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How to save on your wedding day

The do's and don'ts of keeping costs under control
Posted at 8:30 AM, Jan 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 13:21:06-05

Springtime is the most popular time for weddings and Winter is the most popular time to plan one.

But a recent study from found one third of couples go into debt for their weddings.

"There is a stigma around weddings. You want the biggest and the best. But at the end of the day, nobody is going to ask you how much you paid your photographer," says Wedding Planner Bethany Olczak.

Wedding days are supposed to make lasting memories but many couples find that paying for the ceremony and reception will leave them drowning in debt.

The average cost of weddings in the US now runs between $27,000 and $44,000.

Olczak says, "It is important for the couple to sit down together and talk about realistically what their budget is."

We checked with a number of wedding planners.

The number one tip to save money, keep your guest count low.

"Each person has a per person fee, not just with the caterer but you can break that down to things like invitations and favors."

Wedding planner Bethany Olczak says too many couples are hesitant to negotiate lower costs.

But it's important to set a budget, and when selecting vendors, don't be afraid to tell them what you can afford.

"If they can't meet you with a discount, they might be able to give you some value added service that you can save elsewhere."

Focus on creating a signature wedding that will be remembered more than what people ate or drank.

Olczak says, "People don't remember the best, top-shelf liquor. They remember anything that is a personal touch."

While many couples want to do it all themselves, using a wedding planner can save at least 10 to 20 percent because planners know where to find the deals.

One area to not skimp on is your photographer, only use friends if they have experience, or you could be in for a big disappointment.

And don't go cheap on the DJ.

"Your D.J. is your emcee for your wedding. So it is really important to have someone who has that experience and that character."

And before you decide you do your own flowers, beware. This is another area where do-it-yourselfers get into trouble.

"We have people running in here at the last minute with dead flowers, or with silk flowers they have cut apart and they don't know how to put them together," Olczak says.

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