Make Your Wedding More Affordable

With the average cost of a wedding now at an all-time high, it’s no wonder more and more couples are choosing to push back their wedding dates. According to a 2017 survey by The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is now $33,391—and the number grows every year! Now chances are, you’ve been thinking about your wedding day your entire life. Naturally you don’t want to compromise on anything that’d make your big day less than extraordinary. However, you also don’t want to start out married life with undue financial strain. Fear not, with a little proper planning, you can save thousands!

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Don’t Start Planning Until You’ve Worked Out a Budget

No matter what your income is, you shouldn’t begin planning your wedding and calling vendors up until you’ve worked out a budget with your spouse and your families. Yes, that awkward conversation about who pays for what will be a mandatory conversation you’ll have to have to carefully plan your finances. In some cases, a bride’s family may follow suit with tradition and finance the whole wedding. However, it’s becoming more and more common for the groom’s family to split the costs.

If one or more families are willing to contribute, try to have them commit to a specific dollar amount so that you can factor it into your budget accordingly—the rest you’ll have to come up with yourself. One financial trend that’s becoming increasingly common is the idea of automatic savings. In other words, every time you get paid, a portion of your paycheck is allocated to a separate savings account. This makes it easier to understand what you have to cover every day expenses, as well as what money is consistently going into a wedding savings fund. Saving apps like Chime are great for this! Once you have an idea of what your total budget looks like, you can start thinking about what wedding venues and services you can afford.

Cut Out the Extras (and the Guest List)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s extravagant wedding may have gotten you in the wedding mood, but don’t make this duo your celebratory rivals! Now, you don’t necessarily have to only opt for DIY stationery and bouquets (although if you were thinking about that, it’s certainly a creative and affordable option!). However, you should make it a point to decide what’s most important: which services and guests are absolutely necessary versus which you can live without. It’s by no means an easy decision. Especially in the case of trimming the guest list. However, at $100 a person, trimming off even 10 guests from the list saves you $1,000! Providing accommodations, gifts, and transportation for fewer guests will also save your wallet some major aches and pains.

There are also often cheaper versions of the same services you feel are required for your wedding. For example, in 2014, the average cost of a reception band was $3,587. A DJ, on the other hand, came out to be $1,124. Furthermore, if your menu consists of a variety of hors d’oeuvres in place of decadent six-course meals, you’ll end up saving thousands. In short, be smart with your money and how you decide to use it. For a list of 53 genius ways to save money on your wedding day, click here.

Consider Rescheduling

You hear it all the time: “wedding season.” But when is wedding season really? Wedding season typically begins in late spring and continues through early fall, with most weddings occurring in June, and again in September. Why? You might ask. Because—in most places in the U.S.—the weather is at its most moderate and accommodates those dressed in wedding attire comfortably (the blooming flowers of Spring and the falling leaves of fall don’t hurt either). To save the most money, try avoiding these peak times.

Needless to say, these months aren’t always the most moderate in temperature in every area. The scorching temperatures of June in a state like Texas would not make an outdoor wedding ideal. However, you might be able to land a deal on an indoor venue instead and escape the heat altogether! If having your wedding during peak season turns out to work better for you and your guests, there’s always the option to rent a tent designed for large events and hold an outdoor wedding. When some venues can cost as much as $10,500 for a single day, you’ll be happy you did so!