Your wedding is supposed to be your fairy tale day – and indeed it will be, if you pay heed to the cost of it. The average wedding now costs $30,000 or more, and many couples get themselves into huge amounts of debt over this one day of celebrations. But getting married need not break the bank, and below are some great tips on how to get married on a budget. It’s not just dresses for weddings that bump up the costs, but rather a whole host of little things.
- Working to a budget – Once you know your budget, you can work out how much you can really afford to spend on different areas and prioritize. Make a list of all the items separately – from dresses to cars and rings. You may want to pay for a professional photographer or cameraman to capture your special day on film – or you may want to save that money on such things and put it towards your honeymoon instead. You must discuss what is most important to you both.
Bear in mind that the cost of your venue is likely to be about one third to one half of your budget; being aware of how you can trade one item for another helps you see how far your budgeted cash will go. If it doesn’t go as far as you want, then you need to change your list – not your budget. The final result may be that you cannot have absolutely everything at your wedding that you dreamt of, but it also means that you‘ll have less debt after.
Weddings on a Budget – Top Money Saving Ideas
- Cutting catering costs – Cutting the costs on the wedding catering can be done subtly and without sacrificing quality. By changing small things, you can really make a significant saving on the cost of your wedding catering. You may be lucky enough to have family or friends that can lend a hand in the kitchen, allowing you to bypass the significant cost of outside caterers. Generally, family and friends are willing to help in any way possible to ensure everything goes according to plan. Alternatively, you could hire an independent catering company rather than using that which is offered as part of your wedding package from the venue you’ve hired (if they’ll allow this). If not, choose a venue where this is possible. This way, you can considerably reduce your costs and also have a greater choice over what dishes to offer for your reception catering.
- Delegate your bridesmaids’ dress shopping – Your bridesmaids love you and you trust their tastes, so give them one or two specifications and let them find their own dresses, which they can wear again after your big day. Think of how they’ll sparkle in a New Look dress of their choice, each bridesmaid showing off her own personal style. It wouldn’t be unreasonable for them to pay for their own dress in this case, as long as they agree on a uniform color.
- Champagne versus Prosecco – Prosecco and Cava are much more cost-effective and tend to be less acidic and more fruity than champagne: many people find them easier and tastier to drink. For Prosecco, look out for Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene on the label – this guarantees that the grapes were grown in the best Prosecco region, just north of Venice. Cava is made in the same way as champagne but costs a fraction of the price. Try the big supermarkets for great deals. You’ll be able to buy each bottle for $8-15 instead of $30 or more that champagne costs.
- Save money on unnecessary postage – It’s not necessary to send out expensive wedding invitations when you are just asking guests to put a date into their diaries. Send a group email instead, saving you time, money and the inconvenience of licking and sticking piles of envelopes.
- BYO wedding flowers – Why not try heading to a flower market and picking up your flora and fauna at cost price? You’ll need to be up at the crack of dawn, as most flower markets open around 3am and close at 11am, but you’ll benefit from your lack of sleep by saving a significant amount of money. If you are too busy, ask a friend or family member to take on the task.
- Utilize the skills of family and friends – From your uncle who has filmed every family occasion you can remember, to your bedroom-DJ brother – ask everyone with a suitable skill to get involved. Delegating will save you a small fortune, and it’s a nice way for friends and family to feel involved. Professional photos, in particular, can be very expensive, so ask a talented friend to be the official photographer at the ceremony. Another good idea is to have disposable cameras on the tables at the reception.