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Entries in budget (6)


10 Ways To Save Money on Your Wedding


1. Consider the date. Saturdays are the most popular wedding day. For this reason, Saturdays are also more expensive than, say, a Friday or Sunday. Inquire about the price difference. You may be surprised.

2. Email your Save-the-dates. In this day and age, almost everyone has email (except for maybe great aunt Geraldine, but you can call her yourself), so why not send out a save-the-date via email? Depending on how many people you're inviting, you'll save cash by not having to pay postage and the cost of purchasing or making your save-the-dates.

3. Shop the sales for your wedding dress. Many bridal stores have semi-annual sales during the year, as well as trunk shows where you can score your dream dress for a fraction of the price. 

4. Skip the full bar. Consider serving beer, wine, and a signature cocktail at your wedding instead of a full bar. If you must have a full bar, skip the premium brand liquors. 

5. Do your own make up. Schedule a session with a make up artist before your wedding to learn how to properly apply make up, and do it yourself on the big day! 

6. Consult the artisans at Etsy. When you see something you love in store that is way over budget, check out Etsy for a less expensive option. I used Etsy for my bridesmaids' earrings and wedding card box.

7. Cut the guest list. Narrowing your guest list a sure way to cut your wedding costs. You could also make this an "adults only" wedding, thus eliminating the cost of kids' meals.

8. Skip the flowers where you can. Candles are a great substitute for flowers in places like the centerpieces and the aisle.

9. Seat guests at larger tables. This will cut down on the number of centerpieces you have to use (and pay for).

10. Narrow down your vendors, and use one against the other in competitive pricing for the best deal. It sounds shady, but it's just negotiation. Quick story: When I was planning my wedding, I considered two potential DJ's. DJ A was much more experienced, owned a huge DJ and lighting company and had access to specialty DJ's (I wanted someone who could do mash ups), had better references, and an overall better personality than DJ B, who was younger, inexperienced, and a one-man business. DJ A was almost $9,000 more than DJ B. We simply told DJ A that DJ B would do it for less, and DJ A matched the price! We were shocked! 


Budgeting Surprises


Two words you don't want in the same sentence when it comes to your weddng: "over budget". Think about it. You and your spouse-to-be have sat down and crunched all the numbers. You've planned out everything to the last dime. You should be all set when it comes to the big day, right? Just to be sure, double check that you've accounted for the following so that you can avoid the dreaded sentence, "Honey, we've gone over budget."

-The Venue's "Extras"

You found the perfect venue for your wedding day. The grounds are gorgeous and the service is impeccable. Stop right there. Before you go signing the dotted line, make sure you have your ducks in a row. Venues often have fees for the "extras". Yes, you can probably bring your own cake, but are they going to charge a cake-cutting fee? That can run you almost $5.00 per person. Maybe you can supply your own alcohol...but will they charge a corkage fee? Tack on an extra $5.00-15.00 per person! Maybe you've opted to let their bartender handle the liquor, but will they charge a bar set-up fee? Want to have coffee and tea served with your wedding cake? Extra charge. And don't forget the possible service charge for the wait staff. These are essential questions you need to ask before you sign anything!


-Vendor Meals

You may be serving a fabulous surf'n'turf meal at your wedding that will cost you $80 per person. You've got 100 guests coming and you've budgeted accordingly. But didn't you miss a few people? Your photographers, videographers, band members and any other people providing a service at your reception will also need to eat. While they do not have to eat the shrimp and steak entree, you should provide them with the venue's standard vendor meal at the very least. Budget for around $20.00 per person. Make sure to include any assistants the vendors bring along.


One of the best things about weddings is that people are willing to bend over backwards to make the day run as smoothly as possible. This includes delivery service of flowers, the cake, linens, tuxedos, stemware...pretty much anything wedding related. But before you go ordering delivery service, make sure you ask about the fee. This is not like ordering take-out! You can bet a fee will be charged, and don't forget to add a few bucks for gratuity. 


-Sales Tax & Traveling Fees

Dj's, make up artists, hair stylists, photographers, and any other vendors you have coming to you on the big day may also add on a travel fee to cover their gas, tolls, parking, and time it takes to travel. They could charge per mile (up to $1.00 per mile, plus tolls and parking) and this could really deplete your budget depending on how far they're traveling. Don't forget to add on your state sales tax when budgeting, which can be found here.

The bottom line is to be prepared. By making yourself aware of all the possible fees, you'll be sure to start day one of your marriage off on the right debt-free foot!


Wedding Etiquette: Who Pays For Guest Travel?


Who should pay for my guests to travel to my destination wedding?

Although the cost of a guest's airfare and hotel for a destination wedding can be a lot more than a typical at home wedding, your guests are responsible for getting themselves to your wedding. Yes, it might cost them some extra money but don't feel guilty about that. Just because Katy Perry and Russell Brand can afford to spoil their guests by flying them to India, doesn't mean you and your groom-to-be are expected to do the same. By all means, if you have the financial means to do so, go for it! Your guests will certainly appreciate you picking up all or part of their tab. But make sure you know that paying for your guests is not a required addition to your wedding budget.

 P.S. Wedding Etiquette: Bring Gifts To A Destination Wedding?


Fudging the Budget


Look around the web or in any bridal magazine and you will be bombarded with spreadsheets and pie charts telling you how to budget for your wedding. These tools can be great aids in helping you decide where your money will go. TheKnot.com offers the following budget breakdown to help brides-to-be:

  • Reception: 48%-50%
  • Ceremony: 2%-3%
  • Attire: 8%-10%
  • Flowers: 8%-10%
  • Entertainment/Music: 8%-10%
  • Photography/Videography: 10%-12%
  • Stationery: 2%-3%
  • Wedding Rings: 2%-3%
  • Parking/Transportation: 2%-3%
  • Gifts: 2%-3%
  • Miscellaneous: 8%

This is a great information, but remember that you should spend your money on the things that matter most to you. Don't want to spend 8-10% of your budget on Music? Then bring your iPod dock and spend that money on something that's more important to you. Not so into flowers?? Feel free to nix the flowers and spend more of your hard-earned cash on your dress, or your photographer, or your honeymoon, or whatever else you want!

P.S. Decor on a Dime


A Bow for Your Hair


What a beautiful way to keep your hair out of your eyes and add a special touch of glam to your wedding day 'do! This headband would look great for a whimsical, romantic look. For a more glittery look, try a crystalized headband. There are many options on Etsy!

P.S. To Veil or Not to Veil


Wedding Etiquette: Who Pays For What?


My fiancé and I are trying to create a budget for our upcoming destination wedding. We expect to get some financial help from our parents, but we'd like to know who is supposed to pay for what?

Tradition dictates that the bride's family pays for the actual wedding, and the groom's family pays for the rehearsal dinner. The members of the wedding party pay for their own transportation and attire. The maid of honor (along with the bridesmaids) pay for the bridal shower and bachelorette party. The best man (along with the groomsmen) pays for the bachelor party. The bride pays for the bridal luncheon. 

However, times have changed, and people are changing the rules for payment to suit their lifestyle. Today, it is all about communication. Weddings can get expensive, and that is why we at Jetting to the Wedding love the idea of a destination wedding because it can be far less expensive than a traditional wedding in your home town. There will still be significant costs, and so we offer you a few suggestions:

  1. Communicate. Sit down with your spouse to be and talk about what funds you each individually have to put towards the wedding. Include your parents (both sides!) in this discussion. Do not assume that they will pitch in. Until they say so, assume that you and your spouse to be will be covering all costs. 
  2. Set a budget. This is where Jetting to the Wedding can help. We know what portion of the budget is typically spent on food, decor, etc., and we can customize it to fit your needs. 
  3. Stick to the budget. You don't want to start the first day of your marriage waking up and thinking, "Oh no, we have to go home to those credit card bills!" Stick to the budget. If you go over budget for the wedding dress, find somewhere else where you can cut back (like the flowers). There is always wiggle room in a budget!

P.S. Who Pays For Guest Travel and Open Bar, Cash Bar, and Everything In Between