Money Matters: Budgeting for a wedding

Reported by: Brittany Price
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Updated: 3/13/2013 9:52 am

The cake, the flowers and the gown are all pretty. These wedding elements are also pricey, among many other features of a bridal couple’s big day.  

"The numbers are kind of staggering," Diana Dee, Project Manager said.  

In fact, there are close to 400 weddings a year in the Lubbock area.

"The average expenditure for these weddings is between $24,000 and $25,000 per wedding. That makes an incredible industry for this area of $95 million a year," Dee said.

As for tackling the expense, map out a plan right after the proposal.

"The couple and the parents, decide who is going to contribute what and stick to the budget. If something in your budget, say the food, goes up $200 then somewhere along the lines cut the $200. Do not bring the credit cards out," Tammy Maxx, a Wedding Planner in Lubbock said.

Maxx said, traditionally, the bride's parents paid for most everything.

"Now that is out the door," Maxx said.  

Modern paying etiquette often includes a team effort.

"So many of them now if they're not paying for all of it, they're contributing a significant portion of it. Even the groom's parents are coming into it and a lot of the time they'll divvy it up into thirds," Maxx said.

She said couples should expect the reception itself to take up 50 percent of the budget.

"Your reception includes not only the venue but it also includes decor for the reception, it includes the food which is a huge expense, the alcohol and entertainment, absolutely everything," Maxx said.  

“Then you take the other 50 percent and that includes anything from the photographer, videographer, the church, the bride's gown, things of that nature," Maxx added.  

To save a little extra, consider peak times.

"November through March is not heavy wedding season, so lot of time you can find a little discount," Maxx said.

Other ways to cut costs is by committing to moderation and balanced spending.

"If you've got to have that band, maybe you do two hours instead of four hours. As far as the food, maybe go with some fabulous hor dourves and don't go with the full on plated dinner. They can also have a smaller wedding party. That's a way to cut your expenses. That cuts extra invitations, extra formal wear, gifts and things of that nature," Maxx said.  

Maxx advises couples start planning one year before saying "I do" to avoid wedding budget blues.

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