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Tips to Try and Keep Wedding Costs Down

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TWC News: Tips to Try and Keep Wedding Costs Down
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Wedding season is in full swing, and that big day comes with a price tag that is almost three times the national average. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

Forget "Here Comes the Bride." When it comes to planning a wedding, a more appropriate song would be Here Come the Bills. And boy, do they add up, to the tune of nearly $30,000 on national average.

"So in New York City, of course, it's going to be much more. It's almost $87,000," says Jamie Miles, editor of theknot.com.

That doesn't even include the honeymoon. Dress, flowers, reception venue, photographer, your big day is sure to make a big dent in your checkbook. Or your parents'. Or both.

"Couples are getting married older, so often times, they are footing most of the bill," Miles says.

"What I tend to find is that the parents are footing the bill for their children," says Jonathan Geiger, a financial consultant with Charles Schwab. "The issue is is that they really haven't planned for the wedding."

Geiger says parents should be saving for the date long before there is one. Once the couple is betrothed, he says it's time to engage in a conversation about how that money will be doled out.

"Whether or not it's saying, 'I want to provide you with $20,000 for the wedding, and that's it,' or to say, 'The dress, we're going to take care of that. The invitations, we're going to take care of that. The dinner party, we're taking care of that. Everything else is on you,'" Geiger says.

Whoever is paying, it's a good idea to set a budget, which you can do without sacrificing the wedding of your dreams. For instance, you can save a lot of money buy tying the knot on a less popular date. As in, not summer.

"About 4 or 5 percent of couples are getting married in the winter, so that means it's a great time to really try and negotiate with your vendors," Miles says. "Obviously, there's less demand, so they might be willing to move a little bit on the price."

What you don't want to do is jeopardize anyone's future to fund the festivities. For parents, avoid tapping into your IRA or 401K.

"Simply because if you're under 59-and-a-half, you're going to have a penalty and then pay taxes," Geiger says.

As for the happy couple, don't charge head first into credit card debt. Money Magazine found that 70 percent of married couples fight about money more than any other topic. Keeping your wedding within your means can help you start your life together on the right financial foot.

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