How much does the wedding date matter?

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When Loren Wynn got engaged, she found out just how quickly wedding reception expenses can add up.

“You don’t exactly know how many people are coming, but you hopefully expect a lot of people like your friends and stuff to come … so you have to budget for a big number of people,” said Wynn.

Like Wynn, many college-age brides plan a December wedding thinking it’ll be the best time since it’s the holiday break. However, wedding planners say that September through December are the most popular and expensive times to get married, mostly because venues and caterers get busy with holiday parties and raise their prices.

When you get engaged, the first things you want to take care of are your venue, your dress, and your food. This is because these three things take the longest to plan and can set the tone for your wedding. For brides wanting the most for their dollar, planners suggest a date between February and May. Although it’s the middle of the school semester, that makes it the least expensive time to get married.

To avoid surprise costs, set your budget the minute you get engaged. Wedding director Mark Williams says knowing what and how much money you are spending will benefit not just your wedding, but your marriage. “Setting a budget is the most important thing a bride can do, because that is basically the start of her and her future husband’s life together,” said Williams.

It’s also good to remember that it’s not just the time of year that can affect your budget, but the time of week. Receptions Monday through Thursday can cost on average about $400 less than weekend receptions.

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