Wedding Day Budgets

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Maureen and Dan during their Wedding Day!

Wedding season is almost here, with the spring and summer seasons being the most popular times to tie the knot. When people hear that we have three daughters, the joke is always  “Wow – how will you pay for three weddings?” However, with the change in times and traditions, the cost of a wedding is usually a multi-family effort….or at least we hope so!

The average age for Americans getting married has changed drastically over the years. In 2013, the average age of a first marriage in the United States is 27 for women and 29 for men. This has jumped from the 1990 average of 23 for women and 26 for men. In addition, according to TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com’s annual Real Weddings Study, the average wedding budget for 2012 was $28,427 up from $27,021 in 2011.

This average is for the entire United States, and costs vary widely depending on your location. An average New York City wedding can easily run you at least three times the national average. The perks of living in the tri-state area include paying more for the privilege of getting married.

Like most things in life that cost so much money, a budget is recommended. And while certain costs are unavoidable, there are some ways to spend less while still having a day to remember.

Here are a few:

1)  Contemplate using a DJ over a band – The cost of a band will be at least three times as much as a DJ. In addition, you will need to provide a meal for each member of the band which will add to the catering costs.

2)  Eliminate wedding favors – The cost of wedding favors such as matchbooks, picture frames, champagne flutes or chocolates add up and many times they get left behind. Use your funds for a great meal and entertainment and your guests will leave happy.

3)  Focus on your floral centerpieces – Flowers and centerpieces can be one of the larger items on your budget. Lower costs by choosing your flowers carefully and be aware of the specialty flowers which will increase your cost. Be creative and eliminate the floral arrangements for the table with special-made centerpieces, such as family photos and candles.

4)  Use modern invitations – Be aware that custom invitations can be costly and the over-sized invitation will increase the postage costs. Consider sending out email invitations such as Eventbrite or Evite which are increasing in popularity and eliminate your invitation costs completely.

5)  Choose your date carefully – The rates increase during the most popular months and days of the week. The months of December through March are considered the off season and the costs will dramatically decrease. In addition, Friday evenings and Sunday weddings are significantly less expensive and are growing in popularity.

The day will be wonderful regardless of your budget, and remember to savor the moments before and during the big day!

Weddings are a great way to celebrate your love with those who matter the most!

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About Maureen Crimmins

Maureen Crimmins is co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management and a fee-only independent financial advisor. Have a financial question? ASK MAUREEN

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