Mistakes That Increase Wedding Costs, Part 4
"Familiarize Yourself with the Wedding Industry"
You can read online and get very well acquainted with all of the popular websites that are geared for reader's nationwide and beyond, but it doesn't give you any clue as to what a wedding will cost in your area. There are sites that purport to tell you that you can narrow right down to your zip code what your wedding will cost. I don't trust surveys when it comes to these kinds of details. I have never seen anyone spend as much as they say a wedding would cost in my particular zip code. That's not to say that it couldn't happen, but on an average? No. No two weddings are alike and no two couples are alike!
1. It's important to have a basic idea of what you want. It's a safe place to start and you can always learn about substitutions to reduce costs.
2. Don't be surprised when you find substantial differences between vendors.
If you don't hire a Wedding Planner who will do their best to match you with vendors within your budget, I would suggest that you get at least 3 different proposals within each category for your wedding. For example, floral designers, caterers, venues, DJ's, photographers. Cheapest is not always a good value nor is the most expensive always the best quality. This is the area where Wedding Planners save you a lot of money and quite often it is equal to the their fee.
3. Ask your friends (newlyweds love to talk about their wedding) and get an idea of what they spent. You probably have seen pictures at least of what they had in the way of flowers. If you attended a wedding, you might remember the venue and what food was served. The details of the photographer, DJ and other vendors will require more detailed questions.
4. Determine what time of year is the busiest for weddings in your area. For instance in the Pacific Northwest, June is not the busiest wedding month, but the average person who lives here assumes that June is a busy wedding month. Not so. Save money by having an "off-season" wedding.
5. Don't just rely on wedding shows! They are a good place to get an idea things you will have to plan on for a wedding. The booth spaces are very expensive for businesses and many quality vendors don't spend their money on the shows or they pick and choose which wedding shows to participate in. It also varies for each vendor category on how beneficial the shows are. You might want to determine if the shows have a good mix of vendors. I don't find many clients at wedding shows because usually people going to a show use a wedding show to plan their wedding. I don't recommend planning a wedding that way because you are not getting the in-depth consultations at a wedding show nor a really good comparison of things you want. You might be more comfortable with open houses that are held by venues or caterers. Just search Google for local wedding open houses, show cases, etc.
6. Attend local wedding planning workshops hosted by wedding planners. There's no substitute for education. One thing I have heard repeatedly from vendors is that they wish prospective clients came to them with more education about their services. Live seminars will give you the opportunity to ask questions and learn from others who are planning a wedding. Many times different vendors will actually participate in the workshops.
Wishing you the greatest of days!
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