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Getting Married in Miami or Fort Lauderdale? Here are 5 Tips to Help You Plan your Dream Wedding

Getting married in South Florida is a dream within itself for some. Being the top vacation destination in the United States can mean high-priced weddings for local residents. The beauty and diversity of our local Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties, in addition to gorgeous neighborhoods, can make it challenging when it comes to planning and affording your dream wedding.

Your wedding is one of the most significant life-changing events outside of purchasing a home. In today’s world, where it all takes place on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms, the pressure can really be on to out-do followers, friends, and family. We get it. You want to create that perfect day not just for yourself and your spouse-to-be but also to dazzle those attending in person and via Zoom and/or YouTube. The list of items can be overwhelming. Flowers, photographer, videographer, caterer, location, bridesmaids and their dresses, groomsmen, and their tux. Let's not forget the save the date, invitation, thank you cards, and the reception. How many people should be invited? If you can afford a wedding coordinator, your life will indeed be much simpler. If you are more of the DIY-type, you will definitely save money doing some of the things yourself.

These items can blow through any wedding budget! Budget? Yes, that's the first place to start. It's important to discuss how you and your spouse-to-be envision your wedding day. What is most important to both of you? How much are both of you willing to spend? Luckily, we have several money-saving tips to help you stay within budget for the big day.

Lists can be your best friends. Have you decided how many people will be attending? How many people are in your bridal and groomsmen party? Having lists will help keep things in perspective. Depending on the source, the average wedding in South Florida can run from $30,000 (Every Last Detail) to over $50,000 (South Florida Reporter). Remember to shop around and use a checklist to help you budget.

Download Your Wedding Checklist

The BIG Day

Let’s take the first thing into consideration. The BIG day. We are referring to when and where you would like to have your wedding. When looking into a date, consider having your wedding on days other than Saturday. Thursday or Friday evening, Sunday afternoon or evening, these options can be fun and affordable. If you are looking to get married in a church, see if these days are available. If you would like a beach wedding, alternative days will probably work in your favor. Wedding venues can also be a great option as everything can be done in one place. One outdoor space or banquet hall for the wedding and another for the reception. Do you have friends or family with that dream house or estate? Asking to have your wedding and/or reception at their home could be an option too. Just remember that it’s someone’s personal space. If you do decide to go with friends or family, be mindful of your relationship with them. Another thing to take into consideration is the time of year you will be having your wedding. Weather can steam up or put a damper on your perfect day, especially during a South Florida summer.

Flowers and Wedding Colors

Flowers and wedding colors also have a season, even in South Florida. When shopping for your bouquet, consider going to Sam's Club or Costco. Also, check online for some affordable in-season floral options. Shop around. Are you going to purchase the flowers and make your own bouquets? Some local online wholesale flowers distributors can make the arrangements for you. Again, weigh the cost of the upcharge for the latter option. Some flowers are more affordable than others. Think about different types of flowers when planning the big day. Roses or carnations? Hydrangeas or peonies? Ranunculus or gardenias? Remember to stay within budget. One gorgeous stem of a particular flower may be as effective as an entire bouquet. Seasonal colors can also help cut that budget down. Think orange or burgundy or even black in the fall.

Getting a Marriage License

In Broward County, you will need to get your Marriage License one month in advance. Going online to make an appointment to get the license is the first step to your happily ever after. For information on getting your marriage license in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, visit their Clerk of Courts websites.

Wedding Stationary

So you know when you will be having the wedding and where. Everyone’s on board. Next, it's time to select your bridal and groom's party. Amazon, Etsy, and Pinterest have affordable creative ways to ask those exceptional individuals to be part of your happy day. A personal favorite is the “Will you be my Bridesmaid/Groomsman” cards. Depending on how big your party is, you can create your own or purchase premade cards. Include a sweet personal note as to why you want these remarkable individuals to be there next to you when you say "I do." Remember to include the date, time, and location so that they can check their schedule to make sure they are present on your big day. Of course, remember to stay within budget. A pack of 8 to 10 “Will you be my Bridesmaid/Groomsman” cards can run around $10 to $15 on Amazon. You can purchase one-of-a-kind templates on Etsy for $2 to $5. Pinterest also has some great ideas if you are looking to do DIY cards. Depending on how much you want to spend and how many people you are inviting, you can get save-the-dates, invitations, and thank you cards from these platforms as well. Remember your budget. It may be fancy to have the save-the-date in your wedding colors, but could the upcharge be spent somewhere else? Would an Evite be a better option?

The Ground Work is Complete

Now we have our date and location. We have our bridesmaid and groomsmen parties. We have our list of guests. We have our colors and stationary. Hooray! We have done the groundwork for a successful wedding. It is time to revisit paying for your nuptials. If you took some of our tips into consideration, did your research, and used the Wedding Checklist previously mentioned, you should have some idea of how much your wedding day will cost. This is where Tropical Financial Credit Union of South Florida comes in. Your local credit union is here to help you afford the wedding of your dreams. Our personal loans start from as low as $500 with great rates and affordable payments. Look out for our next blog on purchasing that dream wedding dress. We want you to get beyond money and enjoy your stress-free wedding day.