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Smarter Living: Keeping your wedding costs down

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RALEIGH, N.C. - The dress, cake, flowers and invitations; when you add it all up, including the honeymoon, the average wedding costs almost $30,000.

In this installment of 'Smarter Living' we will look at how to pull off your big day without breaking the bank.

Brian Blume and Jill Zook will walk down the aisle and say, "I do" this November.

"I've been to enough weddings and seen enough of brides literally running around in their wedding dress freaking out, directing traffic an hour before their wedding and I didn't want that," Zook said.

In order to avoid such a situation, the couple enlisted the help of a wedding planner to sweat the small stuff and help them stay on budget.

"We've got a mortgage, we have student loans, so staying on budget is very important to us. We have had to get creative on how to do that, but we are making it work," Blume and Zook said.

Wedding planners can also help find vendors in your price range, negotiate discounts and advise you on how to save money.

"The ways they can save money is basically using a Friday or a Sunday as their wedding day," wedding planner Marie Faye said. "The venues typically charge less on those particular days. They can cut back on their guest list."

When it comes to vendor contracts, never ignore the fine print.

"We've heard instances of consumers being asked to give up their right to talk about their experience when signing vendor contracts," Angie Hicks of Angie's List said. "If you see a request like that in a contract walk away from that vendor."


"You are trusting someone with one of the biggest days of your life and to know we can trust her, it's a good feeling," Blume and Zook said..

While this may be difficult to do, having a smaller bridal party can also help reduce costs.

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