Millions of people get married every year. While that number has decreased gradually over the decades, it’s undeniable that marriage is still highly popular among US couples.
If you’re about to become one of the many that tie the knot in 2019/2020, congratulations! Getting married is a big step to take in life, and your actual wedding will likely be a day that you’ll never forget.
At this stage, you may be starting to dig into the planning of your wedding, and sticker shock may have started to set in.
Fortunately, getting married doesn’t have to be anywhere near as expensive as society would like you to believe.
Below, we outline 11 quick tips that can save your wedding budget.
1. Cut Down on Your Guest List
Everybody you know doesn’t need to be invited to your wedding. As a matter of fact, every additional person you tack onto your list means an additional mouth to feed and more money to doll out.
So, to save money easily on your wedding budget, try and keep your event to about 50 guests.
2. Don’t Overspend on Your Venue
There are a lot of venues out there that make a killing on weddings. It’s best to avoid working with them.
Venues don’t need to be expensive.
You can rent out a plot of land from a private owner that doesn’t typically cater to weddings who will likely cut you a deal. You could even host your wedding in your own backyard.
3. Ask for Help (Not Gifts)
There’s only so much you can do with four new toasters. On the other hand, if the four people that are planning on giving you toasters specialize in photography, planning, cooking and graphic design, you could use their talents rather than their money!
We recommend talking to any guests that you know who specialize in things that could be helpful to your ceremony. Ask them if they’d be willing to lend their skills rather than their toasters, microwaves, etc.
4. Skip the Wedding Planner
If you’re having a huge wedding, a wedding planner/coordinator can be helpful. For small functions though, you should be able to do most of the coordinating on your own.
Wedding planning will usually take 8% to 10% of your wedding budget as their fee. That money is better used on a honeymoon or on a down payment for a house.
5. Self-Cater Your Wedding
If you have family members that can cook, ask if they can cater your wedding. If you don’t, try to get your wedding catered by a restaurant that you like that does not specialize in weddings.
Much like venues, food places that do weddings regularly will be more likely to price gouge than smaller places that will just be glad to be able to sell their food in bulk.
6. Opt for Buffet Style
Never do per-plate dining at a wedding. Not only is per-plate dining disastrously expensive, but when people don’t show up, you’re going to end up eating the cost of plates that you had reserved.
Buffet style weddings are cheaper and every bit as delicious. Believe us when we say that you will not be judged for opting for this means of feeding your guests.
7. Keep Wedding Party Gifts Small
It’s tradition that groomsmen and bridesmaids get gifts for their participation in your wedding. Rather than spending $50.00 on each person for a gift, make them something that’s more personal and a lot more affordable.
Beaded necklaces and bracelets, commemorative key chains/bottle openers and a number of other smaller, meaningful gifts are things that are worth considering.
8. Don’t Hire a DJ
Who needs a DJ these days? Nobody. That’s who.
Put together a wedding playlist and start playing through it when your reception starts. You can have a family member passively manage your playlist for you during your actual ceremony if there are particular music cues that you need to hit as your event plays out.
9. Self-Stock Your Bar
Nothing is going to surprise you on your wedding budget quite as much as the price of alcohol. Venues tend to charge an arm and a leg for open bars. Getting your caterer to provide alcohol could cost even more.
In lieu of having a dry-wedding (which might put a damper on your festivities), go ahead and self-stock your bar.
You can go to a warehouse store like Costco and pick up $300.00 or so of alcohol, which can keep a 50-person party well taken care of for the whole evening.
10. Rent Your Dress or Buy It on Sale
Wedding dresses are very expensive given that most people will only ever wear them once. Rather than buying into that pricey, one-off tradition, we recommend renting a dress.
Wedding dress rentals often put dresses that are well out of your budget range within your reach. They’ll also end up costing a whole lot less than buying a cheaper dress outright.
If you really want to keep your wedding dress, check out thrift stores or other budget shops to find a good deal. You may also want to consider buying your dress internationally.
11. Keep Your Rings Affordable
There’s no reason why you should have to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding ring. Remember, it’s your love that counts, not the quality of the diamonds that sit on your finger.
Get affordable rings and funnel the money you save into more important aspects of your life.
Our Final Thoughts on How to Save on Your Wedding Budget
Your wedding budget doesn’t need to send you into debt in order for your ceremony to be special.
Leverage our tips above and be flexible, and you’ll find that your wedding will turn out to be everything that you ever dreamed of without breaking your bank account!
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