The once-in-a-lifetime wedding celebrations can add up fast. So how can you save money but still have the wedding of your dreams? PHL17’s Chandler Lutz sat down with a certified financial planner along with a bride and her maid of honor to debunk some wedding myths.
“We’re covering the DJ, the photographer, the videographer, the save the dates, the stamps, the invitations... and all this adds up.”
Bride-to-be Amanda Hassel knows first hand the cost of getting married. Her fall wedding is quickly approaching and she’s become a pro at writing checks.
According to The Knot’s real weddings study, last years average wedding cost was $33,391. Before you start panicking, don’t worry! Experts say you don’t necessarily need to spend an arm and leg to have the wedding of your dreams.
Certified financial planner, Dan Hernandez, says that there are a lot of "cooler alternative ways to have a wedding. There’s ways to do it less expensive that are still very memorable.”
Traditionally, we’ve all heard that the bride’s family foots the bill. But with wedding costs increasing year after year, that's no longer the norm.
Hernandez says, “it’s moved away from the traditional. Especially over the last ten or fifteen years, costs have become so astronomical that it's now an undo burden on any one family.”
This is exactly what Amanda Hassel and her fiancé are doing for their wedding.
“A lot of bride and grooms pay for their own wedding. For me, my parents aren’t in the condition to pay for my wedding at all. I’m blessed to have my in-laws who are paying for a majority of the wedding. My grandmother is pitching in, she bought my wedding dress. My aunt is buying flowers, so every little bit helps. But me and my fiancé are paying for a lot more than what used to be the case.”
So what are some ways to save some cash? Hernandez suggests that as soon as you put a ring on it, and definitely before you sign any contracts... have a plan. He also recommends that you choose a longer engagement. This will allow everyone more time to save. Also don't make assumptions about your income when saving up. Tax returns and birthday gifts should be an added bonus, not something you consider guaranteed. Finally, he says if you can, try the do-it-yourself method.
Brielle Perry did just that with the help of her wedding party. “I had my bridesmaids actually help with the flower arrangements. We got them from a local florist and then we were able to make them together as kind of an activity almost. So as much as we could we tried to do those things.”
Some other tips? Look outside major populated areas for vendors, like a DJ or photographer. One in the suburbs could save you thousands. When it comes to flowers, every other table is just fine. You can create your own centerpieces for the tables in between.
Lastly, think of ways that will make your wedding creative but most importantly memorable. In the end, it is the best day of your life, right?