4 Things You Must Know About Wedding Finances

1. The #1 reason for Divorce is Financial Pressure, but what if you could honeymoon for life.

I’m not trying to suck the joy out of your wedding, but what if you could have the absolute perfect wedding spend exactly what you like on it and even then honeymoon; not just for a week but for life? This kind of choice could bring more happiness and romance to your marriage forever not limited to just your special day. With the average wedding costing around $40,000 (That’s start to finish inc. rings and honeymoon) is it any wonder that newly weds are often under financial pressure from the day they get back from their honeymoon. It is thought by some planning their wedding that if everything on their wedding day is just as they always dreamed; just perfect then this will somehow guarantee a successful marriage! Are you familiar with the term “Bridezilla”?

You don’t need that kind of stress. There is no magic formula that a certain kind of dress or reception or cars can ensure that the love will last forever. How do you go about having a beautiful romantic wedding; a celebration fit as an expression of your shared love? Do you splash out and buy everything or do you maintain a strict budget that makes you pull your hair out where you will constantly feel like your compromising? Will Mum and or Dad be able even to afford helping your dreams come true? In these tough financial times is it even fair to ask them let alone put yourself under this pressure? In these volatile times a smart investment in the share market or internet money can actually yield up to 2000% to even 3000% returns on as little as $200 let alone $10,000 or $40,000! Could your wedding dollars be put toward your house or mortgage? These kinds of sums could take 20 years off of the payments and a phenomenal saving on interest fees! This would mean much less pressure on your marriage, and more fun for life. If you are intending on having kids what kind of trust fund for education what opportunities could you create for them if your wedding budget weren’t spent but invested first?

Many people even go into massive credit card debt let alone spending their hard earned assets. Will one magic day save your relationship from the pressures of having to recoup these losses? Be among the few rare smart ones who succeed all the way. With the divorce rate up over 50% already why would you shorten your odds by placing the biggest marriage block (lack of money) in front of you before you even start? What is more important to you, the big day and the big honey moon or day to day security for the rest of your lives? What kind of choice could this be when even a quarter of the average wedding spend invested wisely elsewhere could see you both financially free for life? If you want a successful marriage today you must think about doing the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing, because they’re failing with their strategies. So don’t compare yourself to them. Your wedding day should be important and absolutely magical. I’m suggesting to you that perhaps investing the wedding budget wisely somewhere else first even for 6 months or a year will make a gigantic difference to the quality of your day and the rest of your lives.

2. Weddings Cost More

A client of mine told me how she went into her dream reception venue excitedly discussing the reception, decorations etc. The bill for it all she was happy to pay; so far so good. Her father being a caring and astute man rang the same venue the next day to book it for a “birthday party” decorations and all the same courses as his daughters reception; the difference in the quote was over $10,000! Not all venues are like this, but it is something to think about. Just the difference in what say you’re shopping for. Many services that are attached to the wedding industry do cost more than elsewhere. The wedding is a highly emotional issue, many couples making emotional choices rather than rational decisions and so the industry, which is a Big Bucks industry, can and does charge what it likes. There is no right or wrong about this it is purely a matter of supply and demand.

The industry people are not bad guys at all. There are wedding seasons when everyone wants to get married. This means that any niche operators within the wedding industry can only make their money at certain times of year and they still have to survive the rest of the year that is a part of why the $$ can get so high. So thinking carefully about what temperature you want your wedding served at it can make a difference of thousands as many operators; venues included do charge differently at different times of year. What really is the difference of a few degrees in the outside temperature when a saving several thousand dollars can be had or invested. Does the wedding dress have to fit the conventions or do you want to look and feel fabulous in what suits you best? Do you want to actually move, dance and be comfortable!

The difference in your answer may not only save you money but could also mean a really fun addition to your wardrobe. You do actually know how to do your own hair and makeup and look fantastic; you won his heart already didn’t you. This isn’t to say don’t pamper yourself of your big day, but maybe a “wedding hair and makeup artist” is just as good as the people you usually see at half the time and price and then you could start the day with a massage instead. Your dress and those of your Brides maids must be considered beyond “How the photos will come out.” How does what people wear for those several hours contribute to your long term happiness, what is it really worth dollar wise?

Remember this can be looked at in many ways. I don’t know what your answers to these questions are. I just want you to ask them and answer them honestly for yourself, not someone else’s answers. When you know these answers ask yourself so what do we have to do to afford this comfortably, safely? If you really are gong to spend the rest of your lives together, save up for longer or get smart, learn to make more money from sources other than your jobs. Many people are easily simply making truck loads from internet business, real estate and shares, with less money to start than what you’re spending on your wedding. I suggest that your wedding budget could be an asset instead of an expense that once invested can make all your dreams come true with absolutely no limits or pressure. Take your time and make educated decisions that will support you for life.

3. Traditions, Conventions and You

It is your day and anything you can dream of is yours to have, anything! Bouquets, beautiful dresses and big parties are awesome; I just want you to make a wise and conscious choice that will not only support your day but your marriage also. To me the wedding day is a celebration of your love. There are many conventions of marriage that are however a hang over of the 16th Century feudal systems.

Watch out for them, what do these conventions really have to do with the expression of your love for one another? The big expensive reception was often more about an expression of status and of the big business deal being clinched between the fathers. A way of the bride’s father reassuring the purchaser that he was on a good deal with the bridal dowry. The white dress was a symbol of purity and virginity (undamaged goods). Even the wedding bouquet and veil (I have seen these sold for hundreds of dollars and packaged as a framed keep sake for even more) came out of England where a groom often didn’t even see the bride before the day and people weren’t keen on showers so the flowers and veil were to mask the smell and avoid the deal going south.

P.s. the Maid of Honor and the Best Man were the stunt double replacements should either bride or groom bail out and re-nig! This is funny really when you think about it. I’m not trying to kick over your sandcastles but rather I am pointing out DON’T BUY INTO THE HYPE! Is any of it who and what you are as a couple? Do you normally have a great time getting together with 100 of your closest friends and weird distant relatives, spending a tonne on food and alcohol for birthdays and other celebrations? Is that what you normally do for fun? Lastly, wedding photos. I know you want to capture the “happiest day of your life” and rightly so, but if it is the happiest day of your life what are you going to do with him for the next fifty years? I saw a clients wedding album once that was gorgeous! It was $4000 just for the book itself and I’m not going to tell you how much the photos were. That kind of money could buy you a course in share trading that could earn you a comfortable passive income. It could easily set you up in internet money business where you could honeymoon for life.

It could buy you a return air ticket anywhere in the world. Instead you probably look at it for the first few months as you share and relive your day with your friends and then what? Drag it out from the draw or under the bed at anniversaries or eventually for the kids? You are in love and celebrating your love on your wedding day, that will shine through and you will look beautiful and happy no matter who takes the photos. Buy a bunch of disposable cameras and have all your guests take turns taking shots.

You can even buy specially decorated cameras that look good on a reception table, make sure they have a flash and that your guest turn the flash on! Your friends love you and know you and they will do a great job of capturing you at your best and your day. Best of all you will look like you and not like every other couple with the same glamour poses in funky locations that have nothing to do with your love and who you really are. This is not to say a photographer isn’t a great investment in your day. They can take photo’s in special ways that can capture the magic like no one else can, but be aware of not buying into all the extra’s and not relying upon them to capture everything in your day or inserting a photo shoot into your day that is forced and contrite rather than capturing what’s really there. Check the photographers for testimonials that you can talk to.

With a great many things in your honeymoon and wedding day keep checking in with yourself and asking these kind of questions. “Who said I have to do it this way?’ “Does this truly reflect who we are and our love?” “Is this going to support us long term?” “Will this really matter 1,2,10 years after our day?” “What else could we be doing with this money that could bring us even more joy in the long run?” Then make a list, maybe even a dream board that can keep all of your priorities clearly in front of you. A simple agreement that you can make with your partner is to never buy/spend anything without taking at least a day away from the vendor. There is a lot of power in this easy to follow strategy. Always step back and keep the larger picture in mind. So what is your perfect picture of your day of your life together after? Get it clear in your minds eye, talk to your partner, mum, dad, mentors, best friends for their ideas and advice, but keep a clear image of who and what you as a couple are and what reflects and supports your love. This isn’t about pleasing anyone but you.

4. Where is the Magic?

The magic of your day is in your hearts and in the light in your eyes. It is the many things that express your hearts stirrings. The way you smile at each other when you first see each other for the first time that day. It’s in the words of your vows and your speeches of acknowledgement. The way you laugh and kiss, hug your friends and hold your partners hands. It’s in the way you dance the time away in each others arms. It is not in the size or your cake, or the fall of the material in your dress. It is not in the table decorations or the kind of shoes he wears. Nor is it reflected in the menu or the spend on beverages and transport. It is only in your hearts and the expression of that love, it is in your friends sharing that celebration with you by opening their hearts and arms and supporting you. All the other “stuff” the attention to detail, is just contributory just supportive of what is at the core. Keep clear that many of the trappings of a wedding can sometimes be like hiring a fancy dress costume. It doesn’t about how the wig looks or the stick on beard or the fancy spandex pants, if you don’t look like Superman than no amount of costuming is going to help. The extras are just there to highlight what is in your heart for each other and that is beautiful and magical in itself. Avoid putting undue pressure on you relationship by confusing the differences between what is essential, supportive, fluff, short term long term yours or other peoples ideas. Your wedding is not a magical rain dance ritual where if you get the sequence right the love falls from the sky. It is the exact opposite. Where you focus on the clearest expression of your personalities and your love, where everything in your day reflects your love, then you will enjoy the perfect wedding day. So maybe that is having a $4 million dollar wedding where you fly everyone to an exotic location to party for a week. Great go for it and do it smart. You are committing to a life time together. Build it first with a strong financial foundation and clear goals. Your wedding budget is an asset; protect it, invest it, grow it first then it’s fruits can give you anything, anything you’ve ever dreamed of not just for you’re your day but so you can honeymoon for life. copyright 2009

Budget Wedding Planning – Understanding Wedding Costs

Before we get into a discussion on wedding costs, you need to know up front that this can be a very depressing area to think about. After reading this article, you may feel that there will be no way you’ll be able to afford your dream wedding. Let’s face it, weddings aren’t cheap. But if you’ve been following my article series on weddings, there is no reason why you won’t be able to have the wedding of your dreams at a reasonable and affordable cost.

I think it’s a good practice to understand what other couples pay for their weddings. It’ll help you develop your own budget because it’ll force you to decide what you both feel is most important to you. You may be shocked at some of the figures that some pay for weddings and say that there’s no way I’m going to be paying $1,500 for a photographer! Or maybe that figure is OK with you, but knowing how much it’ll cost for a photographer, you’ll know that you have to cut back in another area.

You may be wondering what all the fuss is about setting up a budget for a wedding. After all, how much can it really cost? Sure, you’ve heard that some will spend as much as a new car or a down payment on a house. But those must be the really, really extravagant weddings, right? Well, if you don’t prepare and stick to a budget, you could easily have a wedding that runs into those high end figures. But where is all that money going?

Based on the Wedding Report – a web site that reports on such things – your top three expenses will be your reception, the honeymoon, and your engagement ring. These expenses account for nearly 70% of the entire wedding bill. You’ll want to take a look at The Wedding Report web site as it does a great job of breaking down specific expenses within each category of a wedding. There is a free access level, but the various paid levels will allow you to get data based on your location – even down to the zip code. This can be very useful because wedding costs vary widely around the US.

Of course a big part of your actual wedding expenses are going to be tied to things like the size of the wedding, the scale of the wedding and the location. Needless to say, a wedding with 250 in attendance is going to cost you a whole lot more than a wedding in your back yard with 60 people attending. And a wedding in Chicago is going to run you a whole lot more than wedding in Boise.

If you really want to bring you wedding costs into line with what you are more comfortable with, you are really going to want to get into the smart consumer mode. Doing plenty of research early on can save you a bundle. Get out to the various bridal shows in your area and take plenty of notes about prices the vendors charge for various services. Then, call around to several vendors and ask them what the average prices are for the various services they provide. Most vendors will be more than happy to give you this information, including low end costs as well as what people are spending on the high end. It may be that a flower vendor tells you that the average customer spends $1,500 on flowers, but that they’ve had some who have spent only half of that figure. Armed with this information, you know that your flower budget (if you don’t go artificial and really save money) will be between $750 and $1500. Going to shows and calling vendors on the phone will also give you a good idea of which vendor’s pricing is out of line.

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