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From Proposal to Wedding Day...

In this season of wedding planning, look here for answers on how to go from “I will” to “I do” without the stress and mishaps.

...Deciding on your wedding BUDGET

The Holiday season, followed closely by Valentine's Day, is the busiest time for engagements. Christmas is considered one of the four big proposal days, along with Valentine's, Thanksgiving and New Year's. Be it tradition, result of the hibernation, romantic notion or a simple fact that the couple will be able to show off their engagement ring to the family over holidays, last year alone 39 percent of proposals occurred between November and February among 20,000 newlyweds surveyed by the popular wedding website TheKnot.com

So whether you are the one that proposed or the one that got proposed to, at the current moment you must be in an in-between stage of "Oh my, I'm engaged!" and, "Oh well, what do I do now?"

I will walk you through all the necessary steps of how to go from “I will” to “I do” without the stress and mishaps.

And the first step, overlooked by so many, is setting up your realistic wedding budget.

On an average, U.S. couples spend $27,000 on their weddings, with New York, Northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania couples spending on average $33K. As with any huge monetary undertaking, the best advice is, sit down, breathe and take a survey of your situation.

Once you announce your engagement to your family and friends, sit down with your closest family and figure out if and how they will be able to help out. Try to get actual dollar numbers, so you can have a realistic wedding budget. 

Help doesn’t need to come in the form of money. Although I usually do not recommend hiring family and friends for your wedding services, there may be certain areas that they can help you with. Your graphic artist friend can design your custom invitations free of charge. Someone might know a bridal boutique owner and guarantee a major discount on your wedding gown. You never know until you ask. 

Below, you can see a usual wedding breakdown and how to prioritize wedding budget elements. Keep in mind that it is YOUR wedding, so if you don’t care where you get married, but you absolutely know that you want that $12,000 Reem Acra gown, then of course you would adjust those percentages accordingly. 

Anyhow, on an average, this is how you will spread the budget dollars:

RECEPTION, site, food, drinks, rentals, cake, favors - 48 percent

CEREMONY, location fee, officiant fee, musicians - 3 percent

MUSIC - 8 percent

PHOTOGRAPHY and VIDEOGRAPHY - 15 percent

ATTIRE-Bride’s and Groom’s - 10 percent

FLOWERS - 8 percent

RINGS - 3 percent

STATIONARY - 3 percent

TRANSPORTATION - 2 percent

Be sure to read my next blog about the next step in your planning: CHOOSING THE VENUE

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rich McAllister February 03, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Hi ... you forgot one, being married to =the one you love .. Priceless..! Nice article!
Agnieshka Burke February 04, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Yes Rich! :) that is absolutely priceless :) Thanks!
Keith Dent March 05, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Another thing..that's important that could really empower your future. Marriage Coaching, is often overlooked, but vital ensuring that your marriage starts off on solid footing. Talking about issues like finances, division of household duties and creating a family mission statement can help alleviate the stressors that come with the wonderful marriage journey.
Sergio Betancor April 06, 2012 at 07:30 PM
How to book entertainment for your wedding You want your wedding to be a night to remember and are feeling overwhelmed because you have no idea where to begin, what to look for, who to trust? After all, how many times in your life have you had to book a Band or DJ? When looking at an entertainment company’s to interview look at companies that have been around for a while, have insurance and most importantly you feel a connection with. If you have satisfied the above go for it and move along to the next service you need. I found these guys (www.sumar.com) and I’m very happy with them, so why don’t you take a look at their site?
Sergio Betancor May 21, 2012 at 07:31 PM
What makes Sumer Entertainment’s DJs stand out from the competition? That’s easy—it’s our personal touch. <a target="blank" href="http://www.sumar.com/">Sumar’s DJs</a> bring an unmatched level of customer service to every customer relationship. No matter what the event is—wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, or sweet 16—our DJs will work closely with you to ensure that your event is a success. At <a target="blank" href="http://www.sumar.com/">Sumar</a>, we feel that preparation is the key to creating an unforgettable event. Leading up to your special day, our DJs will collaborate with you to ensure all of your needs are met—no detail is too small. And when the big day arrives, rest assured that no one can bring your vision to life like <a target="blank" href="http://www.sumar.com/">Sumar</a>. Our team will ensure every detail is executed precisely as discussed so that your special day exceeds all expectations.

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