The World of Wedding Planning: Results May Vary

By Marah Morrison

The possibilities and options available for a future bride and groom’s wedding seem endless but manageable. Depending on what the man in black and the lady in white decide, the choices and end results may vary.

Pat Butto, the owner of The Party People, said she established her business in 1975. She said she has continued to grow and change her business with the fluctuation of the wedding industry.

Butto said when it comes to wedding planning, things have grown through the years and have expanded, especially with the complicity of the wedding itself.

“Before, you had a standard and it was pretty simple,” she said. “Now, you have so many choices as a bride and a groom that that’s where the expense comes in.”

She said the details of a wedding are what make the price. She said weddings that she is involved with are usually between $25,000 to $40,000, which is considered to be a middle-market wedding.

“It also depends on how many people you’re having,” Butto said. “You could have a $25,000 wedding for five to 10 people, so that all comes into the mix.”

Butto said her average weddings are between the $50,000 to $60,000 range. She said her over-the-top weddings can range between $100,000 to $250,000.

“It’s all a matter of where you are sitting in your lifestyle,” she said. “Every wedding is important and every wedding usually has the same details.”

She suggests keeping the guest list down to a bare minimum if a couple wants to budget for a cheaper wedding. The second thing would be to consider areas where they can do things themselves.

“Your main areas of expense are always geared towards the guest, which is food, beverage and entertainment,” Butto said.

She said a couple should plan for a wedding at least one year in advance. Currently, there has been a throwback to the simpler style of wedding. She said there are a lot of people who are interested in natural farm themes.

“Experience in your wedding planner is very important,” Butto said. “When push comes to shove, you really have to know what you’re doing because you’re managing people’s lives.”

Butto said a wedding planner should be fulfilling dreams and alleviating stress. In order to do that, she said she has a passionate team who works behind her.

“Our most important philosophy is that we want to keep everyone happy, but especially the bride and groom,” Butto said.

Anna Serrano, owner of Your Event, Your Way LLC, has had wedding prices range between $30,000 to $40,000. She said if a couple wants to budget for a cheaper wedding, it depends on what they envision.

“Get engaged first, set the date, see where you want to go, the reception,” Serrano said. “After that, everything will fall into place.”

Serrano said every wedding she does is different and the trend changes to budget-oriented things.

Kristen Delvaux, owner of Delvaux Wedding and Event Planning, said typically she finds couples spending between $15,000 to $20,000 in the Youngstown area. She said this depends on guest size and themes.

Delvaux said prioritizing things a couple wants included in a wedding is important. She said a couple should also make sure they are not going into debt planning for a wedding.

“Start with your budget and plan according to that,” Delvaux said. “If you have a $10,000 budget, you need to work backwards and figure out how long that’s going to take you to pay off.”

She said planning can go as quick or as slow as a couple wants. She said do-it-yourself weddings have been the most common, as well as choosing a live band over a disc jockey.

“The planning process is a really good indicator of how things will start off in your marriage,” Delvaux said. “It’s all about you and your loved one.”