So here I am about 6 weeks post-wedding and have had some time to soak in all that transpired that glorious Saturday in San Diego. People laughed, people cried, people fell over on the dance floor because the bar tab was set far too high. For as much fun as my wife and I had with about 180 of our closest family and friends, there were some key takeaways I wanted to bring up with any engaged couples out there; or single people planning their future wedding.
The Expensive Word
Vendors know every bride is out to remake that perfect setting they saw on a pinterest board and they upcharge knowing that brides will pay extra so it can be captured on instagram, shared around the world, and hopefully be re-shared by the designer of the dress (my wife is still waiting for that Hayley Paige friend request). They bank on the expectation that the bride or family will be trying to make sure every detail is beyond perfect. Most people actually are a nightmare on the wedding day trying to capture that picture-perfect Instagram shot. Vendors charge more expecting “bridezilla” without actually meeting the bride.
Cake, photographer, caterer, flowers... all these expenses get a higher price tag the moment the magic word is mentioned: “wedding.” One wedding coordinator, told us her average bride spends $10k on flowers alone. A florist told us my wife’s bridal bouquet alone would be $250. We ended up going to another florist down the street and didn't tell them the flowers we were ordering were for a wedding, and we spent about $300 total for all the flowers. Flowers wither within days and will probably be tossed out right after the reception is over. They are a beautiful addition, however, save some money by choosing a venue that already has greenery.
If you still want flowers for your big day, but don’t want to spend a ton, look into flower sharing apps, like Bloomerent. One wedding party can find another wedding party the day before at a nearby location who will donate or split costs of the flowers. If you don’t mind sharing flowers, it is a good way to save money and flowers!
Tax on Service Fees
My wife and I were charged a fee for the ceremony site, a fee to set up the ceremony site, and on top of that we were taxed on both. At least the rose petals along the aisle were included in that package! This is something almost all engaged couples forget to factor into the final bill, so make sure you include it in your budget.
Printed Paper Items
Think hard before you decide to spend a lot of money on printed items like invitations, programs, and menus. People know what is happening at a wedding, they don't necessarily need a program to tell them who is walking out next or what reading the groom’s 3rd cousin’s wife will be reciting. Chances are it will be announced during the ceremony. Printed programs and menus tend to end up on the floor. If you decide you want there to be a program or a menu, consider putting them on your wedding website, if you have one. It will save you a lot on printing costs and headaches.
When it comes to the invitations, people just need to know the essentials: where, when, what time, and attire. Save money by cutting out the foil-stamped with gold, laser-cut for a look that's beautifully cutting edge, letterpress a gorgeous artisan indention for a rich look, thermography a timeless raised detailing for a stately, refined look. (Those are actual words from a wedding invitation website). Stick to the main details.
The Pinterest Problem
One of the problems is sites like Pinterest and Instagram. Try to forget all the things that Pinterest boards make you think you need. Like the cute matching robes for your bridal party or the hanger that has a cheap wire with your new last name in cursive; is it really a picture of your wedding dress if it is not on a custom last name hanger? Are you really a bride if you are not wearing a white satin robe that says "Bride" in rhinestones? You are actually a bride, and your day will be perfect even without those pictures.
Try not to fall into the Pinterest Wedding trap. Stick to a defined budget that you’re comfortable with. Don’t over commit to every last detail in the process. Most importantly, don’t go into debt for a wedding. It’s one day to share and celebrate with family and friends, and cherish the memories forever. It is not a day to regret the next time your credit card statement shows up in your mailbox.
In the end, it is your wedding and you will do whatever and spend however much you want to make your day perfect. As my wife says, “Did I have a grand wedding? Yes. Did I spend more on a wedding than I should have? Yes. Would I do it all over again? You betcha.”
By Bryan Miranda
Investment Advisor Representative
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.
Investment advice offered through Gerber Kawasaki Inc, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which course of action may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.
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