what your wedding colors will be, which flowers to choose, or where you will find your dream dress, how much a wedding will cost may be the last thing on your mind as a bride-to-be. The fact is that the cost of the wedding is something you simply cannot avoid. According to theknot.com, couples are spending an average of nearly $28,000 to walk down the aisle!

To avoid a post marital financial crisis, consider the following tips while planning your big day:

Create a wedding budget (and stick to it!). Creating a reasonable wedding budget is one of the first things you need to do when you begin planning. Once you establish who will be contributing and how much you can afford, you can base your decisions on that amount. Wedding sites like theknot.com have budget calculators that can help you figure out how much to spend on each category based on the number of guests expected and your budget.

Book your vendors as early as possible. Early planning will allow you to research and compare prices of any vendors you may want to use. It will be more likely for you to be able to reserve the date you want for all vendors and avoid having to pay more or be less happy with any alternative choices. Keep in mind that a Saturday night will be the most expensive time to have your wedding.

Hunt for discounts. Great deals can be found through joining the mailing list at various wedding sites or at bridal shows where vendors offer specials to attendees. Also, bridal boutiques frequently hold sample sales where you can choose the designer dress of your dreams for a significantly reduced price. Or if it’s in your budget, a good wedding coordinator can provide references to many vendors who will be willing to give you a discount based on your relationship with the coordinator.

Do-it-yourself. When it comes to the details of your wedding, such as invitations, favors, or even flowers, consider doing it yourself. Printing your own invitations has become more acceptable and you can find all kinds of ideas online. As for favors, consider not having any or donate to a charity of your choice in honor of your guests. If you need inspiration, here are a few of my favorite sources: snippetandink.blogspot.com, swsmag.net/blog, and beautifulpaper.typepad.com.

It’s hard to not let the excitement of a wedding get the best of you, but you don’t want to spend your days as newlyweds worrying about the debt you built up to pay for your wedding. It’s also important not to forget that the purpose of a wedding is to celebrate the start of a marriage and although your wedding is in fact a very special and important event, it will only be one day in the life span of your entire relationship.

 

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.