National average wedding expenses

The numbers are in! According to www.costofwedding.com, here are the national averages of what wedding couples are spending for The Big Day:

Wedding Attire: $2,606
Wedding Ceremony: $2,525
Wedding Favors & Gifts: $1,121
Wedding Flowers: $1,969
Wedding Jewelry: $2,066
Wedding Music: $953
Wedding Photography & Video: $3,688
Wedding Reception: $14,169
Wedding Stationery: $847
Wedding Transportation: $410

I’m not sure what people are spending $2,525 on for their ceremonies — perhaps decor is included — but I AM sure that you can beat these numbers with my book 1000 BEST WEDDING BARGAINS. Just looking at this list, I’m thinking, “Nah, you can do better than that!” for a few categories. Some of my top tips for wedding budgeting:

1. Make a Priority List, and devote a larger percentage of your budget to that. If you’re thinking, “We want our guests to eat well at the reception,” then you’ll devote a bigger chunk of your budget to that. If you’re not dreaming about custom invitations, then go to www.mountaincow.com to get invitation-making software for almost nothing. That money can then be shifted into your catering, or as a simple big savings.
2. Get a realistic view of what things cost. Start with www.costofwedding.com, where you can plug in your zip code and get category averages for your area, and do lots of research on wedding vendors’ price sheets. Few will post their prices online, so you’ll have to contact them for a consultation. Consider this time spent to be an investment in your wise money handling.
3. Don’t cut too far, or go too far in trying to get things for free. Aim for the middle range, since quality service and products do cost a fair amount.

In other news, I taped my first segments with The Wedding Podcast Network (www.thewpn.com), and I’m very excited about our upcoming shows. The program is called ‘Here Come the Moms,’ and we’re focusing on everything the mothers of the bride and groom need to know to help plan the wedding, learn the new etiquette rules for moms, de-stress and look great on the wedding day. We’re focusing especially on communication, problem resolution, and making sure you look FORWARD to the future after the wedding day. My co-host Holli Ehrlich is delightful, and we have the next ten shows waiting to go. So log on to the WPN and listen to some of the masters like Sylvia Weinstock and Preston Bailey share their inspirations as well. Our show launches next month, and we’ll be taping live from the 4PM Wedding Salon at Gotham Hall in New York City in April. (Big thanks to Joe and Adam for circuitously hooking me up with this opportunity!)

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