Planning a wedding on a budget

Once you add up the dress, cake, flowers, invitations, and the honeymoon, the average wedding can cost up to $30,000. Hiring a wedding planner can help couples maintain a matrimonial budget.

Brian Blume and Jill Zook will walk down the aisle and say ‘I do’ this November.

“I think I’ve been to enough weddings and seen enough of brides literally running around in their wedding dress freaking out directing traffic an hour before their wedding, and I didn’t want that,” said Zook.

The couple enlisted the help of a wedding planner to sweat the small stuff and help them stay on budget.

“We’ve got a mortgage, we have student loans, so staying on budget is very important to us, and we’ve kind of had to get creative with how to do that, but we’re making it work,” Zook added.

“While we want a nice wedding, we also want a nice life, so we’re kind of just finding that middle ground,” said Blume.

Wedding planners can cater to couples in need of various services no matter the budget. A wedding planner can help find vendors to meet your price point, negotiate discounts, and provide money–saving advice.

“The ways that they can save money is basically using maybe a Friday or a Sunday as their wedding day,” said wedding planner Marie Frey. “The venues typically charge less on those particular days. They can cut back on their guest list. Each guest that they invite is going to have a dollar amount associated with them, so if they can cut back on that, that’s a big help. Sometimes just having a smaller bridal party, that can help them also.”

Because there are so many players involved when planning a wedding, Angie’s List says you should never ignore the fine print when it comes to contracts.

“When planning a wedding, it can be a highly emotional process, so make sure you are reading all of your contracts start to finish so you understand how they are going to work,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks. “We’ve heard instances of consumers being asked to give up their right to talk about their experiences when signing vendor contracts. If you see a request like that in a contract, walk away from that vendor. It really calls into question how much you can trust them.”

“You’re trusting someone with one of the biggest days of your life and to know that we can trust her, it’s a good feeling,” added Zook.

If you or someone you know is planning a wedding, but you don’t know where to start or what to focus on first, be sure to check out the Angie’s List wedding checklist.