Considering that the wedding ceremony itself lasts about thirty minutes, at the most an hour, and that most receptions last from three to five hours, the entire event encompasses approximately six hours at the most. You will be so busy socializing that it may be one big blur when you take time to recall it. Of those six hours, what do you most want to remember?
The father of a recent bride told me that the most successful weddings have loving family and friends in attendance, good food, good drink, and good music. Everything else really doesn’t matter. Invite the people who matter to you, serve food and beverages you like, and listen to music that makes you happy.
Two: Know who is paying for the wedding
Be careful about spending more than you can afford. Going into debt in order to pay for an event that lasts less than a day may not be in your best interests. Work out a wedding plan that respects a budget and gives you what your heart desires.
Before you set your heart on your perfect wedding, think about these numbers. A destination wedding can cost upward of $60,000. Entertaining three hundred of your closest friends with a band, dinner, and open bar will run at least $100,000. Sharing your joy with immediate family and friends with wedding cake and domestic champagne and a four-piece band may run around $10,000 or more. If you imagined the type of wedding featured in the magazines and on television, now you may want to think about having a small wedding and spending your money on a great honeymoon instead.
Three: What wedding planners do and will you need one?
Will you need a wedding planner? A professional can help you from the date you are engaged through the stroke of midnight the day you are married. If you don’t need that much help, then hire a planner just for the day of the wedding to take care of the details that you don’t have time to attend to on your special day. If you can’t afford a planner, then perhaps a trusted friend will agree to handle the details on the day of the ceremony and receptions.
Find a wedding planner who understands the concept of a budget and staying within that budget. Some wedding planners both charge you a fee and receive commissions from the various vendors recommended to you. Inquire about how the planners you are interviewing are paid, read their contract, and verify their references.
Having a wedding planner can take the stress off of you and your family members the day of the event, leaving you to focus on getting dressed, being with your loved ones, and looking radiant or handsome the day of your ceremony and celebration. You want someone who is organized, reliable, and who is capable of making good decisions quickly in the event something changes in the last few days leading up to your special day.
Four: Have a wedding expense plan and don’t go into debt
Decide what you want to spend on your wedding, and then create your spending plan, including only the items you need. Take pleasure in creating a beautiful day with elegance and style while spending within your means. Download the MoneySmarts4U Wedding Budget Worksheet by clicking here.
Five: Plan a honeymoon and reentry to your new life and your old one
Once the music stops, the cake is gone, the champagne bottles are empty, and your friends and family have returned home, you and your betrothed will be married. Together you will face the world and all its challenges. Don’t be surprised if you feel a little emotional letdown after all the planning and excitement of executing your wedding. Your honeymoon is the opportunity for you and your mate to take a vacation to recover from your wedding and settle into life together.
Hopefully you’ve been as careful in developing the spending plan for your honeymoon trip as for your wedding. Setting money aside for a destination that fits your overall spending plan will make your return to married life together more pleasant.