It’s no secret that weddings can be expensive. In fact, the average cost of a wedding has increased to a staggering $35,000. Wedding days should be special, but some weddings cost more than what many people pay for a new car.
For some couples, the price tag is more than worth it. After all, your wedding day celebrates the end of your life as a single person and the commencement of the new phase of life you are beginning with your spouse-to-be. Combining this with the excitement of hosting a memorable event for your closest friends and family, it’s tempting to spend more than you intended.
Are you and your spouse-to-be looking for ways to cut costs for your upcoming wedding? The good news is that there are many ways to keep your budget affordable. While the money-saving list goes on and on, here are five of the best budget slashing tips for 2018.
1. Be Flexible About Your Wedding Date and Time
Many brides and grooms set their minds on a specific date and time they must have for their weddings, such as a special holiday weekends. Unfortunately, this mindset can be costly, especially if the specifics happen to coincide with everyone else’s perfect date. Basic supply and demand applies here, and venues are able to charge more when there is more of a demand for certain dates.
If you approach wedding planning with an open mind and you are flexible about your wedding date and time, you can squeeze your event in at a much lower cost. This is especially true if you’re willing to schedule your wedding for a weekday. Another cost saving option is to have the wedding or reception at your home or the home of a family member.
2. Limit Your Guest List
Trimming your guest list is another way to cut costs for your wedding. This isn’t always a popular concept, but it’s a valid one. For venue and catering purposes, limiting the number of people you invite to your wedding can save you a lot of money. This is especially true if you’re being charged per guest.
It’s not uncommon for venues to ask $100 per head, plus $20 per dinner plate. That means cutting just 50 people could save you a whopping $6,000. With such a significant savings, it’s worth giving your guest list a second look.
3. Opt for a Few DIY Decorations
Pinterest has made DIY wedding decorations insanely popular. It’s never been easier to find amazing project ideas you can complete with family and friends. Making some of your own decorations is nearly always less expensive than buying them.
Centerpieces, for example, are simple to create using candles, vases, and stones purchased at your local dollar store. This option costs far less than traditional flower centerpieces, which can be excessively expensive, and the result can still be stunning. Freshly cut flowers are quite inexpensive by themselves and can be used for a variety of DIY decorative purposes.
Similarly, you can make your own wedding save-the-dates or invitations. You can use computer software to design your own invites or modify an online template. All you need to do is select an invite template, personalize the information, save it to a flash drive, and head to the nearest print shop. Paper products don’t have to be expensive.
4. Let Your Photographer or Videographer Leave Early
Photographers and videographers charge a pretty penny to capture your big day. It’s worth it. After all, you’ll treasure those memories for the rest of your life. There are ways to reduce your final bill for these important services.
Many professionals will charge you per hour to take the pictures or video, plus the cost of the final photo or video package you order after everything has been developed. The best way to keep the expense down is to plan your schedule with the hourly rate in mind. Consider cutting the cake and throwing the bouquet early in the evening so you don’t have to pay the photographer and videographer to stay through the entire reception.
Instead, place cheap, disposable cameras around your reception so that guests can continue to take pictures all evening long. The pictures won’t be professional quality, but they will still be fun. Another option is to rent a photo booth for the evening. These are pricier than disposable cameras, but you are certain to get some funny photos out of it!
5. Put a Cap on the Open Bar
What’s a wedding without an open bar? Well for starters, it’s a much less expensive wedding! A sure-fire way to save money on your big day is to cut the open bar.
Opting for a cash bar instead will limit your final bill significantly, but it may also limit the fun. Here’s the best compromise: Cap the open bar at a certain dollar amount and then establish the cash bar if this amount is exceeded. This works really well because you and your guests can enjoy several drinks as the reception gets rolling, but you still maintain complete control of the bar bill at the end of the night.
There’ll be no surprises if you take time to plan your wedding event with these budget tips in mind. Instead, you and your new spouse can spend time enjoying the company of your closest family and friends and dancing the night away.