We all have our travel bucket lists, our adrenaline-packed things-to-do-before-forty list, and just like that, we also have our (secret) wedding Pinterest boards. The ones with a dreamy countryside backdrop, an outdoor ceremony, and a rustic barn for the reception. And why not?
A wedding day should be nothing short of magical. From the most beautiful lilies adorning the aisle to the most delectable cake, weddings are meant to be a feast for the senses.
But unlike all the other lists, a wedding comes with a hefty price tag. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $29,000 (yikes!). So, if you’re looking for a debt-free future after the big day, consider these tips on how to save money on your dreamy wedding:
Assess and Reassess your Financing Options
Who’s paying for the magic? If it’s the parents, then great! But, if you’re footing the bill or taking out a loan, you’ll want to be extra mindful! You and your fiancee should sit down with both sets of parents (if they’re chipping in) and have a heart-to-heart about the budget. From there, you can decide what kind of wedding you will have.
The cost of a wedding can shoot right up. With the overwhelming number of choices, keeping a level head can be tough. But don’t worry! You can cut short your guest list or DIY your way to significant savings! Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the photos (they’ll be cherished memories long after the big day is over).
If you really must, then take out a wedding loan! There are options for online personal loans for weddings with a low-interest rate and flexible repayment terms. They also quickly get approved, so you don’t have to wait for weeks to find out if you’re qualified or not.
Get Married in off-Season
How does it matter what time of the year you get married (unless you’re dead-set on a winter wonderland)? Well, it turns out that weddings during the off-season are typically cheaper. And by off-season, we’re referring to January, February, July, and November (now that’s specific!).
Of course, there are exceptions. If you’re getting married on a long weekend, you’ll be paying more than someone who ties the knot on a random Tuesday in February.
But if you play your cards right, marrying during the off-season can save you a ton of money. Why? Because venues, caterers, florists, and other wedding vendors are typically less busy during these months, they’re more likely to offer discounts.
And they’ll be more focused on your wedding than running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to coordinate three other weddings that weekend.
Hold the Ceremony and Reception at the Same Venue
A lot goes into searching for the perfect dreamy venue for your wedding. Do you want an indoor or an outdoor ceremony? Should it be a rustic barn, a glamorous ballroom, or a picturesque vineyard?
The options are endless. And the price tag? Even more so.
You can save some serious dough by considering holding both the ceremony and reception at the same venue. This way, you won’t have to worry about guests getting lost or running late because the ceremony and reception venues are poles apart. You’ll also save some money on hiring transportation.
Most hotels and resorts have multiple rooms dedicated to such ceremonies. Everything will be under one roof, from the getting-ready suites to the actual ceremony and reception ballrooms. They’ll also offer compelling packages that include several services, such as catering, decorations, and an on-site wedding planner. It’s simply a question of selecting one that fits your style and is within your budget.
If you choose to get married in a church or a temple, you can always have the reception in the same building. Many churches and temples have banquet halls or large social rooms that accommodate a large group.
You will save a tremendous amount of time and money on decorations because the ceremony and reception spaces will already be decorated to your liking.
Rent your Bridal Gown
Bridal gowns are the event’s highlight for some brides (and the bridal party).
While it may be irresistible to buy a dress outright (that too from your favorite designer), will you be able to justify spending a hefty amount on a dress?
According to the Brides American Wedding Study, a bridal dress costs upwards of $2400 on average.
That’s too much money to shell out on something you’ll only wear once and then store away in the attic for the rest of your life.
Instead of buying a dress, consider renting one. Plenty of bridal gown rental companies offer designer dresses at a fraction of the cost. And no storage blues for the dress after the wedding. It obviously goes back to the rental company.
However, if you’re really fiending for that designer gown, there’s no harm in buying a used one. You can find pre-owned bridal dresses at consignment shops or online retailers like Stillwhite and Once Wed. You could use the saved amount on something else, like the honeymoon or your first home.
Buy your Decorations in Bulk
There’s a hot debate in the wedding world: do guests notice the decorations more or savor the food more?
We’re not here to answer that question (though we’re pretty sure it’s the latter). All we know is that the food and the decorations play an important role in making a wedding memorable. You don’t want your venue looking drab while you recreate a bridal shoot from Pinterest, do you?
Unfortunately, event planners and stylists realize this and charge an arm and a leg for their services.
But, don’t fret! You could always take up some extra responsibility (or assign it to someone in the bridal party) and do it yourself.
If you’re going the DIY route, buy your decorations in bulk from a discount store like Costco or Sam’s Club. You could also scour the internet for DIY hacks that’ll help you make your own decorations.
Plus, you’ll get a sense of satisfaction from being able to say, “I made this!” Plus, imagine the fun you and your partner will have while crafting together.
You can cut costs and still have the wedding of your dreams in so many ways. By being strategic about what you spend your money on, you can save a ton of cash and use it for something else.
Maybe send e-invites instead of printed ones, or make your own decorations instead of hiring a stylist. Whatever you do, have fun and enjoy this special time. Also, don’t let the cost of a wedding deter you from tying the knot. Just be smart about your spending, and you’ll be fine!
Jason is the Marketing Manager at a local advertising company in Australia. He moved to Australia 10 years back for his passion for advertising. Jason recently joined BFA as a volunteer writer and contributes by sharing his valuable experience and knowledge.