The Knot found that the average U.S. wedding costs a staggering $29,898. That’s quite a heft expense for any bride and groom. It’s good to understand how the wedding industry works before going into months of planning. For some, this may mean taking a step back and reconsidering elements of their big day. It’s important for couples to know all the information prior to making big decisions about their wedding in order to avoid any unnecessary stress and spending.
You need to find that dream dress.
The average wedding dress in the U.S. costs $1,281, according to The Knot. If you’re looking to buy a designer gown, then prices start at around $2000. In New York – the state where brides spend on average the most amount of money for their wedding – a dress will cost around $3,027 – according to Parade. With the popularity of reality shows like Say Yes to the Dress, brides are left with the impression that picking out a wedding gown should be an emotional roller coaster where you come out the other side a changed woman.
The key here is that dream dress ≠ designer dress. A “dream dress” is one that flatters your shape, fits you perfectly, and one that you feel comfortable in. There are so many other ways that you can find a dress like this: custom, vintage, non-bridal shops – the possibilities are endless.
You’re a bridezilla.
Market watch has stated that the whole concept of a “bridezilla” was created by industry media to encourage brides to behave in that way. Overly-picky and unreasonable brides allows vendors, wedding planners, and other professionals involved to charge a “marriage markup”. For instance, venue prices are usually marked up 20 or 25% for weddings when compared to Sweet 16 parties or other events.
While brides and grooms may genuinely be extremely demanding and frequently communicate with vendors about insignificant things, it’s only because the media tells them that they can. Of course, because it’s your wedding and it has to be “perfect” but it doesn’t have to be that way!
You absolutely need a wedding planner.
Planning a wedding can be stressful, especially you want a large wedding, but it’s not absolutely necessary for you to have a wedding planner. If you’re a reasonably organized person and have the help of family and close friends, then there is no reason to be intimidated by the process. At the end of the day, a wedding planner has to go to you for all the decisions, so why not take things into your own hands? It’s a party, not a diplomatic event. Plus, a good way to really keep things within your own budget is to do it yourself. Things can go wrong like with any event, but let them – it’s all part of the fun.
You need to confirm the venue now.
A lot of businesses create the impression that all great venues are booked out way in advance. While this is true to a certain degree, business owners also prefer to be able to project their future cash flow. Melissa from Supernova Bride was able to book her venue two months before her wedding day, no problem. High-demand venues will genuinely have a long wait-list, but don’t let these venues bully you into signing a contract extremely far in advance if you’re not comfortable with it.
We recommend this [photographer, florist, caterer, etc.]
According to The Foothills Trader, industry insider Steven Planck – who has worked in wedding photography for a number of years – claimed that he’s never encountered a venue that did not charge wedding professionals to be on their ‘preferred list’. Also, Danielle Bobish, the founder of Curtain Up Events in New York, says that when a venue only approves of certain vendors, “sometimes it’s because somebody is getting a kickback, unfortunately”, which is something else to keep in mind. Lastly, know that award-winning vendors aren’t necessarily the best for you; don’t feel that you have to spend more on one of those vendors. Get personal by meeting them and seeing their portfolio in person.
Your guests will really love ____.
Your guests don’t need to have 3 different favors, a cocktail bar, a jazz quartet, etc, etc. They’re there to celebrate you and your significant other, not to be dined, wined, and gifted. We love wedding inspiration, but one of its negative effects is that it makes couples believe that they have to make everything about the wedding an extravagant affair, which is simply not the case.
There’s no “checklist” of all the things you need to have for your wedding – the type of celebration is up to you. Inspiration boards are great to help you narrow down what kind of a celebration you want but it should never feel like a play-by-play of what you need to have.
It’s all about the details.
Yes, details are important for your wedding but the reality is, they’re highlighted by vendors and emphasized by bridal magazines because they sell. According to the Wedding Report, the bride and groom spend an average of $70 on escort place cards alone. Personalized wine glass markers or specialty chair sashes are nice but if you’re on a budget, there’s no need to feel like you need to go out of your way for these tiny details. It’s always helpful to try to see the bigger picture. Don’t feel like you have to work with vendors who are not flexible with a smaller budget.
You only get married once, so go all out.
Having a wonderful celebration is great but what we can’t forget is that there’s something else we need to plan for that’s far more important – life. Your wedding day should be an amazing day but it won’t be the most amazing day of your life because there will be so many more joyous days to come.
Buying a home, having children, getting your dream job – there are so many things to get excited about that there shouldn’t really be any pressure to get everything you want or have your day be perfect.