Setting a budget and sticking to it is the best way to keep wedding costs manageable, says Tara Grubb, owner of Manhattan-based All About You Event Planning and Rentals. Grubb said couples most often lose control of costs when they fail to set a budget and instead try to “just figure it out as they go.” She suggests those who are about to tie the knot set an overall wedding budget while allotting specific amounts for different categories of costs, such as apparel, reception venue, food, flowers, photographer and entertainment.
Grubb, whose business is at 8831 E. US-24 highway, also recommends that couples:
- Begin preparing the wedding 12 to 18 months in advance. Finding venues and vendors can be much more expensive if done on short notice.
- Consider renting supplies and decor instead of buying them.
- Shop around for vendors instead of going with the first photographer or florist they meet.
- Consider enlisting relatives and friends to provide services while making sure they can feasibly carry out what they’re being asked to do. “Uncle Bob, who grills in the backyard, may not be the best caterer for 250 people,” Grubb said.
- Keep the wedding and reception local,
which saves on travel costs.
Beverly Falley, owner of Lawrence-based Island Dreams Travel/Lawrence Travel Center, said couples can save money — and avoid the stress and strain of wedding planning —by getting married at an exotic destination, such as Jamaica, the Dominican Republic or
southeastern Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Falley said resorts in those parts of the world offer all-inclusive packages that allow couples to pay one price for a wedding package and get everything they need. She has seen resorts provide couples a free wedding if they spend six nights in a certain category of room.
Destination weddings successfully bring together the wedding and the honeymoon— and give the guests a vacation, too, Falley said. Guests can customize their trip by staying at the resort however long they want and taking day trips to other locations in the area.
Whether they’re planning a destination wedding or going on their honeymoon after marrying in their hometown, Falley, who can be reached at islanddreamstvl.com, recommends couples contact travel agents to help them plan the trip. Travel agencies have access to pricing specials, free upgrades,
hotel amenities and honeymoon packages that aren’t available to the general public.
“We can always get a better price than you can find online,” she said.
Writen by Tim Hrenchir of the Topeka Capital-Journal