Consumer Watch: Saving money on a wedding budget

Some expert tips can help couples trying to put together a wedding on a budget. (The Flueriste/ Eventures).

Weddings can be major budget busters, but there are ways to save money and make your big day magical. The average cost of the wedding depends on where you live, in Oklahoma-- your looking at dropping at least $22,000 and that's considered affordable.

A lot of pieces go into making your wedding a night to remember. Whitney Tatum, president of Eventures, says money decisions need to be made early.

“I would say the first is to work with your planner on your budget. I think that is the most important -- to be realistic about what your budget it,” says Tatum.

For couples with a limited budget, Tatum recommends focusing on the vision, and decide on one thing that really matters.

“I think that you have to pick areas of focus that are really important to you. So, if that is dancing the night away, then let's do a really great focus in that ballroom, and let’s make the dance portion the wow factor,” says Tatum.

Other money savers include: simple ceremony decorations, focusing on the reception, and understanding the floral season your wedding might be in.

“Even the brides that have the big budget, but more those that don't, be careful, follow seasons, follow things that are great at your time of the year, even in winter,” says George Catechis, master florist and owner of The Fleuriste.

Catechis says roses are popular and easy to access.

“We can get them in bulk-- count on the colors, so they turn into a great base flower. Hydrangeas are another one. Calla Lilies are becoming much more popular now for the sleeker more contemporary brides,” says Catechis.

The Fleuriste's average starting budget on flowers is $5000. Talking to your florist about what you are realistically hoping to spend will be the best way to figure out what you can get, and what flowers could be best for your budget.

“Most of our brides come in with a definite dream, a fantasy of what their big day is going to look like. A lot of them come in with their initial ideas, and then it evolves and changes. I call it, I George it out a little, with them,” says Catechis.

Looking at pictures of big budget weddings can actually be a way to decide your floral wow factor. If one thing draws your eye, focus on that alone.

Many brides on a budget have a tendency to buy everything individually with the idea that it might be cheaper. Wedding event professionals say keeping the vendor list short will actually save you money.

One more money saving tip: hiring your vendors at least six months before you get married will cost less.
Having to rush event planning can sometimes cost fees and run you into other problems.

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