Test Your Wedding Planning Prowess
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How much does the average wedding cost, according to one recent survey?
2 of 15
What’s the first thing you should do when you start to plan?
Make a guest list.
Research the going rate for vendors in your area.
Arrange tours of at least three different venues.
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Before you figure out your wedding budget, you should:
Talk priorities. You want top-notch photos of the big day; your partner’s focused on putting together a crowd-pleasing menu.
Figure out who else, if anyone, will be contributing to the cost.
Make that guest list.
Talk priorities and figure out if anyone else—parents, aunts and uncles, etc.—will be contributing.
4 of 15
According to etiquette experts, which of these pre-wedding events are mandatory?
The engagement party
The bridal shower
Both—they’re considered a way for the bridal party to get to know both families.
Neither—the idea that your family and friends need to host extra parties and showers is outdated.
5 of 15
How much have you shared with friends about your plans?
I pretty regularly update them on venues we’ve checked out, photographers we’re considering, and, of course, what I’m going to wear.
I’ve shared a handful of details, but I don’t want to reveal too much. (Everyone seems to have an opinion!)
6 of 15
True or false: A wedding planner could save you money.
True—he or she may have valuable connections or access to discounts that can save me in the long run.
False—wedding planners are pricey, and only necessary for super elaborate events.
7 of 15
What tends to be the most expensive part of a wedding?
The food and drinks
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What's the best way to keep tabs on the money you're setting aside for your wedding?
Print out copies of your bank and credit card statements every month.
Set up a bank account separate from your regular checking and savings.
Create a specific file for your contracts and receipts.
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Why do some people recommend planning for a Friday or Sunday ceremony over a more traditional Saturday wedding?
Venues tend to cost less on Fridays and Sundays.
Venues tend to have more availability on Fridays and Sundays.
Travel is often easier for out-of-town guests on Fridays and Sundays.
10 of 15
If you're looking to save money, what might be the best time of year to say "I do"?
Around the holidays
In January, February, or March
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What's the easiest way to cut back on reception costs?
Find a venue that will let you bring in your own vendors.
Go with a D.J. instead of a live band.
Opt for a buffet instead of a formal, three-course meal.
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You've found your dream party space. What should you look out for in the contract before you sign on the dotted line?
How much money you'll need to put down up front
Additional fees, such as corkage fees or cake-cutting fees
The venue's cancellation policy
All of this!
13 of 15
True or false: The service charge you'll likely pay will include gratuity.
True—I won't need to tip wait staff, caterers, or bartenders extra.
False—I still need to hand out tips. Wait staff, caterers, or bartenders don't necessarily get a cut of the service charge.
14 of 15
About how much money should you set aside for wedding-related emergencies and surprise costs?
At least 2 percent of your total budget
At least 10 percent of your total budget
At least 30 percent of your total budget
15 of 15
According to etiquette experts, are you required to give your unmarried guests a plus-one?
Yes—I don't want anyone to feel awkward.
Only if they're in a longterm relationship.
11-15 correct: You’ve got your spreadsheets ready, and you can’t wait to start researching your options. Your biggest challenge: recognizing that you’ll need to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Unexpected expenses will pop up—even the most organized and prepared brides and grooms will face circumstances beyond their control (say, a storm that ruins travel plans for out-of-towners, or a D.J. who calls in sick). Whatever you’re planning on saving for your wedding, add a 10 percent (at least!) cushion to that. That way, you’ll be able to breathe easy even when things don’t go exactly your way.
5-10 correct: Feeling a little overwhelmed? That’s OK (and honestly, expected. It would be weird if you weren’t a little anxious right now). Remember that the Internet is your friend. Figure out who’s spending what in your area, and then narrow down your options accordingly. You likely won’t be able to have everything you want, but if you and your partner each pick a couple of things that are important to you, it will be easier to decide where your money should go. Remember: Planning a wedding requires compromise, patience, and lots of flexibility. Just like a marriage!
Less than 5 correct: Three little words can mean the difference between the perfect “I dos” and months of despair: Make. A. Budget. And more importantly, stick to it. That may mean making some sacrifices, but by arming yourself with knowledge, you’ll be able to rack up enough funds for the things that matter the most to you. Don’t forget to account for an emergency cushion. Whatever you think you’re going to spend, add at least 10 percent. And before you sign any vendor contracts, read the fine print—you don’t want to be unprepared for things like sales taxes and service fees.