According to a survey by The Knot, the national average cost of a wedding in 2017 was $33,391. If you don’t have that kind of cash to burn for your big day, we’ve got a few savings tips to help you make your wedding special without breaking the bank.
Shop around and take your time. The more time you have to do your research, the better. Don’t jump on a pricy venue just because you’ve fallen in love with it. Try out different restaurants and food trucks and caterers to find the best grub for your buck. Talk with different photographers to see who can give you the best deal while still providing the style you’re looking for. Giving yourself time between getting engaged and tying the knot also gives you an opportunity to save up a bit more for what you want!
Get married during off-season. Or even on an off-day. Pick a date that’s not during peak “wedding season” (typically late spring through early fall), and don’t get married on a Saturday. Venues sometimes offer discounts if you’re wanting to book during a less busy season, if you’re getting married on a weekday, or even if you pick a Sunday. Sometimes it pays to be out of the ordinary.
Find a venue that may not typically be used for weddings. Just having the label “wedding venue” can mean an instant hike in price. Find a beautiful rental house, an historic building with a story to tell, an outdoor pavilion with character, or even opt for a smaller ceremony at the courthouse. Another cost saver is a venue that allows you to use outside vendors, and one that can double as both ceremony and reception site.
Don’t say yes to the (traditional) dress. You don’t have to spend a fortune on something you will only wear once. Try shopping for white dresses (or whatever color you prefer) that are not traditional wedding dresses. And who needs a pricy bridal boutique when you have online shopping and free returns? You can even find gorgeous pre-owned dresses that are in perfect condition and a fraction of the cost of a brand new gown.
Don’t go overboard on the décor. Sometimes all it takes are white tablecloths and pretty centerpieces. Some décor can even be bought second-hand or borrowed from friends and family. Just ask around! When it comes to flowers, consider going wholesale (or even fabric flowers) and making your own bouquets, boutonnieres and décor. There are plenty of ideas and DIY instructions on Pinterest for you to follow.
Ditch the party favors. This isn’t an elementary school birthday party complete with take-home goodie bags. While they may seem small, party favors add up quickly and they’re really not necessary. A little food, some dancing, a quick personal chat with you and a big “thank you SO much for coming” are all your guests need.
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