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If You Get Engaged on Valentine's Day, Here's How to Save on the Wedding
Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas as the most popular day for engagements, according to the Wedding Wire website. If you -- or someone whose wedding you might be financing – are among this year’s happy couples, congratulations!
Now comes the difficult part: planning the wedding. If you don’t have an unlimited budget, here are some tips from experts on how to have the wedding you want for a price you can afford.
First, and most important, decide what your budget is. Traditionally, the parents of the bride paid for the wedding – and set the budget. Today, weddings are likely to be paid for in part by the parents of the couple and in part by the couple themselves. However you do it, decide what a realistic final number is, based on the contributions of everyone involved.
The couple, with input from anyone else chipping in, should decide what is most important to them. Do you want to get married on a beach or in a hot-air balloon? Do you want a custom-designed gown? Do you want to invite 500 people? These kinds of issues have a significant impact on the cost of your wedding. Depending on what those things cost, you might have to make adjustments elsewhere.
Obviously, having a smaller wedding means smaller costs. Most caterers charge by the person, so the more people you have, the more you pay. But if you can’t or won’t cut your guest list to the bone, there are other things you can do to save money:
Finally, relax and enjoy. In the end, you are hosting a wedding, of course. But you are also starting a marriage. Some things probably will not go perfectly according to plan. But the likelihood is that those will be the things you laugh about on your 25th anniversary.
- Get married on a less popular day of the week or time of year. The most popular day for a wedding is Saturday, so if you choose another day – like Friday or Sunday – you might pay a lot less for the same venue. Similarly, if you get married in the winter (other than at Christmas or in a tropical location), you might be able to save.
- Choose your venue carefully. Check with each venue to see what comes with the cost of the rental. For example, some venues throw in a hotel room for the bride and groom, basic decorations, set-up and tear-down, help with lights and sound, and other things. If yours does, that means you don’t have to pay for those extra things.
- Think about what you can do yourself. Obviously you don’t want to make yourself crazy the morning of your wedding running around placing decorations and setting up chairs. But if you can do things like make simple centerpieces from bulk flowers a night or two before, you could save some money.
- Know when to splurge. If you love to dance, you probably are very picky about the band or DJ you choose. Most experts say not to scrimp on a photographer, because pictures and videos of the day will become among your most treasured possessions.
- Save on things you don’t care as much about. Wedding cake, for example, is very expensive and often goes largely uneaten. If you limit your selection of alcohol – choosing just a few kinds of spirits and a selection of wine and beer, rather than offering virtually everything – you usually can save a lot.
- Make sure you ask for the final cost, including any gratuities, taxes, special fees, etc.