With shows like “Say Yes to the Dress,” star-studded celebrity weddings splashed across the tabloids and extravagant images of invites, flowers and bridal shower gifts showcased on Pinterest and Instagram, it’s no wonder The Knot claims that couples spent an average of $32,641 on weddings in 2015. Ouch!
While weddings are certainly a milestone event, you have to ask yourself how much you are willing to spend. After the party is over, who is left footing the bill? And how long do you want to be paying for it? Are you willing to put off other milestone purchases—like buying a home, starting a family and travelling—in order to pay for the wedding of your dreams?
Your wedding day should certainly be a special event, but like all other big purchases, it is best to budget, plan and discover ways to save. Earmark a special savings account for your big day and if you will need additional funds, be sure to find a loan with rates and terms that work for your budget.
Start by agreeing on your non-negotiables as a couple. Pick one or two key things that are important to you and your fiancé and prioritize those expenses. It could be entertainment, the venue or the perfect wedding dessert. By making those purchases and selections special, your event will be memorable for you both.
Once you’ve prioritized, you can start examining areas to cut. Forgo expensive “save-the-date” cards and communicate with those on your guest list electronically. Bypass the tabletop guest gifts and favors. Print your own programs. Only select in-season flowers. Rein in the open bar and set a limit on the tab you are hosting. These are just a few options, but there are many ways to save.
Limiting your guest list to those individuals you truly love is another smart move. Sure, there are some weddings with 300-plus guests. There are also lovely ceremonies with just 50. A more intimate setting will allow you to interact with everyone, rather than trying to make the rounds to hundreds.
Additionally, consider the timing of your wedding. Saturdays are the most popular day to wed, so prices for venues and vendors will peak on that day. A Friday evening or Sunday afternoon wedding is less common, but a great way to save funds.
Bottom line—make your wedding a special event. The union between two individuals should be celebrated. But remember that a wedding is one day, and a marriage lasts a lifetime. Don’t set yourself back too much when it comes to your finances.