That’s the cost of the average wedding—and for many couples, that’s over budget. The overspending, however, isn’t due to a lack of restraint. Some wedding expenses may be unfairly inflated, according to a recent investigation by Consumer Reports.
Using secret shoppers, the consumer watchdog discovered vendors in a sampling of states, such as caterers, florists, limousine services and photographers, quoted higher prices for a wedding than for an anniversary party in over 25 percent of cases. One instance uncovered a $7-per-person cake-cutting fee!
“If you’re planning a wedding, you need to be aware that you may be paying a premium for products and services in some cases,” says Tobie Stanger, senior editor at Consumer Reports. “You may not think to bargain, but you should. While our findings aren’t enough to indict an entire industry, they’re a warning to wedding shoppers to read fine print, ask smart questions and negotiate before signing anything."
Stanger and Consumer Reports advise couples:
Get Married in the Off-Season – Weddings held in January and February tend to be the least costly. The same goes for off-days and off-times: weddings on Fridays and Sundays, and those scheduled prior to dinnertime, will likely be less expensive.
Compare Meal Prices – Thirty-five percent of those surveyed recently by Consumer Reports opted for a cheaper menu at their event. Bear in mind a buffet, while seemingly a bargain, may be more expensive than a sit-down dinner.
Reduce Booze Costs – Forgo premium alcoholic beverages in favor of house drinks, or, if possible, supply your own alcohol and hire a licensed bartender to serve it. You’ll be able to recoup what you don’t use!
Cutting back in these areas can help you keep your budget on track —and avoid incurring debt on your big day.
For more money-saving tips, visit ConsumerReports.org.
Source: Consumer Reports