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Budget Wedding Planning: Choosing Your Date! | Eau Claire, WI Wedding Photographer

Hello faithful blog followers! Thanks for tuning into another post on budget wedding planning, it makes me so excited to know you’re here and I am not just sitting at my computer screen, babbling to myself for the fun of it. If you enjoy this blog, please come leave me a comment on Facebook, leave one here (comments box below), or click the handy “like” tool at the bottom of the post on the left margin. Your support is what keeps these posts coming. So, if you enjoy them…take a couple seconds and tell me about it.

So, for today’s blog post I decided to do: choosing your wedding date. For some, not a lot goes into this thought process. They choose a date and that’s it. For others, it’s a time consuming process. Choosing a date can be a very difficult thing. When you’re planning on a budget, the date makes a very important difference, and factors into a lot of things. Most importantly, your date will be a very large factor in how much you ultimately pay for your wedding. If you’re looking to save the absolute MOST on your day, following these tips will help you save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Seriously…

First and foremost in the budget saving tips is to book your date as soon as you can with your chosen vendors. Many vendors, such as photographers, wedding venues, djays, officiant’s, and even your bridal shop, will experience price increases every year. This means if you’re engaged in 2012 and you’re not planning to get hitched until 2015 that you have 2 years of potential price increases to withstand. If you book and pay your deposit right away, many vendors will have a clause in their contract with you, stating that even though their prices may be higher in 2015, you will still only pay 2015’s pricing. Major score. Sometimes, that can me $500 or more savings on each vendor who offers this. So, once you have that date, book it. Most people are booking 2 years in advance now anyway, so this also ensures that you have the vendors of your choice and you’re not scrambling to fill that void with someone you’re not quite sure of.

Part B of the above tip is that many vendors will offer you pay as you go, or payment plans. Why put it on a credit  card if you don’t  have to? Paying interest on my wedding day certainly doesn’t sound appealing to me. Maybe you have to do it, okay I understand…but working out an arrangement with your vendors may be possible, so be sure you ask. Speaking from the standpoint of my business, I know I would never turn a person away who is wanting to pay my services off before their wedding.

Next, choose a date that is not near Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. These two holidays make floral prices soar through the roof. If you want to pay top dollar for your floral arrangements, here is a good way to do that. Add to the fact, that none of these arrangements will ever be seen in a church or venue you will be married in and it’s a double whammy. However, on the flip side of that, if you get married around Easter or Christmas the church will be filled to overflowing with beautiful florals that you’ll be lucky enough to take advantage of. Win, Win. Now all you pay for is the bridal & bridesmaids arrangements, boutonnieres,  ceremony decor, and other miscellaneous floral arrangements.

Other holidays to be leery of, not always for budgeting but also for factoring in your guest count: 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc. These holidays, many people have other things planned, traditions, etc. These are dates to spend with family, and you will ultimately be missing a good chunk of your guest list if you hold a wedding on these dates. I’ve seen it happen, so many times. However, if you’re holding a smaller, more intimate ceremony this may be the right choice for you. In your area, the more popular dates will vary. Here in Eau Claire, WI and the surrounding Chippewa Valley or Midwestern areas, fall tends to be a very popular time of year to get hitched because of the beautiful fall leaves.

You’ll love this one, or you’ll hate it. Parts of me, HATE it. Hate it. But there are parts of me that love it since I am not overly traditional and some things are really things of the past. So, forget etiquette.  Just forget it. If it doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it. You hate favors at a wedding because you see it as wasteful and everyone just throws them away anyway? Okay, don’t do it. You’re certainly not alone. I hear it all the time. Favors can also cost anywhere from 1-5 per guest as well, so when you factor that in and calculate your guest count, that’s a big chunk of money you’re spending for something you only feel you have to do. Instead, give a beautiful speech with your husband at the reception. Thank everyone for coming and tell them how much you’ve always appreciated their involvement in your lives. Or, make a donation to a charity you believe in and tell your guests that a donation was made on their behalf. Find a way around the things you dislike and make the day truly a reflection of who you are as a couple, not who society says you are or should be.

Last of all, and probably one of my absolute all time favorites…hold your wedding ceremony in the off months or on a Friday or Sunday. The most popular month to get married use to be June, but is now fighting with the fall months. Especially in Wisconsin, where our fall leaves are glorious and stunning. The true off months for many wedding professionals is November through March. April through October tend to be the very busiest, and tend to be the months they will charge their regular prices. Choosing a wedding date during these off months, or having a wedding on a Friday or Sunday can save you 25% or more on each wedding vendor on an individual basis. How much each wedding vendor can discount you, will vary. Ask them, and see how much you can save. Having a winter wedding can be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. Especially from your photographer’s perspective. Sure, it will be cold, but if you tough it out the resulting photos will be perfect.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Jenny Haas)

Again, always remember that choosing a photographer in this type of situation is a much more important decision now. It’s not easy to photograph people in snow. It requires skill that goes beyond just being able to take a nice photograph. It’s important you choose a photographer who is comfortable photographing in these conditions, as well as one who has proven that they can photograph beautifully in these conditions.

Choosing your wedding date is very important. It determines many things; your budget, your decor & theme, the weather, your guest list, & even budget savings. Choosing wisely can help you to save 25% or more on your big day. That’s what this is all about, helping you find the very best ways to cut cost without sacrificing quality services and goods. Wedding & event planners, good djays, caterers, and photographers are important. These people will help set the tone for your day, they will create, and they will capture beautiful memories. Just because you’re on a budget, does not mean that you have to sacrifice having a true professional. As always, I am extending the open invitation to ask any and all questions you would like. If you need tips, suggestions, planning help, I am your gal. I also have connections with some of the areas very best planners, photographers, djays, and wedding professionals. If you need help creating the perfect team for your day, please do not hesitate to ask for recommendations. Thank you for checking out the blog, see you next week. Happy wedding planning!