Financial Struggles When Getting Married

If you are getting married, you've probably already thought about your budget. More than likely you've had one of two thoughts:

1. I'll win a bunch of contests for awesome wedding things and our wedding will be super cheap!

2. I'll have a small wedding and thus our wedding will be really cheap!

Can I blow your wedding budget bubble? Weddings cost more than you think they do!

Unless you are a wedding planner, you probably aren't aware of the actual cost of weddings or the time that goes into them. So I suggest you research the general cost of the vendors that will be necessary for your wedding before coming up with a budget. Despite having worked as a second photographer for weddings before, even I was surprised at the actual cost of a wedding!

To give you an idea of wedding costs, let's look at the costs of my wedding:

1. The photographer was the most important part of our wedding. The first photographer we planned on using cost roughly $2000. When we found out the main photographer was pregnant, we went on a last minute search for a replacement photographer... who cost us approximately $1000. Dove Photography, our first photographer, had had their images published in magazines, had attended the same college as me(!!), was going to give us all of their images, but they were only going to shoot for approximately 6 hours with 2 shooters and their company was located out of state. The second photographer we hired, Darwin Young, actually lived in the area, was giving us all of our images, and was going to shoot the whole day of wedding excitement.

2. The florist we booked cost us approximately $2000. Amy Osaba, it turns out, was charging for name only. The florals were pretty until they fell apart and turned brown before the ceremony. Other florists we talked with were only going to charge approximately $600 for what Justin and I asked for.

3. Venue, one of the last things booked, cost us $3000! We were originally looking to spend $200 on our venue, but the building was being remodeled. Every other location we looked at, we were going to have to bring in rentals and crazy decorate the location. Having free rentals, s'mores, tents, heaters, and an extra wedding planner helped us to seal the deal.

4. Food was one of the cheapest things we paid for! Yay!! At $12/head with appetizers and three different entrees, bread, salad, coffee, and fruit we thought we got a good deal! Most caterers were asking a minimum of $15/head with only 2 entrees, salad, and bread. Some were asking as much as $30/head!!! We had considered buying Costco lasagnas and getting some of the men Justin's dad knew to heat them up and serve them, but even Justin's dad, who knew a lot about catering, decided we were getting a good deal with the food!

5. Music was also cheap. We had my laptop plugged in... Not ideal, but it worked. Justin was even able to go change the music during the reception without anyone noticing! In total, music cost us about $100. Obviously, you could just use music you already have. We were looking at a DJ for around $700 for 3 hours... or a band for a few thousand. 

6. I'm embarrassed to admit that the invitations and paper products cost quite a bit coming in at about $1000. I wasn't even all that happy with my invitations! I was just so indecisive at making my own invitations, and I was trying to be a perfectionist with my save-the-dates and programs. I was in love with my programs, by the way! However, if you don't know what you are doing, you could probably get away with spending $500 or less on invitations, $1000 for fancy invites, or less than $100 if you just print them off of your own printer.

All in all, our wedding cost us more than we expected including clothing, decoration, and dance lesson costs that I have not mentioned here. We did not go into more debt than we already owed, we were able to pay in cash, as I suggest you do as well.

While vendor costs are all over the place, I hope you get the general idea. There are a lot of variables that make up the cost of an item from awards, to the name, not having a clue what you are doing, bargaining, rental costs, etc... The best you can do is be aware that weddings are expensive, know what to expect given a vendors particular price range, and look for the absolute best deal you can find.

1 comment:

  1. Weddings are indeed expensive especially when you are going for that “dream wedding.” Money on once-in-a-lifetime occasions like this should be carefully spent, so getting a planner is advisable. Saving up will also ease some of the financial burden since you will be able to prepare for this special occasion.

    Neil Dando @ WormAldand Partners Accountants


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