Mom's Advice: Wedding Planning
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Maddy: Hi everyone, welcome to this episode of PFCU’s Money Talk. I’m your host, Maddy. You might have listened to my previous episode with my five wedding planning tips and today we’re going to bring you even more useful tips and tricks for planning a wedding! Actually, I have a special guest with me today, Cathy Simon, who is going to talk to us about her experience. Thank you for joining me!
Cathy: Thanks for having me, Maddy!
Maddy: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Cathy: Yeah, I’ve been with PFCU for 13 years. I’m in the marketing department as the Event Coordinator and that’s something I really enjoy. I like getting out in the community and meeting some great people.
Maddy: Very nice! Well thanks again for being here and like I said, we’re going to chat about wedding planning and it’s great because Cathy is going to share some ideas from her perspective as a mom who actually just went through the process with her daughter and I know she’s going to have some really useful things to share. So, you just had a wedding a few weeks ago and your son is getting married next year, right?
Cathy: Yeah, it was a crazy last couple weeks and I learned from the experience two weekends ago that you have to plan for anything- rainstorms, tornadoes, all of that fun stuff.
Maddy: Yes, so many unexpected things can happen, that is for sure. Well, I’d say we got you at the perfect time because you freshly are out of the process, you have one coming up so let’s start right away with a couple of ways you would suggest to cut back on expenses.
Cathy: I guess for a bride I’d try to figure out what’s most important to me but I know what I’ve experienced and this was in regards to the linens- I would recommend renting your linens and tablecloths and napkins, chair covers, all that type of stuff. Usually your caterer will offer that service, you know, you can get your napkins and tablecloths right through them, whoever’s doing the catering. And that helps because then at the end of the night they just bag everything up and take it and then you don’t have to worry about it. I ran into with my first daughter’s wedding, I had a friend who had purchased a bunch of table clothes and she said, “Just use mine!” So I did but then, you know, I’m not a laundry mat. I spent the next three days doing laundry, trying to get out wine stains and fruit punch stains and I figured out real quickly that the best way to go was just to rent that and have them take that away. And it might cost a little bit more but for me, the headache of taking care of it at the end of the wedding, it makes more sense just to pay for the service and have it done.
So another thing that was a big cost savings for us the second time around is I ended up making all of the boutonnieres and corsages for the wedding and there’s so many YouTube videos out there that you can watch and once you’ve got the supplies, it really makes it kind of easy so it’s not hard to do and it’s a huge expense especially if you’re working with a florist. They’ll charge you for bouquets, you know, $35 dollars plus just depending on what type of flowers you’re going to have in there, where I was able to go on Amazon, find the right shade of flowers that we liked and made the whole bouquet with all the tape, and you know, everything that’s involved in that for probably right around $12 so that’s a huge expense if you’re going to go with a florist. Which if that’s what you want to put your money into and you want the real flowers, then that’s great but just to cut costs here and there, trying to do as many do-it-yourself things as you can which is really is what I would recommend.
Maddy: Yeah that’s a great idea. Any other cost savings you can think of?
Cathy: Yeah, we utilized Facebook marketplace or bride-to-bride, different websites like that and so you can see things out there, you know, maybe it’s the placeholders or the different things for the centerpieces. You know, people, they get married and they turn around and they sell all that stuff shortly after the wedding so keeping up on that and getting some ideas off of that also is great. Just easels and different things that you’ve got to have to put your seating chart, if you’re having a seating chart, that type of thing. Just all that stuff is forever being recycled on Facebook marketplace which is great.
Another cost savings that we figured out the second time around is my oldest daughter, she had two photographers so that’s an added expense. So with this daughter we just did one photographer and then we had family, friends or whatever, if they’re taking pictures on their cellphones or you know, throughout the night, there’s so many different people taking pictures on their phones. So after the wedding, we created on the Cloud, we just did a Google share and I sent out an invitation to, you know, my husband’s sisters and my sisters and we all just kind of shared all of the photos from the wedding. And there’s some great photos in there, you know, nowadays cellphones take pretty nice pictures so just those individual pictures maybe that you didn’t get with the bride and groom at the tables talking to the different family members, those were some great moments that we captured that if you paid for the photographer to stay that late into the night, you’re spending a lot of money on that so that was another great thing we learned the second time around is just having family and friends share their photos in one site and I just sent them an invitation through email to download their pictures on to the iCloud under Holly’s Wedding Photos so that worked out great.
Maddy: Yeah that’s a really good idea, especially for those pictures like you said later in the night maybe the more candid shots of friends and family that the professional might have missed. So are there any words of wisdom that you can share?
Cathy: I guess I would say just kind of figure out what’s important to you. So every bride has something that you know, they particularly want to focus in on so if that’s some brides want DJs, some want to pay the extra expense to maybe have a great band, the decorations if they’re important to you. So just find what’s important to you, maybe spend money on that one thing and then the other stuff you can kind of not go all out on I guess.
Maddy: Yeah, I know from a personal experience, I hired a wedding planner because I thought I needed one and it turns out I’m just a very organized person so that was an expense I could’ve definitely cut out of my budget. One thing for me that was really important though was the cake so I wanted to go all out with the wedding cake. The traditional three tier cake so yeah I think that’s great advice just knowing what’s important to you, maybe not worrying so much about traditions if certain things aren’t important to you, you can cut those out of your wedding or out of your budget.
Maddy: My next question of course has to do with budgeting and saving. Any tips there?
Cathy: Yeah, I would say make sure you sit down with the groom and the bride-to-be and their parents and kind of figure out what can everybody contribute- what’s the budget going to be for the wedding because that’s something important to know beforehand. You know, you don’t want to go hog wild and then say, oh wait, we can’t pay for all that stuff so make sure you have a budget and I would say start saving now. PFCU has some really great tools like Pocket Change is something that we offer in your checking account, if they just round up to the nearest dollar, that change can go into an account and you can say what account you want it to go into. Well, create a wedding account and start tucking money away into that wedding account and we also can do like a payroll deduction so some of my money right from my paycheck goes right into the wedding account. You’d be surprised, I would say the average wedding, if you’re going low end is going to be, you know, at least $15,000. It’s really what you can afford and budget so if you can use some of these savings tools through the credit union, I’d say start saving now would be my biggest tip.
Maddy: Yeah I think that’s great advice, let PFCU help you save for your wedding, your daughter’s wedding, or anything else you have coming up. It can be really easy to do, you can save without even thinking about it. Alright Cathy, well you shared some really awesome tips about wedding planning and I’m so glad you could join!
Cathy: Thanks for having me, Maddy. I had a great time!
Maddy: And that’s it for this episode, thanks for listening!
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