Holy Guest List Batman, The Cost of Weddings is About to Soar!

It is no secret readers, that the cost of gas is about to rise to levels that we Americans have never experienced.  We are also keenly aware that with the rise in fuel costs, comes the rise in cost for EVERYTHING!!  Anything and everything that has to be delivered, which is pretty much everything we consume, will undoubtedly take a dramatic upward turn.  So what does this mean for the wedding business, and more importantly, how are you going to budget your money to get the wedding of your dreams?

Ladies and gentleman we are going to take a little stroll down memory lane for a moment. Remember my blog about the Guest List?  Well in light of the coming economic slam we are all about to experience, we say “hello old friend.”  Here we go…………

1. For the majority of brides and grooms, the number one indicator on how much their wedding is about to cost them…or their parents…is the size of the guest list.  Think about it…..the more people you invite, rolls into needing a larger venue, feeding more people, purchasing a larger cake, renting more equipment if needed……….etc….etc.  You get the picture.  REMEMBER….It’s a wedding, not a family reunion!!!

2.  Not only might you think about pairing down the guest list, but you might really want to think about the size of your bridal party.  The more friends and relatives in the “party,” the more bouquets, corsages, and boutinere’s you’ll be purchasing. Do you really need 10 bridesmaids and groomsmen?  Maybe not. Now I know for most of you, this is a much tougher choice than cutting 5th cousin 7 times removed from the guest list, but select carefully here. Really….select carefully!  More on the guest list later.

3.  Consider hiring a planner……………….long pause……………………what did she just say?  Yes, hire a planner and/or a consultant.  Why?  Isn’t the idea to cut costs?  Absolutely!  So why hire a planner or consultant?  Like I’ve said in the past, if you are getting married in a town, state, or country, that you are unfamiliar with, hiring a planner or consultant can save you significant amount of time, stress, and, oh yeah, fuel!!!  If you are not running around searching for florists, caterers, venues, and D.J.’s blindly, you will save money in the end…and your sanity as well!!  So what do they do that you might not be willing or able to do?  A planner and/or consultant that has been in the business long enough, will know the right people for the job….or at least direct you to the right people for the job.  If you are working with a tight budget, then the planner will hopefully be able to direct you to vendors that can fit that need.  I know that many brides think that hiring a planner/consultant is a luxury that they cannot afford, but trust me when I say, that there are planners that will work within your budget constraints to help you achieve your goals  My view is…why not?  As planners we have to remember that a little good will now, can go a long way in securing additional business in the future!  That’s my motto anyway!

4.  The DIY bride.  With the rising cost of living associated with the rising fuel costs, there is going to be resurgence in the DIY popularity.  Martha Stewart vast fortune grew out of this very phenomenon 30 years ago…..and her message….even though her DIY comes at the hands of an enormous staff……….is going to be more appealing and necessary than ever!  In the above paragraph I mentioned a consultant.  What exactly is a consultant?  Well normally a consultant is professional that…well…does just that….consults on a project without actually physically working on the project.  Example….if you are planning to do your flowers by yourself, but you are not sure which design might be the most cost-effective, or maybe the easiest to create without going insane, you might want to consult with a professional in the field of floral design!  A consultant might charge by the hour, by the day, or by the overall design project creation.  Either way, again, you can save yourself valuable time, money, and most of all………..your sanity by spending a little money to have a “game plan,” so to speak.  Don’t forget, a professional florist/designer consultant can even do the purchasing for you, saving you lots of time and hopefully some money too!

5.Once again…………..The Guest List.  See a pattern here? Running the risk of sounding redundant,  I cannot stress enough the importance of trimming your guest list if your budget is feeling the strain.  I know you want to invite ALL of your friends, and your parents want you to invite ALL of your relatives, but in this struggling economy, it just really doesn’t make good sense.  This is probably the most difficult area to tackle when planning your wedding.  But remember….at an average of $ 50.00-$60.00 a plate, the total cost of your wedding can easily soar way past your intended budget!!  I believe in sitting down with your family, or your wife/husband to be, and in an honest conversation, come to a realistic number that you can agree upon, and more importantly, afford!  Will there be hurt feelings?  Well maybe, but if they are good friends, and loving family members, they will understand.  Don’t forget, you can always invite them to the family reunion!!!

With careful planning, combined with professional guidance, you will be able to create the wedding of your dreams……….even in today’s volatile economy.  Just remember to be realistic, and honest in your expectations.  Most of all, keep an open line of communication between all parties involved, and I am positive that you will be smiling the brightest of smiles on your wedding day!  Congratulations!

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