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Discover How Planning Your Albany NY Wedding Can Be Exciting, But Risky!

Wedding Planning Albany NY

By Jeffrey House Photography


So you're planning your Albany NY wedding.  According to The Knot and their survey of 13,000 couples, the average cost of a wedding in 2017 was $33,391!

This is a drop from 2016 ($35,329).

A few more interesting facts were learned from this survey as well:

  • 40% of couples splurged for entertaining reception events that included sparklers, selfie stations, lawn games, candy bars, and musical performances.
  • A smaller number of weddings were "black tie" affairs and many couples elected to have less formal celebrations
  • Couples are making their choice of venue and overall guest experience a priority
  • On average, couples paid $268 for each guest in attendance and most couples wish they had a smaller wedding 
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the survey says!

Every wedding season is followed by independent agencies conducting  wedding surveys.  If you really want to learn where couples make mistakes when it comes to wedding planning, it's worth spending an hour checking out their findings.  

What I find most perplexing, and unfortunate on many levels, is couples continue to experience the same regrets about their wedding year in and year out.  With the right research and right information, your planning could be far less stressful and far more effective!  So, what do couples wish they had done differently?  Every year, these same issues top the list.  They wish they had invested more (if not some) of their wedding budget into:

1.  Their wedding photography because they later realized how important it is to capture your memories and how much a good photographer helps to keep the day running smoothly.

2.  Their videographer because they too capture your memories from a completely different perspective

3.  A good wedding planner because they help the day to run more smoothly

4.  A good DJ because they didn't realize until it was too late how much of an impact they have on an amazing wedding celebration and guest experience

5.  A wedding venue that better fit the tone of their wedding celebration

6.  A great officiant as they can make or break your wedding ceremony

We can easily see a common theme here - Couples most regret not investing their wedding budget into those details that ultimately pay big dividends in creating an amazing wedding and amazing memories.  Ironically though, these are the same areas couples try to cut cost during the planning phase.  It's a vicious cycle.  

If you're like most couples, you haven't planned a wedding before.  It's incredibly easy to be lead down the wrong path and get off track.  While the internet is filled with great information, it's also filled with some of the worst information you'll ever be given.  You may even have some friends that share their opinions.  While their intentions are in the right place, their information isn't.  

Don't lose sight of what's truly important about the day and avoid investing in the details that have little significance. 

Let's take wedding invitations for example.  Many couples look back and regret how much money they spent on their invitations.  It's easy to do.  The internet is filled with articles telling you how important it is to have an amazing invitation because it's the first impression your guests will have.  You can easily become obsessed with choosing an invitation that makes a statement about you and your wedding.  You will likely invest hours into researching styles, fonts, colors, etc.  

Unfortunately, here's the reality of all your hard work.  Most guests are going to read the invitation and then dispose of it.  All of your time, energy, and money are gone in a matter of seconds.  It can be heart wrenching to discover all of your efforts were essentially wasted.  Choose a simple, but elegant design, that reflects your wedding, but don't worry about spending crazy amounts of money designing the perfect invitation. 

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hindsight is 20/20

As you begin to plan your wedding, you'll be brimming with excitement.  It's such an exciting time in your life.  Planning a wedding is happy, fun, sometimes overwhelming, and definitely emotional.  Getting married is a big step and big change.  All of these emotions running through your body can cause you to make irrational and risky decisions.  

In the moment, you might believe 100% it's the right decision; however, two weeks after your wedding, you could look back in complete disarray wondering how you could have possibly made that decision.  Trust me, you're not alone.  You pour every ounce of your personality into planning your wedding, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to make all the right decisions. 

It's very easy to be romanced by the thoughts of planning a wedding, but like many things in life, the reality is often different.  This is an awful feeling when it comes to your big day because once it's over, it's over.  There aren't any retakes, do overs or fixes.  

As a wedding photographer, I see this story play out far too often.  In an effort to "save money," couples hire a friend with a nice camera or a "cheap" wedding photographer that promises them the world.  After all, it's pretty tempting to spend half the money you would have spent with the more expensive photographer.  But, when couples get their photos (assuming they get them) they are missing images of important moments, their photos are blurry, overexposed, underexposed, unedited, etc.  It's heartbreaking.  It's at this moment they realize the severity of their mistake.  Their memories are ruined.  They're gone forever.  They are left with this thought.

“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”
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is it a choice or a necessity?

I found The Knot's survey very interesting, especially when they remarked how more and more couples are opting for more casual weddings.  The survey further stated couples were taking this approach in an effort to save money.  I recently read another article about David's Bridal and how they have shifted the types of dresses they are offering brides.  They are now carrying dresses that range between $50-$400 to address this trend.  Many other top wedding dress salons have actually filed for bankruptcy because they've failed to recognize or conform with these changes.  

If choosing to have a more "casual" wedding celebration is a choice, that's great!  However, if you're giving up the formal attire to save a little money, it may be time to sit down and re-evaluate your wedding.  

One of the things that make a wedding so special and unique is the beautiful attire.  How many times do the ladies get to wear to a dress as formal and as elegant as a wedding dress?  And how many times to the guys get to wear the full tuxedo?  Our attire plays a huge role in how we feel overall.  I can make us feel "grubby" or it can make us feel incredible!  

Speaking as a wedding photographer, I see first-hand how much attire effects photographs.  Not only does the attire itself detract or enhance the images, but it also drives your confidence.  When you love how you look in certain attire, you bring a swagger to the camera.  

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it's a lot easier to save money on your wedding budget than you might think!

Personalization = $$$

A big reason wedding costs have risen so much over the past several years is personalization!  More and more couples are looking to create wedding celebrations that are memorable and unique, so they personalize every last detail.  However, before they know it, they've blown up their wedding budget.  

Sit down with your fiancé and discuss which wedding details are the most important to you.  Depending on your list, select 2-5 details that really inspire you and personalize them in some way.  If you try to personalize everything or most everything, you're going to run the risk of putting yourself in some serious wedding debt!

Guest List

In the beginning of this article, I mentioned that couples, on average, spend $268 for each guest in attendance.  I also mentioned that most couples regret not having a smaller wedding.  

The quickest and easiest way to save on your wedding budget is by reducing your guest list.  Imagine for a moment that you're able to reduce your guest list by one table - that's approximately 8 people.  How much money do you think you would save by doing this?

  • $268 x 8 = $2,144
  • Less Favors = $25
  • Less Table Centerpieces = $50
  • Less Invitations, Reply Cards, Thank You Cards, Programs, Envelopes, Postage, Etc. = $100
  • Less Table Settings Including Linens, Chair Covers, Etc. = $100 

When all is said and done you could likely save $2,000 - $2,500 by eliminating one table.  These savings will go a long way towards other expenses.  

What if your guest list is 150 (the average wedding has 125 guests)?  What if you were able to reduce your list to 125?  If you were able to reduce your guest list by 25 people, you could save $7,000 - $8,000!!  That would really go a long way towards covering other expenses. 

To learn more about guest lists, check out my full article on How To Create A Killer Guest List

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you don't always have to make sacrifices

Weddings are expensive; however, that doesn't mean you need to sacrifice your dreams or your vision.  By taking some time upfront to develop a plan, you can put yourself in a better position to have the wedding you really want.  There are a ton of ways you can save money without sacrificing what's truly important to you or taking on an excessive amount of debt.  Remember, planning a wedding is an emotional experience, but stick to your plan.  


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