A wedding is a joyous occasion for the lucky couple, as well as for the family and friends who get to celebrate and be part of the special day. That said, weddings can be very expensive, with the average cost totaling tens of thousands of dollars.
If wedding bells are in your future but you’re on a tight budget, it’s still possible to host an amazing event by making some cost-cutting sacrifices. To help you get started, American Consumer Credit Counseling offers the following tips:
Budget. Sit down with your future spouse and parents and decide on a budget so that everyone is on the same page. Once a budget is decided on, break it down into separate categories and decide which percentage will be spent on the ceremony, reception, dress and suit, wedding planner, photographer/videographer and miscellaneous items.
Trim the guest list. Each guest is an added expense, so try to limit the list. A smaller and more intimate wedding is suggested. Make the original guest list, then go back and cut it by at least 20 percent.
Ditch the venue. Venues can take up a large portion, if not over 50 percent, of the budget. Consider hosting the ceremony and reception at home or outside, but be sure to have a back-up plan in case it rains.
DIY. Whenever possible, consider taking on do-it-yourself projects to save money on your wedding. You can make your own wedding invitations, create centerpieces and decorations, or even plan the menu and make the food if it’s a small enough wedding.
Do the homework. Take the time to look at several different vendors, and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. It’s also useful to ask around for recommendations.
Opt out of open bar. The costs of an open bar can add up very quickly. Consider doing a cash bar or offering only beer and wine. Some venues may even allow you to supply your own alcohol.
Bride and bridesmaids. When shopping for the perfect wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses, check out sales and discount stores. To really save money, consider picking a color and allowing bridesmaids to either find their own dress or wear something they already own.
Groom and groomsmen. If the attire is black tie, then it’s usually cheaper to rent tuxes as a group for a more affordable rate, as most people don’t typically own tuxes. If tuxes aren’t necessary, then consider picking a color and wearing a suit that everyone already owns.
With these cost-cutting tips and a little creativity, you’ll be able to plan a special wedding that won’t break the bank.