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You’ve Got the Man: Now It's Time to Plan

By HERWriter
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Financial Health related image Arnel Hasanovic/Unsplash

Maybe you got the gift of a ring during the Holiday Season, or perhaps you received a diamond in a box for Valentine’s Day. With so many recently engaged couples, March marks the time to plan. So after you have announced your engagement it is time to start thinking about the when and the where of your big day.

According to The Knot, the most popular months to get married are June and September. The website says that the average length of an engagement is 14 months.

Perhaps it is the estimated $30,000 price tag that takes couples more than a year to save up for their big day. It can get worse though. If you want to get married in the Big Apple be prepared to shell out more than $85,000, according to The Knot’s 2013 Wedding Statistics!

“Couples are more focused than ever on creating a unique, personalized and once-in-a-lifetime experience for their guests – plus they’re doing so in a modern way, by planning from their smartphones, publicizing details on social media and more,” The Knot's co-founder Carley Roney said, as reported on Xogroupinc.com.

With that in mind, one of the first steps in planning, according to RealSimple.com, is establishing your budget. You can have everything from strolling musicians to a photo booth if you have the cash stashed away for the extras.

Yes, all of these items are just an app or touch away for your planning convenience. However if you are on a tight budget you can still have a beautiful day by prioritizing your dollars.

According to Dream Weddings on a Budget, you will spend half of your budget on the reception. This will include rental of the venue, food and beverages as well as location services. If you are having a church wedding, you will have to book that, too.

I would be remiss if I did not mention my own wedding expertise and experience here.

In my early writing career, I was a freelance writer for a wedding magazine. So, after looking around at venues on both coasts (I am from Philadelphia and live in Arizona) my husband and I decided to get married in our backyard.

We had a second reception in Philadelphia a month later and booked it as a reception on a Sunday evening, not as a wedding package.

My savviness caught the attention of Interest.com, and writer Jen A. Miller featured it in their Budget Brides series. “Indeed, by the time they were done, the couple wound up having not one but two receptions, all for less than $6,000, including the cost of rings and attire.”

We were able to celebrate with nearly 200 people, and have two parties for less than the price of one.

On to the next tasks.

After the budget, venue and officiant, make your list and check it twice, so you can get out those “Save The Date” cards. For me, the people were the focus, so anything I could do to tighten up the other areas of spending, I did.

Wedding flowers, music, entertainment, decorations and photography can cost 30 percent of a wedding budget, according to Dream Weddings on a Budget.

There are so many Do-It-Yourself guides, but if you have the money and want to splurge, you should! If you have to have the one and only custom-made dress, go for it!

Food stations, signature cocktails, and Venetian dessert bars are some of the other little extras I have seen at weddings. According to the Huffington Post, specialty lighting is another splurge as well, as some couples even offer late-night snacks to their guests.

Entertainment is often an extra splurge. In Philly, hiring a Mummers string band or even the Phillie Phanatic is a signature wedding splurge.

Giving back on your dream day is now also a theme. For one couple from Pittsburgh, making their wedding meaningful meant making it charitable, according to Bridalguide.com.

“Instead of buying favors, we made a donation to the American Heart Association in honor of my husband’s father who died from a heart attack five years ago. No one seemed to care that there weren’t any favors, and I can’t think of a better way to spend money than to give it to a good cause.”


“Average Cost of Weddings – XOGroup.com.” The Knot. Web 9 March 2015.

“Wedding Planning Checklist – RealSimple.com.” Real Simple. Web 9 March 2015.

“Wedding on a Small Budget – Dream-Weddings-on-a-Budget.com.” Dream Weddings On a Budget. Web 9 March 2015.

“Getting Married at Home By The Backyard Pool – Jen A. Miller.” Interest.com.” Interest. Web 9 March 2015.

“These Wedding Splurges are Worth the Cost and then Some – HuffingtonPost.com. Th Huffington Post. Web 9 March 2015.

“Philly Phanatic Got Local Couples Wedding Weekend – PhillyMag.com.” Philly Mag.
http://www.phillymag.com/philadelphia-wedding/2014/01/13/video-phillie-phanatic-got-local-couples-wedding-weekend/ Web 9 March 2015

“Real Bride Budget Wedding Tips – Bridalguide.com.” Bridal Guide. Web 9 March 2015.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist and Publicist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.

Joanne's fitness plans, recipes and lifestyle advice are available globally on her website http://www.happiwoman.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and children, where she runs her fitness and publicity business, JSK PR, http://www.jskpr.com/

Reviewed March 10, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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