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It’s official. You have THE RING. You are finally done answering this question- “So, when are ya’ll getting engaged?” Trade that in for the new question- “What is the date?” By the way, from this point on, the questions are endless, so prepare yourself in advance. Once the date is set- “Where is the ceremony?,” “Where is the reception?,” “Who designed your dress?”- and it never ends until you say “We are done,” to this last question “When are ya’ll getting pregnant?”

Every bride has a fantasy date in mind. It may not be the exact numerical date- perhaps just the day of the week and the month. Either way- I need to manage your expectations immediately in regard to budget. There are certain days of the week and certain months of the year that will cost you almost double than any other to throw your event. Why? Wedding professionals (and I recommend you hire a professional for every single aspect of your wedding) typically are guaranteed to work one day a week. Guess what it is? You guessed it- SATURDAY. Why? Because EVERYONE wants to get married on Saturday. So, if you get married on any other day of the week, or during the day on a Saturday, you can almost be assured of major savings- read, more money for the honeymoon, your first house or the IRA.

Friday is a fantastic day to have a wedding. It gives you the entire weekend to relax with out-of-town guests before leaving (not hung over) for your honeymoon on Sunday afternoon. I know what you are saying- no one will come. Yes. They. Will. Give them plenty of time to take work off- arrange for travel and if they want to be there- they will be. It will be easier to find a church available- though some have services on Friday evenings so you might have to do a little leg work. Reception venues typically offer discounts for food and beverage on Fridays and some even waive a minimum altogether. If you are unfamiliar with the term minimum- I might as well unpack it right now because you will hear it constantly throughout the planning process.

“Minimum” is a term used to expressly define the minimum amount of money you will have to spend in order to procure a certain venue or professional for services. An example would be (and this is hypothetical) Rock Solid Hotel charges a minimum of fifty thousand dollars in food and beverage in order to hold your event on a Saturday evening. This means- if you have one hundred guests or five hundred guests, you will be required to pay them fifty thousand dollars. If fifty thousand dollars is a reasonable amount for your event- wonderful.Keeping in mind, you might spend dramatically more (if you are planning to have 500 guests, this leaves one hundred dollars per person for dinner and drinks. If you are expecting one thousand guests, it might not be possible to serve a proper meal and beverages for fifty dollars per guest.

If fifty thousand dollars is wide of your margin- and you have your heart set on Rock Solid Hotel- speak to your fiancé and whomever is footing the bill for the wedding and determine if having the wedding on a Friday or Sunday is acceptable. If it is, you will be shocked by the reduced minimum, or no minimum at all.

Further, you can count on the following months to command a higher minimum: May, June and October. While March and April, August,and November are still popular months, January, February, December and July usually offer discounts. Much of what dictates popular or unpopular wedding months is the region of the country in which you are planning to conduct the blessed event. The heat, cold, rain, the turning of the foliage, the temperate breeze, the burgeoning of spring and the holidays are all factors. Industry wide, wedding professionals have minimums. It would be unlikely for a photographer not to charge a premium for a Saturday evening in June. If they don’t, you might question their “professional” status. Vendors who can only handle one event per day (service providers such as consultants, bands, photographers, MCs, officiators and videographers) are usually booked first and vendors who can manage multiple weddings or events per day are booked later. Florists, cakeries, invitations and lighting companies can be booked further down the line, as they typically have staff to help them manage several events per day and or weekend. Now- what date?

If budget is an issue- I suggest you keep the above hints in mind. If budget is not an issue- pick that Saturday evening in June or October and blow the lid off it.

Clever Guys check it out on Thursday when I give you some tips for the proposal.