Wedding Questions With Anja Winikka Editor At TheKnot.com – Presented By Married On MySpace

I had the pleasure to interview Anja Winikka, editor at the well-known wedding website TheKnot.com. We discussed affordable weddings and how the current economy is affecting wedding decisions.

Hope you enjoy!

Craig: With the economy being what it is, are you seeing people move to more affordable weddings or are people still going all out for their special day?

Anja Winikka: Brides are doing everything they can to make their wedding day be a reflection of their own personal style and are NOT willing to sacrifice important elements of their wedding!

However, with the economy being what it is – brides are being smart and conscious of where every penny is going.

Craig: What is the average cost of a wedding these days?

AW: The average cost of a wedding in 2009 was $28,385, not including the honeymoon. (The Knot Inc. Real Weddings Survey 2009)

Craig: What’s the most outrageous/expensive thing you’ve heard about at a wedding?

AW: The most expensive wedding in the world on record was the wedding of Vanisha Mittal and her fiancée Amit Bhatia on June 22, 2004 which cost $60 million. The bride and groom arranged for their 1,000 guests to stay at a hotel in Paris, and during a Henna ceremony each female guest walked away with a bag of jewels.

Craig: What are some creative ways you have seen people plan a less expensive wedding?

AW: There are a number of creative ways that you can approach your wedding day costs. First of all, we’ve been hearing that a number of couples are opening the money pot to other relatives, where traditionally only the bride and groom’s mother and father would foot the bill, couples are having an aunt pitch in for flowers, or a grandparent pay for reception food, for example.

And of course, couples have put their heads together to create some beautiful DIY wedding details, for example escort cards printed at home, and homemade guest favors (like cookies and chocolates).

For more creative ideas, The Knot has an entire area dedicated to Budget Weddings, including an article on 30 Ways to Save!

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Craig: What key areas of a wedding can a couple look to in order to reduce costs?

AW: Being flexible is KEY; from the timing (consider having your wedding in an off season, or having your reception at a different time – like a brunch reception as opposed to an evening three-course dinner!), to the flowers (go for in season blooms, or single stem flowers that have larger blooms –so that you’ll require less!), to the cake (skip the sugar flowers and use real flowers on your cake, and go for butter cream instead of fondant!), etc.

And although it’s easier said than done – the number one way to save money is to cut down the guest list! Most places charge per head, so the less amount of heads, the more money you’ll save. Also, one less person equals one less invitation, favor, etc.

Craig: Any last advice on planning an affordable wedding?

AW: Always approach your vendors with the budget you’ve allocated for their particular service. Let them create a proposal within your means (this will control spending from the get-go). Account for a 10% cushion in your budget to give room for extras and upgrades.

This is some great information and I appreciate Anja taking the time to answer my questions!

When my wife and I planned our wedding we cut down on costs by having the date in the winter and finding a catering hall that offered a great package deal.  We also kept out guest list to a minimum.

For more fun on weddings check out Married on MySpace 2:

Wet n’ Wild Episode 6Dehlia looks for the perfect flowers while Graeham meets with Brian and Mario for drinks and gets some lessons on the realities of marriage.  Dehlia and her bridesmaids Anne Claire and Yuyu have a wet and wild challenge with Dehlia’s bouquet on the line.  Graeham gets some help from the girls as he works on his special Married On MySpace tune!  See it all and vote for the wedding flowers and Dehlia’s bachelorette party now only on myspace.com/marriedonmyspace


What are your ideas on weddings and their costs there days?

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Published or updated April 6, 2013.

Comments

  1. As a user of theknot for my own upcoming wedding – this interview peaked my interest!

    With regards to the #1 way to cut costs – cut people, there’s a somewhat easy (but maybe mean) way to look at it – the unit cost. In the case of the most expensive wedding, each guest cost $60k ($60mil / 1k guests). Once you know that number, you can go through the guest list and ask: “Is this person really worth that much to me?”

    On the last item you should plan for a 10% contingency but you should also plan to negotiate your contracts by 10%. With the current economy, people are looking to cut wedding costs, but vendors are looking to cut costs to get wedding work!

    Also, spend money were it counts. I’ve been told guests will remember the cermony, food, etc but no one remembers exactly what kinds of flowers you had, or what your invitations are printed on. Skimp on the forgettable and splurge on the memorable.

    • Definitely spend where it counts. I can only recall the flower arrangement from one wedding I’ve been to and that’s because they had apples in the bouquet!

  2. Great Article. I just got engaged 3/21/10 and we are paying for our wedding for 250 ourselves. Its going to be held 9/9/11 and our budgets $10000. We’ll see…i’m searching for the best budget ideas!! Thanks for this!

    • Congrats! We paid for our wedding ourselves. It can be done and you can make it real nice. I think I’m going to have to follow this up with how we made our wedding!

  3. MiniDayz says:

    People spend ridiculous amounts of money on weddings. I get its your day, but if it’s fancy and formal, all your guests are just going to be bored of watching you walking around with your new spouse, and eating fancy food, with uncomfortable clothes.

    How can one cut down costs? Well, first don’t invite so many people. First think about if the person is someone you even know. If it’s like your 5th cousin in Japan or something, and you never spoke to her, and you only spoke to her to invite her to your wedding, you’re spending a great amount of money on this person you don’t even know. Plus it’s your day, why should you be broke by the end of the day and pay for it for the rest of your life?

    Quit the extravagant makeup, dresses, hair, clothes, and fancy stuff. Find an inexpensive and nice place, without having to spend $20 decorating each chair for each guest. Quit the alcohol too. Yeah a few champagnes make everyone happy, but if you have constant alcoholic beverages in your wedding, you’re bound to have one or two people going drunk and crazy, not to mention these people have to drive home too. And alcohol costs a lot of money.

    And that $60million is ridiculous. If they have that much money, by all means go ahead. I wouldn’t spend $60,000 on a person.. That’s almost the amount of money you could raise a person from age 1 to 18.

    • There are definitely things you can do to cut the costs. In many ways a wedding is the ultimate “keeping up with the Jones’.”

  4. We did an afternoon snack reception with friends bringing desserts and snacks. Great idea. But we did not skimp on the photographer so we would have lasting memories.

    • Classic example of paying where it counts! It’s the people that make the party not the other way around.

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