Is a wedding in your future? If so, prepare yourself to pay a lot. But there are ways to rein in the spending without diminishing the joy of the occasion.
Between the wedding planner, venue, food, flowers, cake, dress, drinks, photographer, videographer, invitations, programs and all the rest, you’re likely to be hearing a lot of this: ka-ching, ka-ching.
More than $50 billion is spent on weddings in the United States each year. The 2012 Wedding Report says that the average wedding has about 133 to 143 guests and costs more than $25,000, not including the honeymoon.
The good news is the average cost of a wedding in 2011 was less than the average cost in 2007. The bad news is that, according to CostofWedding.com, the price of any wedding could increase by 50% to 100% if the planners choose designer labels, popular event locations, custom products and services, or if they invite significantly more guests.
Here are a few tips that may help ensure wedding costs don’t spiral out of control:
· Establish a budget. That gives you a framework to keep costs under control. But make sure you build in a cushion of 10% to 15% for cost overruns, just as you would if you were putting an addition on your house.
· Understand venue and reception costs. When negotiating the cost of your reception, it’s important to ask for the per person cost, all-inclusive. If you’re given an all-inclusive price and you find the words “additional costs may be incurred” or “plus the cost of setup and delivery” in your final contract, ask what those costs are, specifically, and be prepared to negotiate.
· Make smart liquor choices. The drinks served at the reception often are a significant expense. Many venues charge for every bottle opened. To save on the cost, opt to serve beer, wine and champagne for toasts. Alternatively, offer signature cocktails that require a single type of liquor, which can help limit the number of bottles opened.
After evaluating costs, you may decide that the best option is for the happy couple to elope, marry in an exotic locale and celebrate with a big party when they return. If that’s not an option, make sure to take advantage of the plentiful online resources available.
Jonathan K. DeYoe, AIF and CPWA, is the Founder and CEO of DeYoe Wealth Management in Berkeley, Calif. Want more information? Follow DeYoe Wealth Management on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DeYoeWealth or Twitter at @DeYoeWealth.
Jonathan DeYoe, California Insurance License #0C21749, is a registered principal with and securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor - Member FINRA/SIPC.
Some material provided by PEAK Advisor Alliance. The opinions voiced in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial and are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations to any individual. For your individual investing needs, please see your investment professional regarding retirement planning.
Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.
AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty. For instance, the rankings this week measure the number of clients whose income is between $250,000 and $500,000 with that advisor. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.