Falcone passionately warns against the dangers of financing a wedding you can’t currently afford. She also has some tips for keeping your costs down so you won’t have to apply for credit in the first place.
First, for her wedding, she kept her guest list as small as possible. The same XO Group study that found the record-setting average wedding expenditures also found that cost per guest had gone up over previous years. Consequently, one of the most effective ways to cut your wedding costs is to limit your guest list.
Falcone also looked at the resale market. For example, she wanted a very specific — and very expensive — wedding dress for her big day. She researched what she might be able to sell it for after she and her husband had exchanged vows.
“I knew I’d be able to sell it for roughly half of what I paid for it,” she says. “I essentially split the cost with another bride.”
Finally, she negotiated and stuck firmly to her budget with each vendor.
“Whenever a company or a provider hears the term ‘wedding,’ for whatever reason, instantly the prices jack up,” she says.
If you have a set budget in mind for food, venue, music, a photographer or flowers, make sure you go into the meetings with that number, and don’t budge. A lot of times they’ll be willing to work with you rather than lose your business.
– Tara Falcone, owner of ReisUp LLC
Falcone also notes that while the decision will have to be weighed for each individual couple, waiting to get married in order to save for a more lavish event is another option. If you must have a big, expensive wedding, she recommends this over going into debt.