I love watching “Say Yes to the Dress” as much as the next girl. WE tv can distract me for a few hours at a time as I watch couples navigate all of the decisions that go into wedding planning. However, as someone who works in the wedding industry I am watching from a different point of view than a bride-to-be or single girl daydreaming about her big day.
Reality TV does a great job of inspiring brides. The best, brightest and most cutting edge trends are highlighted for all to enjoy. Wedding related television shows have guided brides in their gown style, inspired décor and bridal party attire color selections and no doubt helped to create some fantastic celebrations.
However, I fear that reality TV has also given brides some unrealistic expectations when it comes to their big day. Many of these shows do not disclose costs, or at least the full cost of their wedding. For example, it is common to see a bride with a $3,000 budget for a wedding gown on television. Given that the gown is often budgeted at 5% of the total wedding cost, we can guess that this gown is part of a $60,000 wedding. The average wedding cost in the
United States is $24,000, which creates an average gown budget of $1,200, quite a difference.
There are also costs that are unseen to the untrained eye. In addition to the base cost of any wedding related item you need to leave room in your budget to account for tax (often close to 10%), labor, shipping and/or delivery and service charges (most commonly found with your caterer or venue). These fees can range anywhere from 18% to 24% of your total bill. This will grow proportionally with your overall wedding budget.
Finally, for better or worse, there needs to be accommodation for the cost of living in different locations. The price of labor will likely be higher in a large metropolitan city (i.e.
) than it is in a smaller city. If you have your heart set on a product only available in a larger city you may end up paying more in shipping fees to get it to you. This information is not meant to scare you, rather provide you information to set realistic expectations. Chicago, New York
Floral designers, bridal gown consultants, and wedding planners truly do love when an inspired bride comes in. It is lovely to work with a couple who know what they are looking for on their wedding day. So, watch all the reality tv you would like to, and keep notes on your favorite ideas. When it comes time to start your planning, be up front and realistic with your budget. Hire professionals you trust, and work with them to create the day that you have been dreaming of.
BBFN (Bridal Bliss For Now),