Did you know the average U.S. wedding costs $28,000*? That’s a lot of money to spend on one event!
With so many wedding dates being postponed due to COVID, wedding bells are certainly screaming as more and more places open up without restriction. So for those who are finally able to start the wedding planning process, here are some tips on how to keep your budget in check.
Choose your top priority
Most couples-to-be have some fantastical dreams about their wedding day. It might be a huge wall of flowers, a custom wedding gown or a wedding aisle fitted with hundreds of floating candles.
Whatever your dream, count on it costing a pretty penny. To avoid going into debt for your special day, choose the one item for your wedding that is most important to you as a couple. That one must have you are willing to get at almost any cost. Trim costs in other places to leave room in your budget for your top priority.
Skip the invites (average cost: $590)
Snail mail is so last millennium. Bring your wedding up to date and make some budget breathing room by creating a cost-free e-invite that includes all the wedding details and the ability to RSVP electronically. You’ll be doing your wallet, and the environment, a favor!
Go nontraditional with the venue (average cost: $10,500)
A typical venue can eat up a wedding budget fast. Make your wedding extra-special and save on costs at the same time by choosing an out-of-the-box venue, like an art gallery, your favorite upscale restaurant or even atop a scenic lookout point.
Ditch the rehearsal dinner (average cost: $1,900)
Why not put that money toward something with lasting value? If you feel like you need a rehearsal to make sure everything goes smoothly, ask the officiator and the members of the wedding party to practice the ceremony with only a short, no-food run-through.
Choose a non-bridal gown (average cost: $1,600)
Everything on your list gets more expensive when you tack on the word “wedding.” Save on one of these expenses by purchasing a gown that’s not designed exclusively for a wedding. Any floor-length white gown from a department store or boutique will do, and you can always add embellishments to dress it up a bit. You’ll still save a fortune.
Limit your guest count (average cost per guest: $70)
So many parts of your wedding, from the catering, to the bar, to the cake, cost more with each added person. Keep your wedding intimate by only inviting guests who really count. You can limit the plus-ones, specify that the reception is adults-only or restrict the guest list to people who are currently in your life, instead of inviting every acquaintance you’ve ever had.
Rethink your cake (average cost: $500)
Consider a shorter or narrower cake for pictures and cutting, and have the caterer serve a frosted sheet cake so there’s enough for all your guests.