I’m writing a disclaimer to this post because it’s a personal topic. My opinions about the cost of a wedding are based on my current financial situation. Each person that plans a wedding has a different financial situation, and my intention with this post is NOT to pass judgment on anyone who spent or plans on spending more or less than us on a wedding. I recognize that everyone has different priorities, and I completely respect each person’s right to those priorities. I firmly believe that every person should have the wedding of their dreams within their personal means.
Let’s get real for a second. Weddings cost money. LOTS of money.
According to the costofwedding.com wedding-cost calculator, the average amount spent on a wedding in my area is $27,338. That. Is. Insane. Because I don’t have that kind of money. If I did, I’d probably be buying a house right now.
My parents do have that kind of money. But my dad wants to retire eventually…and even if he were offering that amount of money to me I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to take it from him. I’ve been blessed with awesome parents who have provided me with more than I could ever need for well over 18 years, and I can’t personally justify demanding any more.
That being said, my parents are going to help me out. They are paying for pretty much everything, within a budget. The most difficult thing about planning a wedding on a budget is figuring out what things really cost.
If your wedding budget it $4,000 total, you can’t have a traditional wedding with the flowers and DJ and ballroom and ball gown and plated dinner and cake. You just can’t. In my area it is not physically possible to get all of those things for that price. What you can have is a lovely at-home wedding with a potluck-style dinner and casual flowers that you order in bulk. If you have no idea what businesses in the wedding industry charge for certain services, you may have to quickly change your expectations for the type of wedding you will have.
I learned this quickly while looking at venues. There are so many gorgeous venues in town…that cost a significant chunk of change to rent. There were some venues that I let myself fall in love with for just a second. And then I let them go. I had to allow the practical side of me takeover; otherwise I’d be spending the remainder of my wedding-planning process trying to figure out how to feed our guests, and the stress is not worth the venue. Because we chose to get married on a Friday, I was able to find something I love that could fit within out budget and still leave room for a dress and food!
The fiance and I have made plenty of other decisions that are helping us save money in the planning process. We’re not having a wedding cake—we’re planning a special DIY surprise instead that I plan on sharing in a later post. We’re also not renting tuxedos. We’ve decided to buy him a nice suit that he can reuse instead. If I get to spend a ton of money on a dress I’ll only wear once, then he should at least get to reuse his suit, right? And I got a great deal on a dress. It was on sale, and it was the very first dress I gravitated toward when I entered the store. We’re also cutting down on floral costs by only having half of our tables be done in flowers.
I am considering posting a budget breakdown at the end of this entire process, because I do think it is helpful to see what things really do cost…but it is a hard decision because it is such a personal topic.
Hopefully, as we get closer to the date we’ll be able to find more ways to cut down on cost. Anyone else have a strict budget for their wedding? Where did you cut costs?