Budget Savvy Brides

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PLAN THE BIG DAY WITH A REALISTIC BUDGET AND STICK TO IT

Casey and Joshua Tierney got married last July in Bluffton on a strict budget that necessitated a solid plan.

“Josh and I paid for the wedding ourselves,” Casey said. “And we really wanted a sit-down dinner and open bar at Callawassie Island Clubhouse, so that was most important to us. And everything else was ‘Let’s see what we can do.’”

Casey Joshua Tierney3The Tierneys planned their wedding with their priorities firmly in place; they knew what they weren’t willing to compromise on. According to The Wedding Report, couples spend between $24,513 and $40,855 for a wedding on Hilton Head Island. That includes an average of $15,230 on the venue, catering and rentals. The local average cost is a nudge above the national average of $26,720 — and neither price tag includes the cost of the honeymoon.

Despite the sticker shock, the Lowcountry is a popular setting for weddings. Beaufort County is in the top 10 percent of wedding locales out of the nearly 3,000 counties nationwide. And sure, some Hilton Head weddings have been over the top, ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 and featuring lavish elements like a pumpkin-shaped, horse-drawn carriage that Cinderella would envy and Swarovski crystal-studded gowns. But with the help of the area’s wedding professionals and a little careful planning, you can have the wedding of your dreams — no matter your budget.

"WE REALLY WANTED A SITDOWN DINNER AND OPEN BAR AT CALLAWASSIE ISLAND CLUBHOUSE, SO THAT WAS MOST IMPORTANT TO US. AND EVERYTHING ELSE WAS ‘LET’S SEE WHAT WE CAN DO."

KEEPIN' IT REAL

There may be a gap between what you want and what you can afford. You’ll need to address that difference at the beginning of the planning process. With your families, it’s important to talk honestly and openly about what kind of reception you can afford and how many people you can invite. Weighing your priorities and possible tradeoffs from the start, like the Tierneys did, will save you time, money and heartache as you prepare to walk down the aisle. Just remember: You already found your perfect match, which is the most important — and priceless — detail of all.

Casey Joshua Tierney2

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