Planning a wedding is no walk in the park.
There’s a bit of chaos embedded into wedding planning. And with that chaos comes incredibly expensive costs.
I have seen many people even take out debt for this one day.
I believe our culture is sold on this myth that your wedding has to be the most perfect day in your life and therefore, that pressure added an increase to costs.
Weddings are a huge financial topic, especially for couples.
In today’s episode, I decided to talk to Heather, an expert on wedding planning.
Heather Flier | Expert Wedding Planner
Heather Fier led the growth of Natural Selection Promotions, a natural food event marketing company, for 15 years at a national scale — she oversaw the planning of more than 100,000 successful in-store special events for clients and their store chains.
Her organization and planning skills caught the attention of her family and friends, encouraging her to do something of her own. That is when she decided to become a wedding planner. In 2018, she left her leadership role at NSP to help couples plan their wedding without jeopardizing their financial stability.
She’s also written a book called Wedding Hacker A Budget Minded Planning and created a wedding hacker club to provide a support group for couples.
Wedding Cost Data
How much does an average wedding cost these days?
“It depends on who you ask. If you look at the big wedding industrial complex, the big marketing machine, it’ll tell you it’ll cost around $34,000 to plan a wedding in the U.S. To me, that number is overinflated, and it encourages people to spend more money. The people in my circles average around $15,000.”
Saving Money While Still Having the Wedding Of Your Dreams
“I believe any couple, no matter their spending budget, can save incrementally on what they’re doing when given the right resources. I help them leverage technology, find venues and vendors outside of the general wedding industry bubble, and in doing so, save by avoiding paying the wedding tax.”
It’s tied to the marketing machine. The big wedding sites state super inflated numbers. It is important to note that these sites are media companies; they’re not there to advise people to save. They want to sell advertising. When you hire off of these enormous wedding sites, you’ll be paying a steep tax on top of the actual costs for the vendors. We, as consumers, don’t get to see the price costs since it is already embedded in the total cost.
Basic Timeline of Wedding Planning
- Start planning your budget (look at your finances and see what YOU can afford because you can find vendors that will suit ANY budget)
- Venue (ceremony and reception)
- Food and beverages
- DJ (or audio equipment)
What can you afford to spend? What do you have saved now? What can you start saving monthly?
“I recommend creating a separate high yield savings account and do a little credit card hacking.”
2. Look at venues BEFORE picking a wedding date. Pick a season (fall, summer, winter, spring). That way, you have a range of days you could potentially negotiate with the vendor. Timing when booking can help with negotiating too! If you wait later to book, and a day has not been filled, they’d be willing to negotiate prices down since demand is looking low. Also, consider looking OUTSIDE of the wedding industry. ex) Art galleries, start up-warehouses
Tip: Some places you could look for venues are Peerspace and EventUp.
3. When looking at the fine print of the venues, if the venue says you can only have one caterer, you don’t have much negotiating power there. However, if not, you will have flexibility. Also, when looking for a caterer, don’t immediately resort to official wedding caterers. You could ask your favorite restaurant to cater for your wedding, and you’ll have the good guy discount. Ex) Have your first date restaurant cater for your wedding – gives an interesting point of interest!
Also, look for the beverage fine print. Can you Bring Your Own Beer (BYOB)? Can you supply your own alcohol? You could save a lot of money when hiring your bartender outside of what the venue offers. Again, check the fine print.
4. When it comes to decor, you could purchase your furniture and bring it in so you can resell afterward (especially if it’s vintage pieces). An excellent resource to look into is Bloomerent. It’s a website that helps connect two couples in the same area having their weddings on the same weekend. These couples would split the costs of floral services. If this service is not offered in your area, look into Sam’s Club and Costco. They ship floral arrangements and bouquets to you. And if you’re open to DIY’s, you’ll save even MORE money.
Factors to Consider
At the end of the day, your wedding guests will remember the experience they had at your wedding. Thus, your investments should focus on a comfortable venue, good food and beverages, and smooth flow/transitions throughout the day (hence, it’s a terrific idea to hire a wedding planner).
Nowadays, people tend to focus on things LOOKING perfect for their wedding rather than concentrating on the FEELING at the event — will guests feel comfortable? Will they be waiting around a lot? Will the event flow smoothly so guests can have a good time? These are all things to consider.
Bonus: Consider using a pre-loved dress because you can save 70%-90% off! That way, you have leeway in your budget to tailor the dress to fit your body as well.
How to Save Money on Your Photographer Without Sacrificing Quality
Ask your photographer to be at the wedding for minimal hours (about four hours). If you plan your wedding in an organized manner, you could have them from the pre-ceremony to the vital moments in the reception. Most photography packages have photographers at the event for about 12 hours, so cutting it down to four will save you a LOT of money (maybe even thousands!)
If you would like to listen to this podcast episode, click below.
Weddings nowadays are costly, and one must question the following: who is setting the pace? Why is the standard being set so high? Should it be this way? We broaden our world of possibilities to look at wedding expenses and planning differently by questioning it all. The average wedding cost is outrageously inflated, and thus, we should look and think outside the box. Heather Flier, an expert wedding planner, suggests budgeting first and seeing what you can afford first. That way, you can find vendors that’ll fit YOUR budget, not the other way around. To save money, you must think creatively and plan for everything to flow smoothly; this process includes planning even the most minor details to help run the event without a glitch.
If you’d like to check out Heather Flier’s book, The Wedding Hacker Playbook A Budget Minded Planning Playbook, she’s offering it FREE for you today! Just go to the Wedding Hacker website to reserve your free book TODAY.
I’d love to hear from you! Let me know what tips were helpful and what wedding hacks you have under your sleeve. Could you email me or tag me on IG? Until next time!