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5 Wedding Budget Busters


Planning a wedding is a great deal of fun…and a great deal of expense. It can be all too easy to fall into the trap of justifying every additional cost as something that is needed to create the wedding of your dreams. Here are 5 common wedding budget busters, and how to avoid them.

One: Blowing your budget on a designer bridal gown. This is not to say that you should not splurge on a fabulous wedding gown, just that you need to be realistic when planning how much of your budget can go to your dress and accessories, like veil and bridal jewelry. In other words, if you know that you are the type to fall in love with the most expensive wedding gown in the store, you either need to resist trying on gowns you cannot afford, or set a more realistic budget for your bridal gown, veil, jewelry, and so on. The typical bride spends about 10% of her total wedding budget on her attire; a real clotheshorse, however, might need to set aside closer to 15-20%, and look for other areas of the wedding in which to save. It is fine to splurge on a gown that makes you feel like a princess, as long as you have set aside the funds for it.

Two: Getting fixated on having your wedding in one specific venue. If the moment you become engaged you think to yourself, “My wedding must be at the Ritz-Carlton in Paris or I will simply die!”, you are going to get in over your head fast! It is wiser to decide on your reception budget first and then start looking for venues which will work within it. Do your legwork before visiting sites; look at websites, get recommendations, and call for basic pricing information. There is no point wasting your precious time touring venues which will be out of your price range. To do so is only to set yourself up for disappointment or a totally blown budget.

Three: Trying to replicate a wedding you saw in “Martha Stewart Weddings” or “In Style”. Remember that you are not a celebrity, and neither are your guests; no one expects your wedding to look like the most recent Hollywood bridal extravaganza. Those fantasy weddings you see in the high end bridal magazines are wonderful sources of inspiration, but unless your last name is Trump, forget about trying to recreate one of them. Take them as a starting off point to created a beautiful down to earth wedding that you can actually afford.

Four: Not budgeting for the small stuff. All of those little things can really add up, so be sure when designing your wedding budget that you include everything you will need to pay for. Often overlooked are expenses such as tips and taxes, wedding favors, bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts, bridal gown alterations, wedding day beauty, and transportation. When tallied up, all of the minor costs can really snowball, easily pushing you well over budget. To be truly safe, not only should you make a comprehensive budget, but put aside a small fund for any last minute surprises. That way you will be truly prepared.

Five: The honeymoon. Some couples book an expensive trip assuming that they will end up getting enough cash gifts to cover the costs. This is a risky strategy! It is far better to plan a honeymoon trip that you can afford, and then use any cash you get to enhance it. You can always add on special excursions, fancy dinners, or other extras to your trip once you arrive at your destination. This way you will only spend what you have. And that will make for a much more relaxing honeymoon and start to your new married life!

bridget mora writes for silverland jewelry about weddings, etiquette, and style. fabulous bridal jewelry is a great way to add style and flair to your wedding gown.

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Listed: October 18, 2009 4:03 am