With wedding season right around the corner, watch out for the transformations of the Bridezillas! Every little girl dreams about this big day, but with all of the tanning, dieting, primping and planning it can drive even the sanest women to crazy town.
One of my wife’s favorite movies is "Bride Wars," which is all about two friends driving each other crazy trying to plan their perfect wedding — on the same day. Between the orange tan, blue hair and wrong size dress, this humorous movie reminds us of the importance of good planning for the big day.
And good planning doesn’t just mean a well-executed event. It also means a plan that sticks to a budget that won’t drive your bank crazy. Venues, cakes, flowers and food are all must-have expenses that can drive new couples into financial arguments.
Here are some financial tips to follow when planning for your big day:
1. Make a detailed budget and stick with it even if you feel the need to splurge. As you’re drawing up the budget, be sure to do a little research to have an idea of the realistic pricing for each item.
2. Consider getting married during the off-season or an off day in order to take advantage of wedding discounts. Think Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons or sometime in November, January, February or March.
3. Take advantage of the once-a-year wedding dress sales. Or you could borrow one from a friend or relative or even rent one!
4. Kill two birds with one stone and use guest favors as your centerpieces. (To get some tips on how to get creative with this one, check out this week’s social story.)
5. Roses and orchids might be beautiful, but plenty of flowers can be just as stunning. Work with your florist to pick flowers that are in season and less costly. The type of flower you choose literally can save you hundreds of dollars.
6. Print your own invitations. Several stores have print-it-yourself invitations or you can get creative or ask an artistic friend to design a personalized invitation just for you. And be sure to take advantage of coupons and sales at the craft stores for discounted paper.
7. Trade in extravagant decorations with personalized touches. Photos of major events in your relationship with a short caption attached act as great conversation starters for guests just meeting one another while it gives them a chance to know you better as a couple. And don’t be afraid to check out discount stores for decorations. A general rule of thumb is to avoid packaging that says "wedding." Just that one word can make the product go up in price. For example, if you’re looking to light up the night, check out plain white Christmas lights instead of "wedding lights."
8. When it comes to the bar, look for venues that allow you to bring in your own alcohol, and don’t feel like you have to have a fully stocked bar. Many weddings do a simple beer and wine offering, and a signature cocktail can add a personal touch while giving you the chance to buy the ingredients in bulk. And don’t worry about buying top-shelf drinks.
9. Finally, you may want to look into wedding insurance. You may run into a situation where deposits get lost, the wedding gets postponed, or the best man loses the rings! In any case, wedding insurance potentially (although often overlooked) can provide future brides the confidence they need to know that if disaster strikes, they are protected.
To all future brides, good luck with the planning and always feel free to contact Orangefinancial with questions on how to prepare yourself financially for the big event.
Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities, LLC (PAS). Securities products/services and advisory services offered through PAS, a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. Lifetime Financial Growth, LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Orange Financial, LLC and Lifetime Financial Growth Company are not affiliates or subsidiaries of PAS or Guardian.
PAS is a member FINRA/SIPC