Budget Resource of the Day #5 – Knowledge

Budget Resource of the Day: Knowledge 

 

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Okay, this may seem more obvious than the ‘coupons’ post but knowledge is going to be your greatest asset going into the planning period.  The better ideas you have about what you want vs. what you don’t want, mistakes to avoid, how to protect yourself from scams, the items that are within your budget vs. how to cut the costs can all stretch your dollar a little further while making it the wedding of your dreams.

 As always, I’ve listed a few things every bride should keep in mind before signing any contracts, buying in bulk, or getting too far in the planning process.

#1 – Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

7 mistakes to avoid {pic from Bride.com’s article}

Over at Brides.com, I found this little list of 7 Wedding Mistakes to Avoid, a culmination of advice from brides who’ve been there, done the wedding thing. This list avoids the obvious wedding pitfalls that can ruin the day (i.e. the cake doesn’t arrive, the venue catches on fire, etc.) and goes for the more “subtle wedding miscalculations . . . that even the most well-organized, well-meaning brides and grooms can fall prey to.”

One of my favorites on this list was about the rehearsal dinner. You never hear too much about this occasion, so I find any information on it very enlightening as a bride myself.  The article suggests varying the style of your events (wedding vs. showers vs. rehearsal dinner, etc.) in order to keep it fresh and allow your guests to have fun throughout ALL the festivities.  Allow a casual barbecue party and encourage guests to show up in shorts and sandals and “dance to mariachi music”.  I know this may not seem like a budget tip but varying your style will leave an essence of surprise for your guests on the actual wedding day and allow you to get the most ‘bang-for-your-buck’ {and your guests} on the big day.

Read the full article here  in order to eliminate the “if-onlys” and learn some lessons on your wedding day!

#2 – Save Big Without Skimping

engaged cost cutting tips {pic from Bride.com’s article}

Also a courtesy of Brides.com, comes their list of the 40 Best Cost0Cutting Tips for Your Wedding Budget.

The first item on their list: extend the engagement.  They say that “a longer planning period means a better chance of getting the best vendors in your price range” as well as locking in rates “that might increase by the time your wedding date arrives.”

Short note: With a loooong engagement period myself {two years by the time we get married}, I’ve also come to find that a longer engagement period allows you to gather plenty of ideas and sort out the ones you don’t need {which I seemed to want them ALL in the beginning when everything was new} – – it gives you time to get over the trends and focus on what makes you guys ‘you’!

A few other wise ideas on the list: avoiding a Saturday night soiree (good if you don’t have guests traveling); using a multipurpose venue (no transportation fees); use non-floral fillers (remember my post on this?) and minimize ceremony décor (guests only see them for an hour or two – so stick to the basics).

Read all 40 tips here!

#3– Avoid Wedding Scams

scams{pic from Bride.com’s article}

Scams are everywhere these days {especially in this economy} and the wedding industry is not immune.  In this Wedding Scams article from (yes, again) Brides.com, the writers share a shocking story about a real life couple scammed by a no-show band on the big day.

The article goes on to note that “while no government agency specifically tracks wedding-industry scams, Sheila Adkins [of the Better Business Bureau], says that wedding-dress shops accounted for 1,016 of the 758,928 complaints filed nationwide in 2005.” As far as other wedding-related businesses, Adkins says that photographers accounted for 1,301 complaints which was {closely} followed by florists and limousine companies . . . yikes!  Alan and Denise Fields of Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget estimate that “as much as 10 percent of wedding costs is eaten by industry fraud.”

This article isn’t meant to scare you or to make you second-guess every vendor you come in contact with, it’s simply to make you aware — there are plenty of genuine businessmen & -women out there to work with . . . just make sure you find those ones!

More scamming articles to check out: Bridezilla.com shines a light on the hidden B.S. that accompanies many industry contracts and BridalTips.com shows you how to save and what to look out for at your gift registry – and you thought you were safe!

#4 – Learn From Others

I found a new blog {I’m hooked on} called The Green Bride Guide written by a husband + wife team who planned an eco-friendly wedding in 2006.  My reason for falling in love with this blog: her Lessons Learned section.

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One major thing she pointed out on her line up, that I feel the need to share with everyone, is her “cleanup advice = communicate.”  Kate {the brain behind the blog} shares “that no matter how good your intentions are, it is essential to give the cleanup crew a list of what you want saved (the candles, the charges, the framed table numbers, etc.) or some recyclable/reusable/resalable things WILL go into the trash can.”  She goes on to share that she lost almost $1,000 worth of decorations due to a lack of communication in this area – – who would ever know to do that unless they’d heard it from a past bride?

That’s it for budget week! The bottom line: research as much as you can, talk to family members and friends for referrals and things to avoid + get to know your vendors before you sign contracts. This time in your life is supposed to be fun and enjoyable!

Stay tuned next week for: Deals Around the Valley 🙂

 X.O.X.O

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