If you’ve recently decided to tie the knot with that special someone, you might be wondering how you can save some money on your upcoming wedding. It’s true that weddings are one of the most expensive parts of life — while average wedding costs are down from years past due to the pandemic, it’s important to remember that weddings are still costly.
Since most weddings cost over an average of $10,000, it’s easy to feel like you can’t have the wedding of your dreams. But, there are lots of ways you can save for your big day! Here are some of the best ways to save on getting married next year.
- Set a Firm Budget. Setting a firm budget is one of the main ways you can save when getting married. Too many couples don’t sit down early on and determine nuanced tasks such as who buys the wedding rings or who is paying for the flowers. While tradition states that the bride’s family pays for the wedding, that tradition has all but flown out the window.
Today’s couples are as contemporary as can be, and many split the cost or both sets of parents chip in. The fact remains that a firm budget is the number one way you can save money. By setting a firm budget early on, you can determine what aspects of your wedding are priorities for you. This will determine where the majority of your money will go. A firm budget will keep you and your partner accountable when it comes to purchasing items for the wedding!
- Nix the plated dinner. Buffets are much more cost-effective than plated dinners. While plated dinners are very traditional and give an air of elegance, buffets are truly food fit for a crowd. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a served buffet or even have a carving station, but it does mean you’ll save yourself a pretty penny.
For couples who are looking to really save money on their wedding, a buffet is the best option. Food is one of the most expensive aspects of a wedding, so having the buffet instead of the plated dinner will give you an opportunity to put the money you’ve saved toward another part of your wedding. If you’re really looking to save money, consider having heavy hors d’oeuvres as your meal instead of a regular dinner. That will save you a lot, but it’ll also give you a chance to have unique food choices for guests!
Another simpler, elegant choice from earlier days is to serve only champagne and cake after a late morning wedding to a select few guests. It was good enough for your forebears, and it will allow you to start off your wedded life with no debt. No one will expect more, as your invitation will be clear about what will be provided.
- Consider eliminating the bar. While it might seem like the carnal sin of weddings, bars are expensive. From alcohol licenses to purchasing the mixers, liquor and anything else you’ll need for the bar, you’ll find that one of the largest expenses behind your food is your bar. Instead of an open bar, consider a cash bar or even having only beer and wine.
If that still seems like too expensive of an option for you, then feel free to eliminate it altogether. What’s important is that you’re getting married — not that there’s an open bar! Too often we get so wrapped up in the “fun” part of weddings that we forget what they’re all about. A dry wedding is a way for you and your loved ones to really focus on the love you and your fiancé have for each other.
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- Go for a playlist instead of a DJ. DJs cost money. And, if your wedding is intimate, consider whether you really need a DJ. Instead, put together a playlist of your favorite music. Plug it into a set of speakers at your venue and let it play for the evening! Your guests will enjoy getting to dance out there with you, and you’ll enjoy sitting back and letting the music play. It’s one less vendor you’ll have to worry about, and you’ll be able to focus on enjoying the day.
- Consider eloping. Let’s face it — weddings can be expensive. If what matters most is that you and the person you want to spend the rest of your life with do the ceremony, then elope! Go somewhere that’s important to both of you. Bring your officiant and photographer and get hitched! In the true spirit of elopements, consider surprising your friends and family after you tie the knot. It’ll give everyone something to talk about for sure! Plus, it’ll save you hundreds, if not thousands. The money that you save can go toward a down payment on a home or even toward an extended honeymoon.
- Forgo the metal or diamond wedding bands. Another expensive aspect of weddings is the cost of the rings. The engagement ring was probably expensive enough; there’s no reason to spend hundreds or even thousands more on another diamond or metal band.
Instead, consider alternatives, such as silicone rings. They’re durable, affordable and come in a variety of colors and shapes. They are perfect for those who live active lifestyles, constantly worry they’re going to damage or lose their engagement rings or work in a career field where it’s not very feasible to wear a metal band.
- No, you don’t need an outfit change. As tempting as it may be to get a second wedding dress (or an additional tux), an outfit change costs money. Instead, opt for just one outfit that has removable pieces, or choose accessories that you can switch out. These are much less expensive but still give you an opportunity to appear as though you’ve put together a whole new look. Your guests will be amazed at what you come up with between the ceremony and the reception!
- Decrease your guest list. Each guest is associated with a cost. Even buffets charge for a range of guests. The smaller your guest list, the smaller your cost. While it might be tough to eliminate people from your event, you can save money by going with a smaller venue, less food and fewer drinks. In the long run, it might even be a more enjoyable experience for you and your fiancé!