5 Useful Tips to Get Married for Less
The average U.S. couple spends around $26,000 on their big wedding day, making it one of life’s most expensive events. To offer some perspective, that’s about the same as a year of tuition at a top college or a down payment on an apartment. Many couples are desperate to find ways to save money on their wedding, and we have good news – there are plenty of ways to cut costs while still having a stylish, exciting and memorable wedding. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
1. Start With the Budget
Start at the very beginning – sit down with your partner and determine how much money you are comfortable spending on your wedding, as well as whether other people will be contributing financially. Once you know exactly how much money you have for your special day, think about the kind of wedding you want to have. Is it a simple picnic in the park or a huge party with all of your friends and family? Create a budget with all the major aspects of your wedding like location, photography, guests, food, entertainment, etc., followed by your estimated allocations for each. As you finalize the budget, you’ll notice areas where you might be able to reduce spending and save money. Try using a budgeting app that offers analytical tools and financial summaries to make it easy to understand where your money is going. Check out apps like inBudget that offer a collaboration feature that allows you to share the budget with your partner and track each other’s spending in one place.
2. Rank Your Priorities
Focus on what you want to have, not what anyone else says you should have – this will help you to save a significant amount of money. Bridal magazines might say that you need a veil, save-the-date cards, fancy flowers and a designer dress, but at the end of the day it’s all about what you and your beloved want. When planning a budget-friendly wedding, pin down what it is that you’d really like to have at your wedding and what the areas are where you can save to fit the limits of your budget.
3. Avoid Wedding Rush Hour
One effective way to save money is by booking your wedding on a less-popular day. Saturday night is “rush hour” for weddings, so restaurants and wedding halls will naturally cost more. Try booking a wedding on a Thursday, Friday, or Sunday, as most vendors will offer discounts for these days. Also, keep in mind that spring and summer are the peak wedding seasons with peak prices to match. Consider off-season, especially if you’re planning a destination wedding.
4. Recruit Friends and DIY
Think about your friends and family – do you have an artsy sister, an aunt with beautiful handwriting, or a friend who is a passionate photography? Don’t be afraid to ask your talented friends and family members to help with everything from decorations and invitations to the cake, DJ, and more. Think of it as cost-free outsourcing. And remember, the internet is full of DIY ideas for wedding, and many of these tutorials are easy to follow. Try them out yourself or make a fun evening together with friends!
5. Think Carefully About the Guest List
It’s very easy to over-invite, so think very carefully about your guest list. Consider sticking to close friends and family and resist the urge to invite plus-ones or distant relatives unless you actually know them well. Think about splitting guests into two groups and invite one to the reception and the other to a small party afterwards. Keep in mind that most caterers and banquet halls charge per person, so the difference between 50 guests and 100 will be steep! Most importantly, don’t forget that the purpose of your wedding day is to get married. The amount of money you spend on your big day is not directly connected to how special it will be!