Weddings are known as a once in a lifetime event. But, while choosing the perfect venue and finding a beautiful gown are important, it’s probably best for your wedding day to not cost your entire life savings.
The Knot, a well-known wedding website, found a wedding cost couples $35,329 as a national average in 2016. Yikes! That’s a lot of money!
If you’d rather not spend the cost of a new car or the down payment on a home on your wedding day, these nine tips can reduce the dollars you spend. Following a few of these suggestions will help ensure you don’t kick off your married life under a mountain of debt.
1. Don’t get married on Saturday.
Yes, planning your big day on a Saturday is the easiest for your guests. And choosing to get married on a Friday or a Sunday may require an extra vacation day off work or reduce the number of guests who can attend.
However, tying-the-knot on a Friday or Sunday can immediately reduce the overall cost of your wedding. Check with your preferred venues to see if they have either of those days available. You’ll likely be surprised at the price difference!
2. Avoid venues with vendor exclusivity clauses.
It’s really easy to see the initial price tag on a venue and think, “Wow, that’s really affordable!” But then you start to realize that price is only for the raw space. You still have to bring in tables, chairs, place settings, a dance floor and all other little odds and ends to get the wedding day look you want.
If you’re building a wedding from the ground up, double check that your venue doesn’t have an exclusivity contract with a vendor. Being forced to use a specific vendor completely nullifies your ability to negotiate and get the best price.
3. Ditch the high season.
Technically there aren’t “off months” for weddings, but the winter months are usually less popular. During this time, you can probably save a bit on your venue and vendors.
Booking a date between January and March could save a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on what you choose. June through October are the most popular months for weddings and often result in higher price tags.
4. Go paperless for wedding day invites.
I’ve never understood why people still send out paper wedding invitations.
Aside from parents, grandma and a few older invitees, many of your guests may prefer a digital invite as an alternative. Companies like Paperless Post offer beautiful options for digital invitations.
The first time I received a Paperless Post invite to a wedding I thought it was genius. It simulates opening an envelope, and the date can quickly be added to your calendar. Plus you can RSVP online, which is typically much easier than remembering to put that RSVP card back in the mail.
If you still want the romance of sending a paper invite, at least consider sending a digital “Save the Date”.
5. Tell people to RSVP online.
Do you feel it’s too tacky to send invites digitally? Consider saving a little money on your RSVPs.
Create a website where people can RSVP and find all the details for the wedding. Instead of sending stamped RSVP cards with your invites, just direct your guests to go to the website.
6. Go to the grocery store for flowers.
My best friend found a unique hack for her wedding: grocery store flowers.
Both her bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets were designed and put together at her local grocery store. Not only did they still look artfully done by a fancy florist, but it cost her less than half the price!
7. Minimize the table decorations.
Let’s be honest, tall table decorations may photograph nicely, but they’re a pain for your guests.
Most people can’t see over them, so they end up obstructing the views of people across their table as well we the first dance and the speeches. Consider keeping your table decorations to a bare minimum, and save big bucks on those large vases at the same time.
8. Be selective with the guest list.
The ultimate way to reduce the price of your wedding day is to keep the guest list small.
Reducing the number of guests can be incredibly difficult for couples with large families or for those who struggle ranking their friendships. However, keeping your list under 100 makes it much easier to stay within budget.
9. Pick the two most important details to both of you.
It’s really easy to feed into the madness that is the wedding industry.
Everyone in your life has an opinion on what’s important and how you should spend your money for your special day. But, you and your better half need to decide the two most important things to you.
Do you want a killer meal and beautiful photos and care less about the dancing? Or do you just want to make sure there’s an open bar with the best DJ in town? Whatever matters most to you as a couple is what you should put more of your budget toward. After that, scale back on everything else. Doing so will help guarantee you love your wedding day because it was what you truly wanted.