Weddings can be a big expense that greatly impacts a new couples savings. Nationally, the average wedding costs about $28K and that doesn’t include a honeymoon!
Many people feel obligated to needlessly spend big on “their day”, but it doesn’t need to be that way. With proper planning and a little forethought, you can have a beautiful wedding without putting yourself in debt for months or years to come!
Ceremony and reception locations can take a chunk out of your wedding budget, so finding a economical place for the event is key. Believe it or not, at home weddings are generally not a money saver. Once you rent tents, tables, chairs and all the other needed items, they can cost way more than an all-inclusive site.
By hosting your ceremony and reception in the same spot, you merely need to swap from chairs to tables, thus cutting the cost of two locations. Also, the less formal your wedding, the less expensive it will be overall. If you’re okay with casual fare in a borrowed space, you’ll save a lot more.
While Saturday is the most popular day for weddings, hosting on any other day can save you LOTS of money. Wedding vendors will often give deals on off-days. Of course, you want to consider your guests’ schedules for an off-day wedding. If you go for the weekend, Friday weddings should be in the evening, and Sunday nuptials should finish by early evening.
Tighten up your guest list to save money. The average cost per guest is about $200. When it comes to friends (including parents’ friends), they should know both you and your fiance. Coworkers should only be invited if you are friends outside of the office.
Food is important but there are ways to save here too. Depending on the time of day you do your event, you may want to try a brunch, appetizer or dessert-only wedding. Based on your choice, you’ll want to make sure all your guests are aware of the food option which can be disclosed on your invitation.
When it comes to dealing with your caterer, make sure you have a firm guest list so that you’re not paying for extra food. Consider the cost of plated versus buffet too. Many caterers charge more for a buffet, because they’re making more food.
Wedding cakes can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. You can save that money by making your own wedding desserts. From cupcakes to brownies, dress up classic desserts with piped frosting and glimmering sprinkles. Another way to save is to have a small wedding cake for display and having sheet cakes in the back to cut and serve to your guests. Find out if your reception venue charges a cake-cutting fee if you bring in outside baked goods and factor in that cost before you decide.
Wedding dresses are another big expense. Many brides dream of a beautiful designer dress, but the price tags can send you into shock. Keep your eyes open for designer sample sales where you can score great dresses at a fraction of the cost. If you have a family member who has a wedding dress, consider making use of it again. With some tailoring and creativity, you can have a “new” dress that everyone will love (and probably never remember seeing previously, if they even did!)
Arrange your own flowers and save some green. With some basic arranging and snips, grocery store bouquets in creative containers will look just as amazing as the florist’s options. Also, look at using a single kind of flower such as hydrangeas that are voluminous and economical.
Drinks and bar costs can pump up your price tag. Consider having a signature cocktail that fits your wedding theme and saves on a large bar bill. You may want to limit alcohol to beer and wine. If so, buying cases and kegs can save too.
Wedding invitation are stunningly easy with the use of the internet. There are countless websites that allow you to design and produce your own invite for a nominal price. If you use a design requiring a standard envelope you’ll save on postage too! But make sure you weigh an envelope before mailing to make sure you have sufficient postage. You do not want to buy the wrong postage!
When it comes to music, be your own DJ. You can personalize your wedding with a playlist and an Ipod plugged into your reception space’s sound system.
When it comes to travel and hotels, save money by asking about wedding and block savings. Many hotels offer honeymoon packages which is a great way to save.
Honestly, whether its for clothing rental, rooms or flowers, ask the vendor if they have a discount for weddings. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can have your fairytale wedding without spending like a king!