How much do you think the average wedding costs nowadays? $10,000? $20,000?
Try $33,391, at least according to one report. Like everything else, the cost can be more or less depending on where in the United States you live. For instance, a New York City wedding will cost you around $77,00 on average.
Even if your budget is nowhere near that number, it’s still way too easy to lose control of how much everything costs. You need some clever ways to save money without looking cheap.
Before you say, “I do,” here are four ways to save money on a wedding.
Trim That Guest List
If you have a big family, then you’ll feel pressured to invite everyone from Aunt Bertha to that cousin in Oregon whom you’ve only met once. In order to save money, you’re going to have to resist that pressure.
Repeat as needed: “This is my wedding, not the wedding of (relative who is giving you grief).” You don’t have to say it; you can say whatever you want, as long as the answer is a firm no.
Your wedding day should be about the people you want to celebrate with, not about the people you barely know.
Get Creative with Photos
You’ve heard the line about how you should never skimp on hiring a photographer. However, you don’t have to hire the most expensive photographer in town. Look for up-and-coming photographers with smaller portfolios that still show off their talent.
Rather than tell guests not to take photos with their phone, place cheap disposable cameras at every reception table. Have everyone turn in the cameras at the end of the night, and then take the best photos and turn them into a wedding album with help from Shutterfly discount codes.
Saturdays are the most desirable day for most couples to get married. That’s also the most expensive day for a wedding.
It may be hard to let go of that dream of a Saturday wedding, but having a wedding on Friday night or Sunday afternoon is one of the best ways to save money on a wedding.
What about long holiday weekends? Those might work, but be careful of having a wedding near a date where most people will already have other plans, like the Fourth of July or Memorial Day. After all, wedding money-saving tips only work if they aren’t too disruptive.
Stick to Appetizers
There’s no law that says you must serve a full meal. You and your beloved will still be legally married even if you serve appetizers and cake. Imagine it as a birthday party with fancier clothes.
One caveat: Make sure to let guests know that the reception will be appetizers-only, and try not to have it at a time when most people would expect dinner. A 3 p.m. reception is better than 6 p.m. in this case.
Other Clever Ways to Save Money
Figuring out how to save for a wedding can be so all-consuming that you forget it’s only one day of your life. Having a budget wedding now means more money for the years and decades to come.
If you find enough clever ways to save money, you might even have enough left over for a down payment on a house. Read our blog for more on what you need to get a home loan