How much do you think a wedding costs these days? When you include the engagement ring, photography, dress, honeymoon and flowers, it can all add up really fast. Of course, you can spend as little or as much as you want—what you're really looking for is a memorable occasion that will carry you into a happy marriage.
Jean talks to three guests who share their best tips for planning the perfect wedding, even when you're on a budget. David Tutera is a celebrity wedding and party planner; Carley Roney is co-founder and editor in chief of the online wedding resource The Knot; and Katie Dunsworth, a recent bride and member of Smart Cookies Money Group
, which has been featured on both Jean's show and The Oprah Winfrey Show
. Here are their tips for you:
- Overbudget, David and Carley say. When you're allocating the money, make sure to reserve about 10 percent in case you go over—it is very likely that you will.
- Use a wedding budget calculator (you can find them online) to figure out how much should be spent on each expense.
- Consider a destination wedding. These are often mistakenly pegged as the more expensive option, Katie says. The truth is, if you pick an all-inclusive location, as she did, it can actually be cheaper because you save on food and drinks.
- Bargain, bargain, bargain. You can negotiate for everything, from flowers to the band to the venue. Katie says she got a deal on her dress and the bridesmaid dresses by purchasing them from the same shop.
- Cut back on things that guests won't notice. Carley suggests eliminating a couple of courses from the dinner, limiting the bar by featuring a special cocktail, or only buying flowers that are in season.
- Don't lose sight of the purpose. The wedding is to celebrate your relationship, so focus on creating a memorable time as opposed to simply a lavish one.