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October 13, 2012

Tying a knot around wedding expenses

Occasion doesn't need to break the bank

(Continued)

“Catering cost me around $2,500 and we planned this with the idea that we did not want to run out of food. What Dustin and I did not plan for was the number of people who let us know they were going to attend but did not,” 

Tompkins brought up a part of wedding planning that doesn’t occur to invitees who may not consider the time and money spent on making a wedding special. Unlike a casual graduation party or open house, failing to show up after making a reservation is not polite and can cost up to $200 per person.

The wedding cake is usually separate from the catering bill and the wedding expense planner for Delaware and Otsego county estimates that a wedding cake to serve about 130 people will be around $400. 

“Exquisite cakes which are four or more tiers are beautiful but they are really expensive,” Tompkins said. :I thought best way to save on a cake was to go with a sheet cake. If you do want something a little nicer, get a two or three tier cake and supplement the rest with the sheet cake and it will save you hundreds.”

Hair and make-up are a part of weddings that sometimes can be forgotten when budgeting. Friendship with someone who is willing and skilled can help to save money, as Tompkins reported, “I had a family friend do my hair and the wedding parties for $30 a piece rather than the $50 or more that most salons charge. I also had a friend who did my nails beautifully and didn’t charge me a thing.” 

That was a big savings as the wedding cost estimator sets a figure of more than $150 per person as the lowest starting costs for these services.

Keep an open mind with possibilities of asking skilled friends for a wedding gift of services such as hair, nails or help with decorations. The only area this is not recommended is when it comes to meal caterers and photographers, because they are working hard during the event so a friend in these positions would not be able to be a part of the celebration. Professional wedding photographers are not friends wielding expensive cameras, they are experienced and creative experts. In this region the estimated fee for a photographer starts at around $1,300 and can vary greatly depending on what work you want them to do. Plan on spending around $250 for reprint and enlargement photos.

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