From choosing your wedding venue to the guest list to the catering menu, every decision during wedding planning is a crucial step forward toward the big day. Doing it all while staying tactfully on budget? Easier said than done. Luckily Lizzie Post (A.K.A. the master of etiquette) and Bank of America are back to share more money saving tips and answer your own questions along the way!

SMP Reader Question: Is it important to tip wedding vendors?

Lizzie Post: You want to first check and see if the vendor has already included a gratuity in their fees. It’s polite to tip vendors such as valet parking, coat check, powder room attendants, delivery truck drivers, limousine drivers, wait staff, bartenders, table captains, musicians and babysitters. But typically, you don’t tip professionals such as florists, photographers, or wedding consultants. If one of these providers went above and beyond for you, then a note of appreciation, a testimonial for their marketing efforts, or a small gift, such as a gift certificate to a local restaurant, would all be appreciated.

SMP Reader Question: If I’m invited to an engagement party, does that mean I should bring a gift?

LP: Engagement gift customs vary from region to region. It’s best to ask the host of the party if gifts are expected. If the party is a no-gifts party, but you’re close with the couple and would like to get them something, you certainly can. Just send it to their home, or give it to them another night. What you don’t want is to have some guests show up with gifts and others without.

SMP Reader Question: Our wedding/venue is small and intimate. How do we politely deal with guests who ask to bring their children, even when the invitations will state adults only?

LP: Preparation is the biggest thing you can do here. You can either have an onsite babysitter, or you could respond by calling these parents and reminding them the wedding is adults only but you’re happy to provide a list of recommended babysitters for the evening. This way it’s on the parents to choose the sitter and pay for the service, but you’re still helping them find someone (especially if they are coming in from out of town). If the guests are local and asking to bring their kids, it’s ok to say “I’m sorry for the misunderstanding but our guest list is limited just to adults. We really hope you and Brian can be with us.” And leave it at that.

8 weddings Tips from Lizzie Post

·It’s not polite to ask for cash, so subtly hint. Parents and the bridal party can spread the word too.

·No. 1 rule of budgeting: start with the guest list. An intimate gathering is a chic way to stay on budget.

·It’s ok to reward yourself! When making those big vendor payments, choose a credit card – such as BankAmericard Cash RewardsTM credit card – instead of a check and earn cash back.

·Tactfully negotiate with vendors through prioritization. An experienced vendor can stretch the budget if he/she knows what matters most to you.

·Vendors are integral to your day, so always be kind, thank them for their help and services, and make prompt payments. Set up mobile alerts to ensure you don’t forget outstanding invoices.

·Locally source your wedding. It’s eco-friendly and budget-friendly, while ensuring that your meal, wine and flowers are as fresh as possible.

·It’s easy to get caught up in wedding fever. Stay grounded by using a Mobile Bank App, such as Bank of America’s mobile application, to stay on top of your accounts.

·With the average cost of a new wedding gown between $1,000-1,800, it’s perfectly acceptable and sensible to rent, borrow or purchase a pre-owned dress.

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards credit card program is issued and administered by FIA Card Services, N.A. BankAmericard Cash Rewards is a trademark and Bank of America and the Bank of America logo are registered trademarks of Bank of America Corporation.

Lizzie is a paid spokesperson for Bank of America.

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