(BPT) - Your wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, but what happens when the caterer closes, the head count is wrong and the band is a no show? More than one couple has experienced these types of wedding disasters. Make sure your wedding day is only filled with blissful memories by taking a few steps to do what you can to protect yourself from the financial and emotional impact of wedding-day dilemmas and put your mind at ease.
1. Solidify a budget
The average wedding costs a whopping $28,427, according to theknot.com, which means couples are spending big bucks to say “I do.” Whether you’re able to spend $5,000 or more than $50,000, it’s important to create a realistic budget and stick with it throughout the wedding-planning process.
A good way to stay within budget is to set priorities. Do you care more about the food and not so much about the flowers? Allot more funds for catering and keep the bouquet modest. Create a spreadsheet and involve your partner so you both are on the same page. No one wants to be mid-wedding planning and realize they can’t afford what they promised guests, or worse, have a huge bill at the end that risk delays to other goals, such as buying a home.
Imagine it’s two weeks before the wedding and you just found out the reception hall suddenly closed, the tailor lost your dress and the photographer was in a car accident and therefore can’t attend the ceremony. There’s always an element of the unknown, and when so much money and emotion are involved in an event like a wedding, it’s crucial to get wedding insurance.
“Wedding cancellation insurance can help cover losses for deposits sent to businesses who have unexpectedly closed, replacement of damaged wedding dresses and attire, and restaging of photos if a photographer is a no show,” says Steve Lauro, vice president of Aon’s WedSafe wedding insurance program. “It may even cover up to the full cost of your wedding if your event is postponed due to unforeseen circumstances such as extreme weather or a venue shutting its doors.”
“Event Liability insurance, required by many venues, is another type of coverage you may be required to obtain in order to adequately protect your wedding,” adds Lauro.
3. Investigate venues and vendors
National average wedding costs: $2,379 for a photographer, $1,997 for a florist, $12,905 for a reception venue, $63 per guest for catering. When investing so much money into a wedding, you want to make sure the businesses you select are the best of the best. Spend time researching different venues and vendors before you sign on the dotted line.
When researching, ask and make sure each business carries liability insurance. Get references and spend time emailing and making calls – a real person will give you the best insight into what type of experience to expect. Check out every business on BBB.org and read online reviews.
4. Stay organized and confirm details one month out
Many couples plan a wedding a year or more out, so it’s important a month prior to confirm all the details to ensure a smooth and beautiful wedding day. Call vendors and event sites to verify times and services.
You’ll receive lots of paperwork during the wedding-planning process. Keep copies of all contracts in a specified folder. Record how much was put down on deposits and when additional amounts are due so you don’t miss a payment. Keep a spreadsheet of all important numbers in one document for easy reference. Give this document to several trusted people so if you need assistance calling, particularly on the day of the wedding, your mother-in-law or best man can step in and help.
Make sure your special day ends in wedded bliss rather than a wedding disaster. These simple tips can help ensure a beautiful experience for you and your guests, and protect you should you encounter an unexpected surprise.