As a bride-to-be, you must be wondering if it is possible to plan your dream wedding without breaking the budget or looking cheap. Well, we are here to put in our two cents.
First of all, you have to face the fact that weddings in our country are outrageously expensive, especially in major cities like Los Angeles or New York. According to a nationwide survey, the average wedding expenses in the U.S. can amount to anywhere between $30,000 to a staggering $77,000. That is a lot of money for a one-day celebration! So, if you have very little in savings, loans to settle up with and no expectation of any contribution from your parents who also have tight finances, how can you possibly afford to get married the way you really want when weddings have a nightmare price tag attached to them?
1. Set a budget and stick with it
Of course, the first thing you have to do is get a fix on what you can actually afford to spend on your ‘big day’. For this, you can sit down with your better half and be as reasonable as you can in your negotiations. Do you really need a high-end designer wedding dress or will an elegant (and affordable) wedding gown from an online store do? Do you want to blow your money on a big party or a really nice honeymoon, or perhaps a down payment on a house?
Settle on an overall dollar amount that you can spend on your wedding and make it a point that under no circumstances should your wedding expenses go over that set amount. A realistic, fixed budget will keep you on the right track when you are picking vendors and making critical monetary decisions with relevance to your wedding.
2. Tackle the guest list
One of the simplest and most effective ways to cut the overall cost of your wedding is to review your guest count. When you are writing down and thinking over your guest list, make sure that it only includes people that you really want to be a part of this memorable and special day. Be mindful of the fact that your single biggest wedding expense will be reception food (and alcohol) and knowing how many people to expect will help you figure out how much you can actually afford to spend per guest, not to mention what size venue you are going to need. When planning a wedding on a budget, it is probably better to keep the guest list short so that you can spend more per guest.
3. Choose the right venue
You do not need a grand wedding hall or a fancy hotel to have a beautiful wedding ceremony. With the right wedding venue, a magnificent ceremony can be performed with minimal expense. Some of the most spectacular yet affordable places where you can tie the knot are national parks, farms and ranches, public beaches, local churches, galleries and out of town wedding reception halls.
4. Have your wedding during the “off-season”
Of the number of ways to hold your wedding expenses in check, perhaps the greatest money-saver is having your wedding during the off season. Most weddings in the U.S. take place from late spring to early fall. For that reason, it is fairly obvious that many industry businesses would appreciate a bit more business in the time between December and April (the off-season), and that means a better discount for you.
5. Browse and compare online
The Internet is your most useful resource if you want to have a dream wedding on a budget. You can find anything and everything you could need for your wedding online. The best part is that online prices are often a lot more reasonable than at offline stores. Whether you want to shop for your dream wedding dress, invitations, favors, flower arrangements or discount bridesmaid dresses, you will be able to browse and compare various prices from the comfort of your home so that you get the best deal.
Your wedding is undoubtedly one of the most special and important days of your life, but you also have the rest of your lives together to think about. Quite frankly, it makes more sense to use that extra money to secure your future together rather than spending extravagantly on a single day. But just because you plan to cut costs to keep the financial figures manageable does not mean you cannot have your dream wedding just the same.