In some ways, getting married is like buying a house; it’s a significant milestone in life and–almost always–there is initial sticker shock. (“It costs how much?!”)
For those of you who cannot afford the “average” $25,000-ish wedding, wedding saving tips for keeping both the dream and piggy bank intact are below.
1: Invite close friends and family; send announcements only to more distant acquaintances.
Guest count is the single most significant determinant of wedding costs because more guests require more food and drink. And more space. Therefore, you can spend less by inviting fewer guests.
Also, a more intimate wedding is more likely to live up to your dream, since you will be able to share more time with those most meaningful to you.
2: Find an inexpensive, unique wedding location.
Keeping the guest count intimate opens up many venue opportunities. Your parents’ or others’ backyards, walk-out basements, fields, barns, parks, unused buildings, and rooftops all become potential–and inexpensive–wedding venues.
Also, when not constrained to often bland reception halls, you open the door for the venue itself to add character to your wedding. For some ideas to get your creative juices flowing, see 76 Non-Traditional Wedding Reception Venue Ideas.
3: Have the entrees catered, but you provide the side dishes for a buffet.
You can do everything yourself, of course, but that can be much more stressful for you (i.e. good for the budget, not so good for the dream).
- If you hire a chef to prepare your favorite specialty and assign side dishes to those willing to help, you get both a culinary treat and family & friends’ signature dishes.
- If you do opt for having the full menu catered, buffets often cost less per person than equally elaborate sit-down meals. But not always! Compare before you decide.
- One or more food trucks are another consideration if you are having a fun, casual affair.
4: Hire a planner for a la carte services or day of coordination only.
A wedding planner plays a crucial role in taking the pressure off you so you can enjoy the day. If hiring a full-service planner is out of your price range, there are other options as well.
Identify the parts of your wedding most vital to you and those with which you are least experienced. Then find one or more professionals who will focus on those elements.
Day-of coordination is also critical. To do everything yourself is like both directing and starring in your production.
Fully DIY is doable, for sure, but it is a lot more work and likely to be less than dreamy. Your wedding day should be fun for you.
5: Look for products that will serve dual or triple purposes.
Items that play two or more roles in your wedding, or those that will play a role in your everyday life afterward, often cost less than buying each separately.
- Some favors, for example, can also serve as centerpieces, desserts, or both.
- Buying shoes you will also use later is another example.
- Finally, if the groom wears a suit or other clothing he can also wear to work, that’s one less purchase later.
6: Make liberal use of the Internet.
By now, the Internet is a big part of our daily life. You can use it to your advantage for budget wedding planning.
- Product selection is more substantial, and the potential for cost savings is more significant online compared to what you can find locally. Veils are a good example.
- This are Facebook or other forum where you can collaborate with others planning a low budget wedding.
Using Pinterest to build inspiration boards and find ideas to inspire your wedding is more fruitful than printing or cutting out photos. Follow My Online Wedding Help on Pinterest.
There you have it! Six approaches to saving money on your wedding. I know yours will be fantastic!