It’s a common occurrence: you’ve been saving money and planning your wedding for some time when you realize that your event is going to cost a lot more than what you expected. Panic sets in as you scramble to figure out why the cost is so much higher than you anticipated and where you can make some budget cuts.
Fortunately, there are many options to significantly reduce the cost of a wedding – all without much sacrifice. Here are some ways to easily make your dream wedding more affordable.
Save Money on Attire
When planning for a wedding, one of the first things couples look at is wedding attire. For the women, it’s a chance to don the dress of their dreams. For the men, it’s a chance to look sharp and put-together. However, usually wedding attire does not come cheap: the average cost of a wedding dress in the United States is $1564.
If you want to easily save some money on wedding attire, consider renting your garments or accessories rather than purchasing them. Alternatively, purchasing lightly used dresses and tuxedos is another way to cut down on your costs.
Lastly, be patient and wait for sales. Dress and tuxedo stores will have multiple sales throughout the year to celebrate holidays and to clear out their inventory. Sometimes these savings can be significant, so it’s worthwhile to be patient and wait for a sale.
Save Money on the Venue
Another big wedding budget concern is the venue. Venues can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars or more based on location and services. It’s easy to fall in love with a venue but be discouraged by its price. Luckily, you can save money by having your wedding on a day other than Saturday, such as Friday or Sunday.
It’s been estimated that a couple can save as much as 15-20% on the cost of the venue if they get married on a Friday instead of a Saturday. So if you found your dream venue but are worried that you can’t afford it, think about a Friday evening event or even a Sunday brunch wedding.
Save Money on Food and Drinks
Many people enjoy weddings because it’s a chance to witness the embodiment of true love between two people. Truthfully speaking, many people also enjoy weddings because of the good food and plentiful beverages usually associated with them. With that being said, when the average cost of an open bar is $2800, it can be anxiety-inducing trying to figure out how to take care of all of your guests.
One option is to consider offering limited food and bar options. For the meal, consider going with a limited buffet as opposed to a per-guest, professionally-prepared plate option. Not everyone needs a full plate of food, nor does everyone want everything that’s served to them. A buffet allows you to offer quality food while allowing your guests to choose the items and portions they desire – and it’ll also be cheaper for you.
For drinks, consider offering an open bar, but only for a few select liquors, beers, or wines. If the bride and groom have a favorite drink, offer that and it will be perceived as sweet and sentimental. You can also let the bridal party vote on some of the other choices for the bar to make sure you have a small variety for your pickier guests.
Hire a Wedding Planner
Planning for a wedding can be a business in and of itself. Unfortunately, sometimes if you’re trying to plan a wedding all by yourself on top of your day-to-day workload, costly mistakes can occur. As such, don’t ignore the option of hiring a wedding planner.
It may seem counterintuitive, as wedding planners do charge for their services, but part of what wedding planners do is figure out how to make dreams come true on a budget. They know the intricacies of the business and therefore know where to look for deals and how to cut costs in general. It’s estimated that a quality wedding planner can save a client about 5 – 10% on their wedding costs.
Take Out a Wedding Loan
If you’ve exhausted all other options and you’re still unable to afford your dream wedding, it’s okay to think about taking out a small wedding loan. This should be a last resort option, however, as it means you will be starting your new life with your partner in debt. One lender, which typically works with clients with high credit scores, estimated that the average wedding loan takes over 4 years to repay.
If you do take out a wedding loan, be careful. A post by Lexington Law states that missing payments on debts like this will wreak havoc on your credit.
Weddings might be expensive, but everyone should have their dream wedding. It’s a once in a lifetime event that you and your partner will remember forever. Don’t settle – instead, look for alternatives to cut costs and make your dream achievable.
What are some other ways that you’ve found to save money on your dream wedding?
Author: Zach Apricot