Spring has arrived, and wedding season is in full bloom. If you are a bride or groom organizing your nuptials, you know that planning for the big day can be a chaotic time filled with tons of decisions and sky-high prices.
The good news is that your wedding doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact there are several ways that you can cut back on your expenses while still having the wedding you’ve always wanted. Try these budgeting tips to save big on your wedding day.
Create a Budget for Your Wedding
Sticking to a budget for your wedding can be hard. Talk to your future spouse and decide on a budget you can both agree on. Make sure you are both on the same page as to whether this budget is flexible or a hard line item.
In 2016, the national average cost of a wedding reached $35,329.[i] For many couples, taking on an expense of that magnitude may require going into credit card debt. Start your marriage out on the right foot by ensuring you are both in agreement on the cost of your wedding.
Decide What Is Important to You
Do you need to have a cake with five tiers, huge centerpieces, high-end open bar, and hundreds of guests? Decide what is most important to you and your spouse, and then cut back on those things that are less important.
This is your wedding, and it should reflect the two of you as a couple. Not a fan of flowers? Opt for candles and greenery, or come up with your own unique centerpiece ideas. If your guests aren’t big drinkers, ask your venue whether they offer simply beer and wine. Narrowing the drink selection could end up saving you hundreds.
Revise Your Guest List
Your guest list can have a huge impact on your wedding, from venue capacity to the price of an open bar. Choosing who to invite and who to leave out can be a difficult decision. Talk to close family and friends to help you narrow down your final guest list. You may not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but you also don’t want to still be paying off your wedding on your fifth anniversary.
Don’t gamble with your guest list. Many couples send invitations to far more than they can afford with the hope that only a portion of invited guests will attend. Make sure your wedding budget has the wiggle room to cover a larger guest count in case more people say yes.
Take Your Time
It may not always an option, but giving yourself over a year to plan your wedding can help you save money. Many venues get booked out at least a year in advance. Planning it a year or so out gives you the option to visit multiple venues and find one that offers the best options for your budget. A longer engagement also allows you to take advantage of boutique sales for bridal gowns, which can result in thousands of dollars in savings.
Ask Whether There Is a Better Rate
It never hurts to talk to your vendors to see if you can secure a better rate for your big day. Non-traditional wedding days like Friday and Sunday can often come at a lower rate than a Saturday. You can also inquire whether they offer any specials by bundling services or working with partner vendors.
Work on Saving
While you are planning, open a separate savings account created solely for your wedding that both you and your future spouse will contribute to. Putting aside money can help reduce the likelihood of your incurring any debt from the nuptials, plus it will give you time to build up interest on your savings.
Planning a wedding on a budget can be daunting. Have fun and work with your partner to plan a wedding that is the perfect fit for your budget. And remember, it is just one day. Don’t let financial stress take away from the excitement of getting married.
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