Planning a wedding is tough stuff. Unless you have a ton of disposable income or can count on the ‘rents for a large chunk, it can put a real dent in your wallet and in your credit score. Pile on a recession, sky high fuel costs, scarce job market and less than savory housing situation — and you've got a full scale wedding budgeting nightmare.
Nervous brides are scraping the bucket and turning their luxury destination weddings into backyard BBQs, all in the name of saving a little dough. In fact, for the first time in over ten years the average cost of an American wedding is expected to drop, and nearly half of all caterers and event planners have noticed a drop in wedding spending due to the recession.
“Is all this recession chatter making any one else nervous? Our wedding is about five months away and every time I hear about people losing their jobs, the economy, high gas prices, grocery prices, etc. it makes me really nervous. I'm concerned people won't be able to travel because they can't afford it, or our caterer will have to charge us more for food or travel expenses.”
A majority of the monetary strain on bride-to-be's and their mates seems to come from either a lack of employment or fear of an impending layoff. Teri B is in the same boat.
My poor fiance has been having to work as a temp for the past two years, with long, long stretches of no work. She's looking really hard for a job, but there just dont seem to be enough to go around … I don't know what the hell all those Bachelors Degrees were for.
Job security is a hot topic right now whether you're planning a wedding or not. Some Offbeat Brides are worried about making ends meet period, much less deciding between beef and fish for their full-dinner reception.
If you aren't pulling your hair out over the steadily-increasing guest list, and in turn increasing dollar signs, then you're likely feeling guilty for wanting something grand, like Melissa.
“I too am planning a wedding in this summer and feel a recession may have an impact on my wedding (guests not wanting to travel, price of food, etc.) but my wedding is not a lavish affair. I'd feel guilty for having a big bash when a lot of other people are falling on hard times. “
Even if you're rolling in the money and have no problem paying for the wedding of your dreams (or letting your parents or fiance's parents pay for the wedding of your dreams), the guilt factor may still come into play. More and more couples are paying at least a portion of their own wedding costs. In these economic times, sometimes our parents aren't any better off than we are. I know that my parents struggle in general and I wouldn't dream of expecting them to fork over more than they have. Especially when their credit card debt far exceeds mine (not to mention loans out the wazoo for my schooling).
Mich is staying optimistic, and through being a savvy planner and doing a little leg-work she's managed to do a little damage control on the financial end:
I've found other ways to save during this recession… I'm getting most of my accessories off of etsy.com. Some vintage, some new. But on the bright side, at least I'm helping someone who might do their craft as a side job out a little more.
There is hope for us, cash-strapped brides on the verge of a planning breakdown. DIY Bride put together a great tip list on ways to recession-proof your wedding, mainly in regards to finances and how to manage yours. The list won't save a slipping budget but it will help you stay organized and keep your eyes on the prize.