Going into debt as a newly married couple probably isn’t high on your bucket list. In fact, I’m willing to bet it’s not on there at all! But I am willing to bet that saving money on your wedding is something you’d like to do.
The average American wedding costs upwards of $35,000. That’s a lot of cash! But don’t think for a minute that spending less than average means your wedding won’t look and feel beautiful. You can have a celebration that suits your style, as well as your budget.
Keep reading for 7 cost-saving wedding tips that will keep you and your wallet happy.
1. Shorten the Timeline On average, couples plan their wedding a year out, which makes sense in a lot of ways, but it can also mean there’s more temptation to spend money. Not only will shortening your wedding planning timeline cut down on overwhelm, it will force you to make decisions, rather than lead you down the wedding rabbit hole.
2. Schedule in Off-season Times Alan Fields, coauthor of Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget says, “You can shave 20 to 30 percent off the cost of a wedding by planning it for November, or January through March―except for Valentine’s Day.”
Scheduling your wedding during off-peak times means less competition and more negotiating power. To save even more, pick a less popular day of the week to say your vows, like Thursday or Sunday.
3. Skip the Sit Down Meal Sit down dinners are usually more expensive than a brunch or lunch reception. And although brunch receptions are becoming popular, they remain affordable because the food served (quiche, bacon, toast, etc.) costs pennies compared to something like filet mignon.
If you want an evening reception, consider food trucks, BBQ, or a potluck for a more casual, affordable menu option.
4. Offer a Limited Bar Open bars are one of those things that couples (and guests!) love having available, but the costs can add up quickly. You can please your nearest and dearest, as well as your budget, by offering a bar that’s limited to wine, beer, and a signature cocktail or two. Alternatively, you could offer wine, beer, and champagne for toasts.
5. Cut a Small Cake The more layers and adornments your wedding cake has, the more money you’ll have to hand over. Instead, you can save some bucks by having a decorated small cake for cutting and a sheet cake for serving.
6. Choose Seasonal Local and seasonal applies to everything from food to flowers, but especially flowers. Opting for local, seasonal flowers means your florist won’t have to import out-of-season or exotic blooms. It also means your wedding will be infused with the colors and textures of the season.
7. Ditch Traditions Many couples feel obligated to incorporate and observe wedding traditions simply because they are…well…traditions. If there’s a tradition that doesn’t suit you and your fiance, leave it out, not only because it will make your wedding more “you” but because it can save you money too.
In the end, your wedding should be an expression of you and your significant other, so spend money where you see the most fit.