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The financially prudent wedding planner's guide

January 09th 2013

Weddings are one of the major events in a person’s life and as such people have grand plans for it. The problem is, the dream wedding might leave you deep in debt or at least put a very tight squeeze on your bank account. The statistics directly support the fact that weddings are one of the costliest affairs that you are likely to conduct over the course of your life. The average wedding budget has gone up from $15,208 in 1990 to $27,000 as of 2012. In the last couple of decades, the cost of conducting a wedding has gone up by 80% and is one of the major reasons why fewer people are opting for a social wedding these days.

The figures might be intimidating but your dream wedding doesn’t have to cost the Earth. All you need to do is prepare and be ready to make some smart financial moves to curb your costs and micromanage your expenditures. Your dream wedding is only a few steps from being a reality. Here are a few necessary things you must do to keep yourself from being buried under a mountain of bills.

  • Set realistic expectations – You would primarily need to strike a balance between your ideas and the financial feasibility of executing them. Pursuing the dream of a perfect ‘white wedding’ can leave you broke. You need to differentiate between what is possible and what is excessively costly. The ice sculpture may seem to the perfect centrepiece for the reception area and the buffet table but it is simply too extravagant to be practical. Make a list of the things you want for your wedding and the things you need. Review the list and prioritize the items according to your budget.
  • Build an itemized budget – The key element of successful financial planning for any purpose, be it a wedding or a house party, is building an itemized budget. You will need to assign a portion of your total funds to cover various necessary costs like décor, dresses, transportation, entertainment, food and drinks, etc. This will help your confine your costs within your spending capacity. If you plan on budgeting on the go, you will find the list and total cost keeps growing till you are over-budget by a significant amount.
  • Work according to a check-list – Each and every wedding requires a ton of different things and as such most people lose track of what they need to do. A check-list would help you organize all the nitty gritty details of a wedding and prioritize them. A check-list will help you keep a track of the tasks you have delegated to various people, the payments that you would need to make to the vendors and caterers and also a list of invitees.
  • Rent what you require – Everything, right from the lights and sound equipment for the wedding band to the carpeting and the silverware can be hired at affordable rates. Tuxedos and dresses can also be rented for the bridesmaid and the best man. Paper flowers, centrepieces and other decorative items can also be hired at fractional rates as compared to the cost of buying them. Moreover, you won’t have to pay to have everything sorted, cleared, moved and stored after the wedding is over.

Take your time to arrange your finances and take a long hard look at every item of expenditure before you decide to spend on them. Everything needs to be prioritized according to your budget and you must remember that extravagance needs to be replaced with financial prudence if you want to have that dream wedding hampering your financial security.

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