I’ve actually tried watching this show on WeTV several times and cannot make it through an entire episode. In case you have not seen it, the premise is a couple meets with a wedding planner and gives him or her the budget…but we the audience don’t get to know it. Then we follow the couple around as they make good and bad financial decisions until we learn the budget at the end – and whether or not they were able to stick to it.
The greatest takeaway from this show is to make a budget and STICK TO IT! If you go over in one area, be prepared to be under in another. I advise my couples to add some padding to their budget estimates. Think you want to spend $1500 on the photographer? Budget at least $2000. This way you will be covered when you find the perfect $1500 photographer but find out he charges a travel fee, you want the album upgrade, or you want to add an hour or two to the package.
Set reasonable expectations. If you invite 300 guests you are probably not going to get by on a $1000 catering budget. And if you do, I want to hear all about it! Conservatively you should budget $20 per person (in Texas) – and that amount goes up with the quality of food, rentals, and staff. More realistic is closer to $30 per person. Be sure to do a tasting as higher cost does not always equate higher quality and vice versa.
Ask your florist for rental options. One bride wanted tall vases filled with ostrich feathers for her glam Hollywood reception. I don’t remember the exact numbers but it was something like $175 to buy each centerpiece or she could rent the exact same thing for $60 each. No brainer right? Rent! This bride wanted to buy them so her guests could take it home and display it. What makes for a lovely wedding centerpiece does not necessarily make good home decor. Nor will it compliment all of your guests’ decor. Luckily common sense (and her fiance) prevailed and she agreed to rent. *Of course this doesn’t work if you are doing cut flowers but some elements might be able to be rented.
I am sure there are many other things to be learned from this show and if I can ever bring myself to watch a full episode I will let you know. 😉