Wedding budget tips

August 26, 2009 11:10:05 AM PDT
Wedding budgets this year are 10 percent less than last year. So, how can you save big without settling for less? New York City wedding planner Lindsay Landman joined us with tips. Dresses:

At the center of most bride's vision of the perfect wedding is the perfect dress-but perfect may mean pricy. When buying a wedding gown, are the prices that the sales people quote firm or is there any room for negotiation. If so, how much and what's the right way to broach the topic?

Absolutely. Brides should know that prices are negotiable. Unlike traditional retail stores, most bridal boutiques do have some flexibility with price due to higher margins, so once you have found the dress that you love, ask:

· if they are able to offer a discount for purchasing the dress on the spot
· if the designer will be holding a trunk show within the next 2-3 months so that you can take advantage of the common 10% discount offered during trunk shows
· if the shop will include alterations in the purchase price as altering a wedding gown can cost between $150 - $750!

Accessories:

So many brides spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a veil that they only plan to wear for their 30-minute ceremonies. Do brides really need a veil? What about other accessories like jewelry?

Consider breaking tradition and skipping the veil or borrowing your veil from a friend... Instead invest that money in fabulous, real diamond jewelry that you will wear all night long.

For as little as $100 you can rent real diamond jewelry worth thousands of dollars from Adorn.com. The jewelry will be delivered right to your door a couple days before your event - and if you show them a photo of your dress via email or at their New York showroom, one of their style consultants will even help you select the right piece to go with it!

Starting this week, you can even find Adorn Brides' diamond jewelry for rent on TheKnot.com-making this red carpet worthy service available where 80% of brides are already doing their planning.

Food:

Food is obviously a big portion of many brides' budgets, but you don't really want to skimp on treating your guests. How do you get the best value out of your caterers?

When negotiating with caterers, remember that "edibles" are the least valuable components of their pricing structure. Instead of trying to get the price down by eliminating food items from your proposed menu consider changing your celebration from a sit down dinner to a cocktail party that may still have as much food as a dinner would have, but greatly reduces the number of staff and the amount of rentals required for your party which can be the most costly items for the caterer.

Services:

I'm always amazed at how expensive the wedding day photography can be. What's your advice for working with this component of the wedding?

When considering photography and videography services, do not attempt to save money by reducing the number of hours in your contract as that will only rush the flow of your wedding day (squeezing all of the important elements into the photographer's time frame). Instead, consider:

· eliminating second shooters for weddings under 250 guests
· asking for discounts for pre-paying for albums or DVD's upfront
· requesting a complimentary engagement session

Style & Decor:

If a bride really wants to make an impact when her guests arrive at the reception, what can she do to create a dramatic effect while not going over budget?

Using a colored or patterned tablecloth is the least expensive and most impactful way to enhance your wedding décor without breaking the bank. For as little as $20/table, you can fill your entire function space with color. Flowers can only take you so far... Take the pressure off your flowers and expand your color palette to the tabletop for a dramatic transformation.

Final comments:

When you have decided you'd like to hire a specific vendor, tell them how much you like them and why you want to hire them specifically before politely asking for a 10% fee reduction. Vendors want to know that you have chosen them because you think they are the right match, not because of price, and flattery goes a long way.

You can learn more great cost-saving tips attending one of Lindsay's Bridal Bootcamps. Information can be found at www.lindsaylandmanevents.com.

Other helpful websites include:

www.adornbrides.com
www.theknot.com


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