Last week as I was flipping through the channels on the TV and I came across this show called Platinum Weddings. If you haven’t seen in, well you’re in for a big surprise. The show chronicles the lives of couples who are planning their upcoming lavish weddings. Now, I’m not a big TV guy, but I couldn’t stop watching this. I was glued to this show. I was so in awe over the magnitude of the lights, flowers, food, ice sculptures, entertainers, music and all the décor. Let’s just say it was “top-top-notch.”
A thought came through my head the other day; when did all of these extravagant weddings become the popular thing to do? And with these TV shows, what expectations are being set for the youth, who now, in this economy, have the most difficult task of just trying to get a job out of college? Not everyone is so fortunate to have a wedding with floating candles and performers dangling from the ceilings, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great wedding.
Here’s some ways that you can still have an extravagant, once in a lifetime evening without breaking the bank.
Pick the Date: Summertime is the busiest month for weddings. Everyone wants sunshine and warm weather on their perfect day. If you’re looking to book a venue but don’t want to pour money from your pockets, get married during the off-season which is December through March. Not many people are having weddings during these months so venues drop their price big time. Average spending on a venue is about $14,000 but you could save about 25% of that by getting married in the off-wedding-season.
The Ring: It’s a one-time purchase guys, so it’s ok to spend a little more on the diamond and the band. But bigger isn’t always better. Quality over size is key here. Trust me, it’s fun to compare the diamonds and rings but it’s not too difficult to spot blemishes with the naked eye. But how do you save money on the ring? It helps if you’ve “got a guy” (or gal). If you plan on going to a big-name retailer, plan on that ring to have a retail markup price of over 100%. Knowing a private jeweler can help save you thousands of dollars on a very comparable ring.
Cuttin’ the Rug: The music is a very important piece of a wedding; people look forward to having some fun! Have you ever been to a wedding that has the worst music that you can’t even dance to? Or how many versions of the “Electric Slide” was played? Now I’m not going to tell you to rent speakers and hook your iPod up but I would recommend a DJ over a band.
1. A band is live so if the singer just so happens to lose their voice or the music is off pitch it can ruin the entire mood.
2. A DJ is a whole lot cheaper than a live band. A live band could cost up to $4,000 while a DJ costs around $1,500.
Finding the right venue for the ceremony, reception and planning the wedding altogether can be difficult, and needless to say, emotional. Keep in mind that you are in charge of your emotions, attitude and your wallet. Have fun and when you’re ready to plan your wedding, your children’s wedding or your grandchildren’s wedding, keep these “how not to break the bank” ideas in mind.