Weddings can be very expensive and seen as a luxury. Rightfully so! The average wedding in America costs $30,000. However, this number drastically changes on where you live in America. The average wedding in Chicago is $50,934 and in New York, $76,944. However, the average cost of a wedding is only $18,547 in Alabama! Maybe we should all get married down south. That is quite a difference! Now, to be fair, none of these averages state if it is a wedding of 100 or 300 guests. For our purposes, we will assume that it is for approximately, 120 guests which happen to be the national average. Many couples want to invest in the biggest and the best of everything, taking out loans or raiding their savings accounts. However, a wedding is the start of your life together, and who wants to start their life in debt or without any savings? Here are 6 secret tips to make your wedding affordable, without sacrificing your dream
Saturday in the Summer has become the most desirable wedding date for venues and vendors alike. There might be a slight difference in price between a Friday/Sunday and Saturday rate, but that is becoming old information. Limited dates mean couples pay for availability. Weekend weddings mean guests do not have to take off work and it becomes a full weekend celebration. Some areas of the country might still have “Winter Rates” but in Chicago, the official wedding season goes from May to December. Off-season weddings might also allow some budget flexibility. When considering a weekday wedding, other wedding vendors such as a photographer or a band might be willing to reduce their costs (or add in enhancements) for booking work, but also saving their highly desirable dates. This is a win-win for everyone!
Most people only wear their wedding dress once. In the US, the average cost of a wedding dress is $1,000. While it is perhaps one of the most important outfits one will ever put on, it is still a lot of money to spend on a single-use outfit! A second-hand wedding dress is not a downgrade, but a sensible and practical decision. Many brides will sell their gowns after their wedding is over. Some bridal shops will sell gowns “off the rack” for additional savings. Family members also might have their dress that would add a sentimental touch to reuse your mom’s or grandma’s dress. Finally, having an untraditional dress might be the least expensive option. Find a dress you love no matter where it is from. Not all brides need a cathedral veil and a princess dress. A simple white cocktail dress would be equally as beautiful.
Wedding rings don’t have to be a big investment. In fact, most look very similar whether you’re buying on a budget or spending a small fortune. There are so many options for conflict-free, engineered diamonds this is one area where you can easily cut back without anyone noticing. If diamonds are not your style, tattoo bands might be an option since your love is forever! Many couples who lead a physically active lifestyle also prefer silicone rings for safety and functionality.
This is a touchy subject. I stand firm behind hiring professionals to help on your wedding day. Professional wedding vendors ALWAYS make for a more relaxed and stress-free wedding experience. However, there are times when having friends or family help can, (not always) allow for budget flexibility. If you are not super crafty, then forget this tip. Run, don’t walk away. If you do have the time or crafty family members, allow them to help where they can. Your friends and family will love that their talents are appreciated and that something they’ve created will be a part of your wedding. Having friends and family can help make the wedding more affordable, but not always. Sometimes, it backfires and ends up costing more. Know the difference!
Your sister may have a talent for creating homemade wedding invitations. A friend might be able to bake your cake, and your aunt and uncle could take time out to be your wedding photographer. People won’t mind contributing their skills, and even paid-for materials,
instead of bringing along a wedding gift. Once again, if you do not have crafty family members, or simply do not have the time, run, don’t walk from this tip.
One way to save money is by excluding children from the wedding all together. Children at weddings can become a distraction for parents (who never really watch them anyway) and they require additional food, chairs, and entertainment.
From horses and carriages to limousines, there are many extravagant ways to arrive at your wedding in style. Unfortunately, these all come at a cost. Unless you have a family member with a luxury car, you can save money by arriving on your own. Hiring a wedding car is often more expensive than a night in a hotel. If you are having your wedding in a hotel you most likely will not need a getaway car at the end of the night, since you will be staying there. If your wedding is at a banquet hall or loft space, take advantage of the hotel shuttle service.
In conclusion, a wedding can be the most expensive event you ever organize or with thoughtful planning, it can be a cost-effective celebration of love. The choice is really yours. Set yourself a wedding budget, stick to it, and enjoy your special day.