This is an article taken from the Spring 2007 Plan Ahead Get Ahead Magazine that I would like to share with potential brides and grooms. It is an interview with Wedding Consultant Deborah McCoy.
Wedding Consultant Deborah McCoy
has lost track of the number of times brides have told her, “I hope we make a
lot of money at this wedding, or we’re in trouble.”
would say that when the came in to pick up the dress, and I would about fall
off my chair“, says McCoy, president of the American Academy of Wedding
Professionals. By then, she says, it’s too late
to trim back arrangements to fit the couple’s budget.
doesn’t have to be that way. With careful planning, a couple can have an
elegant wedding with out exhausting their own or their parents’ saving or
starting their married life in debt, McCoy says.
HERE COMES THE BILL
2006, the average wedding cost around $30,000, McCoy says. That’s up from about
$27,000 in 2005. “It’s just a never-ending bottomless pit”, she adds. Couples’
rising incomes may be driving the increases; many are financing their own
weddings, and since they often marry later in life, their incomes—and
expectations—can be considerable. However, the may also be saddled with student
loan and car payments. Buying a new home in a high-cost housing market can push
some young couples over the financial edge. McCoy, who has authored several
books on weddings, including The Elegant
Wedding and the Budget-Savvy Bride, joins other experts in offering these
suggestions to help ensure that a marriage doesn’t start out in the red:
Set your priorities. Discuss what’s most
important for the wedding. “Sit down with the parents and find out who’s
contributing what to the wedding”. McCoy says. “Figure out the cost of what you
want, then start saving”. The average engagement today lasts about 16 months.
You can use that time to save for wedding expenses.
With young people facing student loans and high housing costs, it’s
more important than ever to make sensible wedding plans.
Open a special account: “Weddings are
time when people can overspend. It’s just the nature of the beast”. McCoy says.
But a dedicated wedding fund can serve as a check. “If you’re going to
overspend on one item, you cut back on another item so you always keep the
bottom line in balance”.
The biggest way to cut costs,
McCoy say, is to trim the guest list to include only your closest friends and
family. “When you think of a guest, you have to think in terms of an
invitation, the price of the band, the amount of food and beverages served—it’s
all contingent on the guest list”, she says.
DON’T STAND ON CEREMONY
the parents of the bride were expected to pay the bulk of wedding costs. But
that is changing, to the relief of many a parent. A 2006 survey by the Condè
Nast Bridal Group found that only 30% of weddings were paid for entirely by the
bride’s parents. That is down 8% from 1999.
engaged couples are now self-supporting and are paying at least a share of the
wedding cost. The 2006 survey found that 32% of couples paid the entire cost of
their weddings themselves.
MORE WAYS TO CURB EXPENSES
Design Your Own Invitations. “Today,
with computers and word processors and printers, you can really be innovative
and fun, and put a personal touch on a wedding and save some buck”, says
wedding expert Deborah McCoy.
Dress For Less.
McCoy suggests buying a “sample” gown from a bridal boutique to save as much as
half the cost. Other options: Buy a vintage gown, wear your mother’s or
grandmother’s gown or even rent a gown.
Craft Your Own Veil.
Buying some tulle for less than a dollar a yard and fashioning it into a veil
can save hundreds of dollars, McCoy says.
Make Smart Food Choices. If you want
the meal catered, McCoy says a package deal that includes everything from the
appetizer to the cake and champagne toast usually is the best value. If that’s
too pricey, opt for a buffet, a dessert reception or a brunch instead of a
Look At Low-Cost
Locations. Parks and even backyards can provide beautiful settings at
little or no cost.
Consider A Destination Wedding. One of
the fastest-growing wedding trends is the destination wedding. A shorter guest
list can more than outweigh the travel costs. Many destinations—such as Caribbean resorts—offer reasonable priced wedding
Register Your Wedding Costs. Don’t need
another toaster or place setting? In a new twist, couples are registering their
wedding or honeymoon costs, so guests can contribute in lieu of a traditional
I hope that you will find this article as informative as I did and it will help you in the planning of your wedding.
Buy It Now