Depending on where you live, the average wedding can cost thousands of dollars. While some are in a position to spare no cost when planning the perfect wedding day, others simply can't afford to or would rather see their hard-earned money used for something more permanent, like a new house.
Weddings are a big business, and if you go the traditional route by hiring a wedding planner, you can soon see the costs of your wedding spiraling out of control. While I'm not saying that you should not hire a wedding expert, they can be a huge help in planning and organizing your big day, you should do a little research on your own and come to the planning table with a strict budget in mind. And when costs seem too high, do not be afraid to offer some cost-saving ideas of your own. After all, it's your wedding and your wallet.
The wedding reception is where you will spend the bulk of your wedding budget, almost 50% of it in fact. So, this is an area that you should pay particularly close attention to. Most of the money spent for a reception is spent on alcoholic beverages and the reception meal. You should shop carefully and keep your budget in mind when choosing caterers and meal menus. If you are still having a hard time meeting your budget, you may have to eliminate alcoholic beverages or cut your guest count to put your bottom line back in the black.
The bridal gown is also an area where a lot of money can be spent. Go to the bridal gown store with an idea of what you are willing to spend on the perfect dress. Browse the discount rack first before you start looking through the catalogues, you may be surprised by what you find. Also start shopping well in advance of the big day. A dress that is too expensive today can be marked down in the future, but you can't take advantage of markdowns if you wait till the last minute to find your wedding gown.
When setting up your budget you also need to factor in the cost of photography/videography, music, flowers, invitations and other expenses which can quickly add up. Keep in mind that while a wedding budget has a strict bottom line, there is plenty of room to splurge on the more expensive band if you are going to cut costs somewhere else. So, instead of keeping each aspect of your wedding day perfectly in line, focus more on what the whole day is going to cost you and wiggle and adjust until you are comfortable with what you are spending.