research wedding costs

Do Your ResearchThis entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Brides, it may seem like no big surprise that when you sit down to plan your wedding, you feel incredibly overwhelmed.  After all, you have been planning this day since you were a little girl and should know every little detail that you want to be included. Not exactly…

There are a lot of details that go into planning a wedding and boy, does it get expensive. Who would have thought that there were so many things to do and so many expenses that go into that? Well, let us help you design a method that can relieve some of the stress and leave you with an array of money options. Especially those who are trying to save a buck or two, don’t just go with the first person you come across, there are many different vendors and venues out there that won’t break the bank. Follow the three easy steps below to prepare for your big day without any stress!

Step 1: Do Your Research

YES, research! This can be extremely daunting: where do you look? Who do you trust? However, we are in the day and age of technology, and people are not afraid to express their reviews over the internet. So head over to some of the top wedding sites and bridal shows and look for the venues and vendors in your area.

Choose three to five vendors that appeal to you and jot down their information. Where are they from? How many reviews do they have? From there, Google them! Check out their social media sites and look at real people and real photos.  Anyone can make a picture look good if it is done professionally, so look at people who have used them at their own wedding. Also, head over to an Elegant Bridal Productions show to get a first-hand experience. A bridal show is a perfect place to make conversation with top wedding vendors and venues, to taste their food, and to discuss ideas with other brides. The best part, the shows are free! This will allow you to narrow down your search to ensure that you have picked a trustworthy vendor for your big day.

Wedding costs infographics. Financial plan for ceremony and decoration. Flat vector illustration

Step 2: Make A Spreadsheet

Now that you have narrowed down your search, it is time to start putting all of the information together. Make a spreadsheet that includes the venues and vendors of interest.  Spreadsheets should consist of, but not limited to various: venues, florists, makeup and hair artist, lightening companies, favor ideas, transportation, hotels, dessert companies, bridesmaid dresses and tux stores, etc. So many options… so much money! So gather your research, create a spreadsheet, and make sure you are getting the greatest bang for your buck!

Evaluate wedding vendors

Step 3: Reach Out For Quotes

Now that you have narrowed down your search, start emailing and calling for quotes.  It is better to email so that you have everything organized and in writing. Once you get a quote, be sure to transfer the information over to your handy-dandy spreadsheet. The spreadsheet will allow you to compare your options in order to choose the perfect fit for your big day.  Keep in mind that some vendors charge extra for things like transportation, so do not leave anything out!

All in all, planning your wedding should be fun and stress-free!  You shouldn’t have to pay someone to do the research for you when everything is easily accessible!  So hop on to your computer, head over to a bridal show, make a spreadsheet, and plan the wedding of your dreams without burning a hole in your pocket.

Let a Honeyfund honeymoon registry make your wedding dreams come true.

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Bio: Elegant Bridal Productions is second to none in the wedding show industry in the New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania area. We are one of the longest running wedding expo companies in the United States and our years of success has caught the attention of such syndicated television programs including “The Martha Stewart Show.”

For over 30 years, Elegant Bridal Productions has been helping thousands of people to plan the perfect wedding. The top wedding professionals from New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania all showcase their products at Elegant Bridal Productions events as we promise to have everything you need and more to plan the wedding of your dreams. We provide you a place to gather all of the essentials to a storybook wedding such as photographers, videographers, limousines, florists, invitations/favors, travel, china/cookware, and bridal registries and countless others. 

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This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Putting a price on your wedding can be very challenging as you want the best of the best for the least amount possible. Here are our top tips for budgeting your dream wedding!

Tips for Budgeting Your Dream Wedding

Wedding Budget

Always over-budget

The first rule of budgeting for pretty much anything in life, but particularly with weddings, is to over-budget. What is your worst case scenario? What figure will make you recoil in horror when you add up the final numbers? Over-budgeting will allow you some wiggle room as some aspects of your wedding may be slightly more expensive than anticipated. It is also advisable to have a back-up fund saved for real emergencies so you’re prepared for any unexpected expenses along the way. Some couples use a honeymoon registry that can provide some funds, but in spirit of “not counting your chickens before they hatch,” you can’t rely on what you might get.

Work out who is contributing

Nowadays it is common for couples to fund their weddings on their own, however, you’d be surprised at how generous friends and family can be! Your parents may not foot the entire bill, but they may be willing to pay for specific things like the photo booth, band, or cake. On the other hand, perhaps your relatives are willing to foot the entire bill between them! Be careful how you phrase things, but ask your close family if they’d be willing to contribute to your big day, and you may be surprised with the results. Of course, if you are set on paying it all yourself, then more power to you!

Wedding planner in elegant venue

Prioritise each area

Though you want your wedding to be perfect in every way, it is likely that some things will matter to you a little more than others. Prioritising the important things will save you hundreds in the grand scheme of things. Let’s say you write things out in order of importance and it looks something like this:

Food > Hair and Makeup > Band > Cake > Flowers > Dresses > Suits > DJ > Stationery > Favours

You may want to go for the best of the best for food and save on your favours. Of course, this is a rough guide, but it will help you work out where you want to allocate more funds.

Enlist the help of friends and family

We can recount plenty of weddings where the Great Aunt is a master baker and offered to make the cake, or the Uncle is a graphic designer who produced amazing wedding stationery. Talented people are all around us and can save you so much money! Many will offer to help you for free or for a fraction of the price of industry professionals. Proceed with caution though; make sure you have seen a portfolio of your friend or relative’s work before hiring them, as you don’t want any rifts before the wedding!

Wedding reception

Haggle where appropriate

Haggling is a skill, and part of that skill is knowing when NOT to do it! For flat-rate suppliers like photographers, stationers and cake designers, we wouldn’t suggest negotiating with unless they offer. You may get a good deal on hair and makeup if you employ artists to style over three people. Individual favours in bulk like macarons, cake pops, mini bottles, and flip flops can also be found at a great price the more you order. There are some deals to be had but proceed with caution.

 Learn when to save and when to splurge

Tip 3, prioritising, will help guide your personal save and splurge meter. However, it’s useful to know where you can get high quality for much less and where you should invest for a bit more. We at Better Together Weddings always recommend you go higher end for photography and videography. This is because a great photographer will produce work that lets you relive the day over and over again. That’s priceless! On the other hand, you can save on wedding cakes as you can buy ready-made sponge tiers to stack and dress yourself for as little as £80 in total. Get savvy!

Wedding in marquee venue

Do some research

So often, couples have a very fixed idea of what they think things cost and are shocked by the reality. A prime example: tents or marquees are not cheap! For some reason, marquees and tipis are framed as an inexpensive option as opposed to traditional wedding venues. Perhaps this is because, at their core, they are just giant tents! When you take into account all of the extras needed for tipi/marquee weddings (i.e power generators, luxury portable loos, heating, lighting, furniture, etc), you’ll find that tipi/marquee weddings are about the same price as traditional venues. Do your research and you’ll have a much clearer idea of what things really cost.

Put Pinterest into perspective

We at Better Together Weddings love Pinterest! It really helps you visualise and collate your ideas. Suppliers also find it incredibly useful to have your vision in one easily accessible moodboard. That said, Pinterest is also guilty of displaying some of the most beautiful and expensive weddings in the world. It doesn’t tell you that the 15 tier wedding cake you saved is £15k. There’s no note to tell you that the 20 ft wall of white flowers is £100k. Your wedding can still be beautiful, but let your suppliers help guide you on how far your money will go.Putting a price on your wedding can be very challenging as you want the best of the best for the least amount possible. Here are our top tips for budgeting your wedding!

Do It Yourself

There is truth in saying that DIY can work out far cheaper for you, particularly in areas like stationery and favours. Every bridal magazine has great ideas for what you can make yourself with relatively cheap materials. What DIY does spend is time. So. Much. Time. Set aside part of your schedule every week to get stuff done, but if it is too overwhelming, stick to professionals.

Wedding planner

Hire a wedding planner

Shameless plug? Maybe a little, but it is true! Even though wedding planners are considered an extra expense, we actually make the management of your budget a lot easier. Not only can we help you allocate a percentage of funds to each section appropriately, but we can monitor your spend so that you don’t go over budget. We are also connected to some amazing suppliers we work with on a regular basis which means we can haggle the best price for you.

Better Together Weddings is a professional wedding planning service based in the North West. Headed by Debbie Rainford, we have won The Wedding Industry Awards Best Wedding Planner in the North West title two years running. Debbie is an expert at creating a bespoke, luxury wedding that is personal to you as well as wowing your guests. For a tailor-made service, do not hesitate to contact us! Check out our website at

Cover photo: Copyright Better Together Weddings – Chantal and Aaron – Will Hey Photogra

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