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How To Reduce Wedding Expenses: NJ Wedding Cost Nearly Doubles National Average

By: Stewart McClure, Regional President

how-to-reduce-wedding-expenses-(3).jpgAccording to CNNMoney, an annual survey released by wedding website TheKnot.com revealed that couples in northern and central New Jersey spent an average of $48,496 on weddings in 2012, while the national average was $28,427.

In addition, the responsibility for funding this landmark event has largely fallen into the hands of the bride and groom in recent years. Before visiting venues and booking appointments with DJs and florists, it’s important for couples to discuss how they plan to meet the budget demands of a modern wedding. There are a variety of options for financing a portion or all of a wedding including Personal Loans and Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit. If you are considering borrowing against your home’s equity, this blog post will help you to determine which option is best for you.

Once you have decided on the best way to finance your special day, establish a budget to track your spending. Wedding planning websites such as WeddingWire.com, WeddingChannel.com and TheKnot.com offer free budget tools to record all wedding purchases and payments to help you stay on budget.

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There are also a variety of ways to trim down wedding planning spending and still have the wedding of your dreams. Here are some tips for reducing wedding costs:

1.) Explore Alternative Venues – think beyond the traditional wedding hall for more budget-friendly options including, city park clubhouses, museums, theatres, or the home of a friend or family member. Keep in mind that by having your ceremony at the same location as your reception you can avoid the cost of transportation to take the bridal party from the ceremony to the reception.

2.) Control the Guest List – once you have selected a venue, determine an ideal guest count based on the per-guest rate and your budget and do not exceed this number. In addition to the per-guest fee, every extra table means more centerpieces, place cards, favors, etc.

3.) Avoid Saturdays and Peak Season – Saturday is of course the most popular time and therefore, the most expensive wedding day to book. Consider a Friday evening or Sunday brunch wedding instead. You can also save by getting married during the off season; the typical wedding season lasts from May – October.

4.) Select Simple Stationary
– Skip the engraving, lined envelopes, foil lettering and separate enclosure cards. Keeping it to a single, lightweight sheet will save on the costs of both paper and postage.

5.) Repurpose Flowers – According to the nationwide survey by TheKnot.com, couples spent an average of $1,997 on flowers and d├ęcor. Cut this cost by considering floral designs that can double in your ceremony and at the reception as either centerpieces or to decorate guest-book, seating-card, and favor tables. Place bridesmaids' bouquets on the cake table. MSN Money offers more creative ideas to save on flowers.

6.) Look for Bridal Gown Bargains – Ask bridal departments and salons about upcoming sample sales and designer trunk shows. At these events, buyers attempt to get rid of inventory and may cut prices by as much as 80%. You may also be able to save money by shopping at a local wedding boutique for all of your wedding apparel needs - dress, veil, accessories, etc.

7.) Serve a Limited Bar – Alcohol can be one of the biggest expenses of a wedding and most reception sites charge for every bottle opened, even if it was for just one drink. Limiting your bar selection to a signature cocktail, wine, beer, and champagne for the toasts can significantly reduce alcohol costs. You can also save by selecting a venue that will permit BYOB and purchasing your alcohol from a discount liquor and wine warehouse.

8.) Downsize the Cake – For smaller weddings use a faux bottom for the lower two tiers of the bridal cake that will look great for pictures and for larger weddings, order a smaller version of your dream cake and serve the guests from a sheet cake hidden in the back – they’ll never know!
We’d be happy to discuss how our variety of consumer loans can help finance your wedding day. Simply call Lakeland Bank at 866-224-1379 or visit any of our branch locations. For a limited time, we are offering a promotion on HELOCs that you can read more about on our website.



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