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Planning A Wedding On A Budget

January 16, 2014, 10:30 PM by Brittany Larson

Planning A Wedding On A Budget

"We just got engaged on Christmas and we are already planning the wedding for this summer," Melissa Wendt said.

Which means that Melissa Wendt and her fiance, Josh Vanderloo, are in crowded company these days. With the holidays behind us, it's that time of year when many couples decide to take the plunge and tie the knot.

"The month before you can contact us for $75, you can put a hold on the date and nobody can take it away from you," Executive Director at Museum of Vision Materials, Jeremy Brech said.

"The first of the year we get a lot of phone calls, 'Hey we just got engaged, what's open?'" Owner of All Occasions, Mary Anne Lux said.

Picking out that special date tends to take priority but once that's decided the planning begins.

"On the average we'll see people planning weddings from six months out to two years in advance. Usually six to eight months is pretty normal and that's pretty average," Brech said. 

But what does it take to create the perfect wedding?

"My biggest advice is to put as much thought into your marriage as you do planning the wedding," Lux said.

"For me the most important part is that we are getting married, I can kind of see how people get caught up in the moment," Wendt said.

According in 2012 there were more than 2 million weddings across the U.S., nearly a quarter of those in the Midwest.

"The wedding industry is a very popular industry and there's a lot of great professionals out there that are making successful businesses in the Sioux Falls area. And, again, I'm not too shocked to see that there's a very good market," Brech said. 

So strong a market that each year more than $40 billion is spent creating that special day. There's no doubt that saying "I do" is big business.

"You're going to get what you paid for and you want to make sure that by having the right people involved in your reception. Also, make that investment in your one special day that you're going to have," Brech said.

The average couple spends more than $25,000 for their wedding. That figure doesn't include the cost for the honeymoon. It's a bit less expensive to get wed in the Midwest where the average wedding price tag is just over $23,000. Findings from that report also included a single guest could add or remove about $150 to the overall cost of a wedding.

"We have seen wedding that have a budget of $3,000 up to $200,000 and again it really just depends on how much you really want to invest in this one special day," Brech said.

"We definitely have a budget and we want to stick to so what we're trying to do is just kind of get original with things like we're not going to have a typical day. We're going to do ours in the evening, so then we are avoiding paying for a meal," Wendt said.

So here's the bridal budget breakdown: According to the, the reception adds up to about half of your budget.  Formal wear, flowers and entertainment are each about 10 percent. Photos and video of the big event will also run about 10 percent. And invitations, rings, transportation, and gifts are around two percent each.

But there are ways to save. Getting married during the colder months of the year, February for example, could leave you with more cash in your wallet.

"Most places will do some sort of a discount for the room because it is our slower month and we are not as busy anyway," Lux said.

Melissa Hotchkin is getting married on Valentine's Day.

"I just like the holiday and we thought it was cool because it's 2-14-14." Melissa Hotchkin said.

Despite the possibility of saving money during the winter months, more people are being drawn toward walking down the aisle in the fall.

"I would say probably in the last two years the fall wedding trend has really been kicking up. It comes down to colors and the theme of their event. Rustic is obviously a fall type theme we saw a lot of people switch," Brech said.

Whether it's winter, spring, summer or fall, wedding organizers recommend taking everything one step at a time and enjoying the moment.

"I would be fine to go to the courthouse and get married. So for me, I'm not really going to stress out about every single detail," Wendt said.

"No matter how much you're spending you're going to have a great reception, you're going to have a great wedding, and a perfect wedding day because you're getting married," Brech said.

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