How Couples Can Budget for a Wedding and Fight Inflation
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You’re ready to get married, but your bank account isn’t. Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or a lavish hometown reception, you need to start saving.
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In 2021, the average cost of a wedding was $28,000, according to The Knot. Given that the consumer price index has risen 8.3% – before seasonal adjustment – in the last 12 months, as of April 2022, this number will almost certainly increase for 2022.
However, there are plenty of ways to budget in advance, so your special day doesn’t drag on in mountains of debt. Here are some tips for fighting inflation and getting your wedding expenses under control.
Lock pricing for vendors
After you’ve selected the vendors who will bring your dream wedding to life, get their prices in writing to avoid a nightmarish situation of eleventh-hour price hikes.
“Make sure there’s no escalation clause or anything in the contract that can be changed once you’ve made your deposit,” said Gary Grewal, financial planner and author of ” Financial Fives”. “That way the price is agreed in advance in case there is a supply chain problem.”
Offer to allow a supplier to advertise
Your wedding is probably filled with potential customers for your vendors. Therefore, Grewal suggested trying to get a discount on their services in exchange for free publicity.
For example, he said the linen salesman could leave cards near the centerpiece, the DJ could light up his logo on the wall, and the florist could write his details on the ribbon in the arrangements.
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Start shopping for deals now
Your wedding may not take place until next year, but Grewal said you can cut costs by buying all the items you need – for example, wine glasses, table decorations – as soon as possible. that you find an offer on them.
“Consider setting up price alerts on your favorite shopping site or browsing online advertisements,” he said. “Not only can it save you money, but it can also save you from rushing to buy out-of-stock items the week you start prepping.”
Choose an all-inclusive venue
Hosting your wedding in a venue that does everything is easier, and it can also be cheaper. Tiffany Johnson, MBA, CFP(r), co-owner of Piece of Wealth Planning, a fee-based virtual financial planning company, said this route helped her save money on her wedding in 2021.
“One of the main ways to cut costs was to choose a place where most of the necessary items – i.e. food, drinks, chairs, linens, etc. – were already included in site fees,” she said.
Writing smaller checks to many different vendors may seem more cost effective at first glance, but it can add up quickly. Often the larger providers are able to offer lower prices because they can handle everything in-house.
DIY as much as you can
While planning her wedding, Johnson said another way she and her husband cut costs was to ask family members to help DIY some items for the big day. If you or your loved ones are crafty, this can be a great way to save.
For example, the average cost of wedding favors and gifts is $450, according to The Knot. Even more expensive, Zola quotes the standard rate for centerpieces at around $50 to $500 per table.
Every dollar you save is more for your honeymoon, so round up your artistic family members and get to work.
Tap into your network
Chances are you know someone – or at least have a friend of a friend – who specializes in something you need for your wedding. Johnson said this connection can be a great way to save money.
“It’s very important to start with your current network and see how they could help you,” she said. “We knew our wedding photographer personally and she gave us a great discount on her services.”
Getting a friendly discount can save you a lot of money. After all, the average cost for a wedding photographer is $2,500, rising to $4,300 for a live band and $2,300 for a florist, according to The Knot.
Save the date for the offseason
Certain months of the year are much more popular to get married than others. Specifically, October, September, June, May, and August — in that order — according to WeddingWire.
Of course, that means others – December, January and February – aren’t that popular. Not only does choosing one of these months increase the chances of you securing your top-tier vendors, but it also means you could get a discount.
During the busy wedding months, couples compete for the most popular vendors, but the tables turn during the off-season. When there are fewer weddings, sellers lower their prices to encourage couples to choose them. This can allow you to have your dream wedding at a very affordable price.
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