Don’t Empty Your Pocketbook This Wedding Season

July 24th, 2017 by Bunch & Brock

Wedding ceremonies are deeply rooted in tradition, which comes hand in hand with certain expectations. Whether you have been planning the details of your wedding day since childhood or are new to the party, it’s important to keep a budget in mind. No matter how you envision it, “The Big Day” is just one moment in the rest of your lives together. It’s wise not to start that journey in financial ruins.

According to a study done by popular wedding planning site The Knot, a poll of 13,000 brides and grooms revealed that the average cost of a wedding in this country reached a record high last year of a whopping $35,329 — up 8 percent from 2015 (and not including the honeymoon!). One of the most popular trends making up that figure is personalizing the wedding experience for guests. While the number of guests is decreasing, the amount of money spent per guest is climbing. Couples are spending an average of $245 per guest, compared to $194 seven years ago. This is not about inflation, either. It’s about dessert baristas, bourbon bars, and other expensive guest-oriented details aimed at creating a memorable experience. It’s also about venues. A wedding venue in Manhattan averaged $78,464 in 2016, though the national average price tag was $16,107.

No one wants to skimp on their wedding, but there are lots of ways to have a memorable wedding without going bankrupt. For example, Saturdays are by far the most popular and most expensive day to have a wedding, and spring and summer are the most popular and most expensive times of year. Celebrating during the week, or even on a Friday or a Sunday, can often shave thousands of dollars off the overall price. Fall or winter weddings not only look elegant in photographs, but when you consider how much more affordable it can be, combined with the cooler temperatures, you may find that you’re more comfortable all around.

Another thing to consider is the engagement period. The further ahead you’re able to book your event, the more likely you are to get a rate that won’t increase and the more time you’ll have to research the details. Sometimes, comparison shopping makes all the difference when it comes to your wallet. Being able to spend adequate time learning about ways to maximize your dollar without sacrificing quality, and also being able to save bursts of income such as tax returns, can translate into thousands of dollars.

Liquor is also a detail that adds up. Nixing alcohol altogether is one way to cut costs, but many people might say that a wedding isn’t a wedding without alcohol. If you are one of those people, consider ditching the open bar idea and opting for some local craft beers and/or some nice wine. It can add an elegance, as well as local charm. Another perk? Guests might actually remember the party if hard liquor isn’t invited.

Speaking of guests, don’t be afraid to take them up on offers to lend a hand. Most of the time, your friends and family genuinely want to help – especially those who have been through wedding chaos themselves. Consider the beloved photo booth. Renting one can easily tack on an extra $1,000 to your bill, so why not make your own? Even if you don’t consider yourself a DIYer, this is a prime example of how you can get friends involved. Have someone make fun backdrops that guests can choose from on your big day. It can be decorated paper, wooden pallets, faux brick or stone… get creative. Any party story carries fun photo booth props, but with some cardstock, a color printer, some dowels, and an afternoon, homemade props will add a personal touch while saving you tons of money. Instant-film cameras can be used with this, but if you want quality photos, use a tablet on a tri-pod, or have guests take their own pictures on their phones and share them with you on a photo site.

Getting married should be a jubilant experience and some wise financial decisions can help make that happen. At Bunch & Brock, we know it can be hard to get out of debt and even harder to save, but with more than 35 years of experience in the state of Kentucky, we have helped many people develop the best plan for their situation. To get started, or if you have any questions about this topic, call us at 859-254-5522 or fill out this online form.