Saturday, July 17, 2010
The Economy vs. Your Wedding
How has the economic slump impacted your big day?
A new study released by The Knot shows wedding budgets are down more than 5% from last year across the US. According to costofwedding.com, the average cost of a San Francisco based wedding this year is $30,000 -- which is a pretty big decline from the $38,000 reported average cost in 2009. That means more couples are planning their own weddings with longer planning periods and incorporating many "DIY" elements to their special day.
According to the survey, the list below outlines what couples paid on on average last year:
Cost Category * Average Spend 2009
Reception Venue $12,838
Reception Band $3,288
Reception DJ $892
Wedding/Event Planner $1,728
Wedding Gown $1,134
Wedding Cake $559
Ceremony Musicians $451
Catering (cost per head) $63
Wedding Day Transportation $692
Rehearsal Dinner $1,163
Engagement Ring $5,847
With the economy in the tanker, gone are the days where the bride's family picks up the tab -- couples are trying to make every dollar stretch and now-a-days both families pitch in to cover associated costs.
Here are a few tips that many couples are following to ensure their day is their dream day, is within budget and goes off without a hitch:
1) Hiring a "Day-of-Coordinator" - this may be one of the best decisions a bride could make. The following people will thank you: the Mother-of-the-Bride, the Mother-of-the-Groom, the bridal party, the caterer, the florist, the photographer, the videographer, etc., etc.... you get the point. Why? "Day-of-Coordinators" are insurance policies for a successful wedding. They are more affordable than you think, and to be honest, let someone else sweat the small stuff. No brides should be on the phone with her florist because her shipment of hydrangea never arrived and she's at the wholesale market purchasing another batch two hours before the ceremony. Brides should be focusing on getting ready, staying calm and looking beautiful. Also, many venues require you to have one stated in their contract. Wouldn't you rather hire your own who you trust has your best interest at heart rather than someone who is "appointed" to your event?
2) Downsize Your Guest Lists - your wedding day is about YOU, it's not about making everyone else happy. To ensure you get that delicious cake, the venue of your dreams, and/or the perfect honeymoon, sometimes you need to keep your guest list limited and intimate. Wouldn't you rather have an exceptional intimate affair that your guests remember rather than a large generic one guests don't?
3) "DIY" (Do It Yourself) Elements - there are a lot of ways to save money planning a wedding and some of them are fun and easy to do. For instance, try creating your own invitations using arts and crafts stores like Michaels, or ask to have your invites printed digitally instead of opting for costly thermography or letterpress techniques. If you have an Aunt Jane who loves to bake, ask her to bake a "rustic" wedding cake "to cut" and order designer cupcakes for your guests. For more fun and easy "DIY" wedding project ideas, visit www.diywedding.org/.