In June of 2003 San Diego Wedding Pages stated that the average wedding for 250 guests cost about $22k. This is easily understandable considering all the choices you have such as wedding dress, wedding decorations, cake, meals, flowers, favors, photographer I mean really the list goes on and on. And now in the year 2008 its gotten even higher around $30-45k. But for those of us that can't throw down that much on a wedding, there are plenty of alternatives, don't you worry your Bride to be can still have her fairytale wedding! For example, for most weddings it's the reception that costs almost 50% of the budget, so if your reception is the highest price, you can easily cut costs just by doing a few simple things.
First things first. Decrease the guest list. There no real need for you to invite your brothers girlfriends, wife's ex mother-in-law Minny. Only invite the people that really mean something to you. I know, it's your big day and you want everyone to know. But you need to cut your list down from X number of people to something a little more simpler.
Second important thing instead of serving a huge dinner/lunch serve something a little lighter, or if you want to serve big meals, skip the prime rib and bacon wrapped scallops and go for something a little less expensive such as some sort of a pasta choice and some sort of a chicken choice. Just because your cutting down on the food costs doesn't mean it has to be rubbery and tasteless! You can find some really great food alternatives out there, I'm almost sure of it!
Third thing, skip the over extravagances. Oh you know what I'm talking about, the ice sculpture and the white doves? Especially the sculpture! Those things alone cost anywhere from $700 on up to a few grand. It's just unneeded. And if you absolutely feel the utter need to have a sculpture of ice at the reception, pick something smaller and cheaper. I know of two sites in particular that do wedding specials. One has the two swans kissing, and the necks are curled into a heart shape and they cost $900. The other site has the same thing but it's smaller in size and it costs $350.
That's a huge price difference, for a small difference in the size of the sculpture! Same thing with flowers, different places are going to have different prices and different flowers are going to have different prices as well. Tropical type flowers like Lilies and Orchids are going to be more expensive than Peonies, Mums or Carnations. It's a good idea to be truthful with the florist, tell them you have a budget and also give them a round about idea of what colors you are looking for, and what flowers are big no nos!
Back in the day it was the parents who paid for the wedding, or more importantly the parents of the bride. Now in the year 2008 (as with everything else) that has changed. Now the bride and groom chip in atleast half of the price for the actual wedding. Or in some cases the bride and groom pay for the reception or half, and the parents pay for the wedding. Just make sure you figure all of this out beforehand so someone doesn't end up receiving a $5,000 bill and is awestruck! Now listed below I have found some sites that offered suggestions on who pays for what when it comes to the wedding and the reception, so hopefully this will help you out with your pricing as well. By the way these are "traditional" type prices so keep that in mind as well.
Brides Family -
Brides gown and accessories
Gifts for attendants and parents
Flowers for the wedding party
Favors and decorations
Stationary (thank you cards, invitations, etc)
Grooms Family -
Flowers for the bride
Grooms tux and accessories
Also when you have wedding ushers and bridesmaids they will usually pay for their own wedding attire, accessories and related expenses. And if you are having out of town guests they should also be expected to pay for their own expenses as well, so at least that takes a little more responsibility off of your backs! I think one of the most important things is to be comfortable with your decisions. You are only going to be officially married to this person one time, so you really want to make sure that you are getting what you want!
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