If couples could look back on their wedding day, what would they do differently with budgeting and planning?
Before I share what almost 100% of brides said - let me give the background story.
I hopped online to check out what the average cost of a wedding was in America in 2017. The number was actually higher than expected at around $26,000... Looking into it though, most couples spend less than $10,000, which doesn't include the honeymoon.
First of all, let's break down where most couples put that money. A large majority of the money went to three areas: renting a venue, hiring entertainment, and contracting vendors. All of which are indeed the most important places to spend bucks. In either case, its always wise to start with a budget before hand.
Location and selection of venue was first on the list for cost.
Naturally, a venue can cost as low as a few hundred bucks- unless you plan on renting a museum, mansion, or ship, which can cost as much as $10,000... On the other hand, the cost of a venue can be less expensive if you book it ahead of time and pick a date that is less popular for the venue. This can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
According to www.brides.com the budget breakdown for most weddings looks like this:
Venue - 45% of budget
Photography/Videography - 12% of budget
Wedding Attire & Beauty - 9% of budget
Music - 6% of budget
Rings - 6% of budget
Flowers - 5% of budget
Favors & Gifts - 5% of budget
Transportation - 3% of budget
Stationary - 3% of budget
Cake - 2% of budget
Decor - 2% of budget
Misc - 2% of budget
Did you notice any entertainment on that list?... Me neither. All too often, weddings are completely boring and therefore stressful without good entertainment. Sadly enough, music alone isn't that entertaining, especially when the "you get what you pay for" theory applies...
After the wedding brides said they would have done things differently...
St. Louis Bride & Groom Magazine asked brides who were recently married what they would have done differently when budgeting and hiring vendors. Seventy eight percent said they wished they had given top priority to their decisions about entertainment, and 72 percent wished they had spend more time researching before selecting their entertainment.
Looking back, nearly 100% of brides said they would have been happy to set aside more money from their budget in an effort to have a better quality of entertainment.
Funny enough, most bridal and planning books recommend setting aside 5-10% of a budget for the music - however, music alone cannot create a successful reception. After all, entertainment services is what sets the tone, keeps things moving smoothly, and keeps the interest of guests.
Mark Ferrell (writer for the DJ industry), has repeatedly said, "The amount a person spends on entertainment is directly proportional to the quality of entertainment they will receive, which is directly proportional to the overall success of their reception."
What's my professional opinion on balancing the entertainment budget?
I always see how much money goes into the small details which get thrown away after the real party - things like seat covers, extra flowers, wall decorations, etc... However, I would recommend spending more money on the aspects of a wedding you can't live without - and cutting expenses in other areas of less importance.
Folks are blown away by how many customization aspects we can do to a venue with our lighting systems alone... They realize the "last minute details" they spent so much money on weren't really needed as much as they thought.
A picture below shows the walls, tables, and ceiling becoming illuminated and draped to custom theme colors- transforming any venue into an elegant setting efficiently.
As you can see here, this party is having a TON of FUN in a venue transformed by the special effects. Doesn't this look like a $30,000 wedding party?
All in all - a wedding doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to be super fun!... When everyone is enjoying themselves, photos turn out better, drinks and food taste great, and the evening is seamless.
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