Wedding Planning: Spend Matters Style

I have an announcement.

Two weeks ago, during a lovely walk in the snow, my boyfriend asked a key question. I now happily find myself with a ring on my finger…and a wedding to plan.


I am one lucky lady!

In doing some initial research, I found that the average cost for a wedding in the US is $25,631. Now, I’m not one for Hummer limos with swimming pools in the back, a Cirque de Soleil performance, or even gliding down the aisle in a pair of Louboutins (sorry, Jason, no cordovan for me). I’m really just looking for a memorable evening where my family and friends can watch us say “I do” and then eat delicious food, drink delicious wine, and dance the night away (without me hyperventilating over the cost of napkin rings).

So it’s a good thing I work amidst some of the leading sourcing analysts in the space. In fact, at Jason and Lisa’s wedding, Lisa’s father was sure to include the following in his toast: “Take a look around you. There is not one thing in this room that has not been sourced, negotiated, discounted, bartered - the food, the music, the centerpieces, the setting, the drinks in your hand…”

So how could I not look to Spend Matters readers for advice, strategy, and negotiation tactics? Do I set a budget from the get-go, or justify every line item as we go along? What are the top negotiation points for wedding vendors: venue, caterers, photography, flowers, etc.? How do I Jack Donaghy this situation??

30 Rock - Negotiation
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As I dive into planning, I’ll feature an ongoing column that covers war stories, success stories, and the ups and downs of planning a wedding - Spend Matters-style. I’d be thrilled to receive anecdotes, advice, and tips from our readers - please get some comments going or send me an email.


Voices (2)

  1. Mary Z:

    Agree with the comment about NOT saying it’s a wedding. Document everything – every conversation, every question, including the names of the people you talked to on the phone, the time of the call and the results. Then call their competitor and see if you get the same answers. Make the same type of notes. And then just agree to let some things go….after all this isn’t like negotiation a dishwasher you will just replace in 5 years…enjoy the moment and the magic first. Oh, and source at the Dollar Store…it’s fantastic there!

  2. bitter and twisted:

    When negotiating don’t let slip its a wedding. Its a party, a function, etc.

    Be ruthless in cutting the non-essentials.

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