Weddings are expensive. The average wedding now costs over $25,000, and it can be argued that weddings are for the guests. The bride and groom hardly have time to enjoy themselves. There are numerous ways to minimize the expense of a wedding without detracting from the enjoyment. The keys are to think outside the box and prioritize.
Cut your wedding expenses and save money:
- Book a venue that will allow you to choose your own vendors. Many venues require that you use their catering, bartender, and DJ. When you’re limited to a single option, that option is never the least expensive. You probably know a bartender and a weekend-warrior DJ that could provide their services much more cheaply than those offered by the venue.
- Your priorities might be good food and music. Another couple might prefer a fancy reception location with great decorations. What’s most important to you? Avoid spending money on items that don’t matter to you.
- Choose another day besides Saturday. Everyone gets married on Saturday. Though it can be less convenient, any other day of the week can be much less expensive. Caterers are looking for work, and the venues are largely empty.
- Cut the guest list down to size. Consider eliminating children and co-workers, for example. Eliminating a particular category of people is less likely to cause hurt feelings. After you’ve cut the list once, cut it again. A smaller venue, less food, and less drink results in lowered costs.
- Get a little help from your friends. Many hands make light work and lower expenses. Consider all the help your friends might be able to provide:
- Acting as a driver
- Making side dishes for the meal
- Baking the cake
- Get married at the reception venue location. A lot of money can be spent on flowers and other decorations at the church. There’s also the cost of renting a limo or other transportation to get the wedding party to the reception venue. Many reception venues are happy to accommodate this request.
- Avoid serving a full-blown meal. Feeding a full meal to a large group of people is one of the most expensive parts of a wedding. Consider serving appetizers and skipping the fish and chicken. This is easier to accomplish if you choose an appropriate time to hold your reception. Early afternoon is the best time to avoid serving a full meal.
- Limit the alcohol options. An open bar is an invitation to a big expense. Consider a keg or two of beer and allow your guests to purchase their own mixed drinks.
- Avoid giving parting gifts to your guests. Meaningful gifts are far too expensive for a large group of people, and the typical parting gifts are thrown away within a week. Save your money.
- Buy the wedding dress at an outlet or department store. Bridal salons tend to be much more expensive. You might even find a dress at a vintage store that was worn only once.
- Choose a DJ over a band. Paying for a five-piece band will cost more than a DJ. The DJ can also serve as the master of ceremony. A good DJ will keep the festivities moving along at a reasonable pace.
Ensure that your wedding doesn’t become a financial burden by making smart choices. With creative thinking and a little work, you can have a spectacular wedding that doesn’t break the bank. If you have a limited budget, you can still create a wedding and reception worth remembering.