Step Three in Planning the Perfect Stress Free Wedding!

Author: Victoria Lewis

Now that you have developed your guest list, you will need to take a deep breath. This is the step where, unfortunately reality will kick in. During this step you will be researching the cost of all of your options.


I want to make sure I prepare you, I cannot stress enough how important this step is, and it is the hardest part of your wedding planning. Many couples are shocked at how expensive wedding services can be. I often hear things like, “It costs how much to rent a table cloth? I can buy one myself for X amount.” Through this process you need to remember, you are not doing it yourself. You are asking a professional to provide their product, deliver it, set it up, and pick it up. This is their business; they are not a friend “helping you out”. So, you need to expect to pay them for their service to you. Their price is higher because they have many operating expenses that you would not have if you just went and picked up the item yourself.


Once you realize how much things for a wedding really cost, it can get stressful, but don’t worry we are here to help you make it through the process.

The first step you will need to take in the cost analysis process is to make a list of all the items you will need to create your dream day. You can use a variety of sites to help you determine which items you will want to include on your list. You can create your own spread sheet in excel, or we also recommend During this process we will not break down the items into subcategories such as: invitations, RSVP cards, information cards, postage etc… we will just use the category of invitations and assume that we are including all the items that go with them. You will however want to separate your accessories from your dress, because these are separate items.


After you have created the list of all the items you will need; you will start researching your various options and gathering comparative information.

While gathering information, you will want to compile a list of comparisons of what each service provides.


Remember when you are doing comparisons, so do not consider price only. All services and locations are not equal. Some may not only have a better quality, but may build fees into their costs. A few examples for this may be:

Location A:


Includes: Minister, seating, and décor

Location B:


Does not include Minister, seating, or décor.

So, Location B will end up being more expensive.

Service A:

Rentals: $1,500.00

Includes delivery & setup

Service B:

Rentals: $1,200.00

Delivery and setup are additional

Service B will be more expensive.


What you should ask when calling.

For this preliminary process, you should only call the prospective businesses. Do not set up any meetings or viewings with everyone. There are several reasons for this, first it is a huge time saver, and it is most efficient when you are trying to gather all the important information and it will also avoid pressure to purchase. Try to keep in mind that you are in the research phase ONLY! Many businesses will be happy to email you additional information.

Most vendors really are happy to try to work with your budget so you may find that many vendors are typically hesitant to give you pricing over the phone, because they do not want to scare you off. You can just let them know you are trying to put a realistic budget together and just want some basic information. If they are uncertain about what pricing they should give you and instead give you a typical reply stating that everything is a different price depending on your options, you should then ask the following 2 questions:

1) What is your average price range?

2) What does your average client who has X amount of guests spend?

This information helps you in a couple of ways. If their average client who has X amount of guests sounds too high, the information they gave you for their price range will help you to decide if they are able to work with the amount you eventually decide to spend on that specific category.

The following list includes some additional things you should look for when you are contacting a business:

1) Do they seem willing to give you information on the phone and are they helpful?

2) Does their pricing seem to be flexible to fit your budget?

3) Do you feel comfortable with meeting with them based on your phone impression?

4) Do they return your call in a reasonable time frame?


1) While you are calling to get information from different vendors, you will often hear them tell you if you want their services you better put a deposit down quickly, because they are booking and your date may not be available if you wait. Depending on the date you are looking at, this could be true, but usually it is a sales pressure tactic. DO NOT fall into to this pressure.

2) You will find this step to be very tedious. You may find this to feel like a very arduous process and you may be tempted to just give up. I want to forewarn you that this portion of the process can bring frustration and you may be tempted to skip this step and want to just plunge in head first. Trust us when we tell you we have been planning weddings for over 25 years and have seen this happen with brides often, sadly with the same results. The bride ends up very stressed out, because her hasty decisions ended up in poor choices. You really need to take the extra time necessary to complete this step in the process. This will help reduce stress later in your planning. I can assure you that this extra completed step will reduce the amount of time you spend trying to fix your mistakes down the line.

Happy Planning!


Genesis Bride & Groom