Weddings are expensive — the average cost was $33,391, according to a 2017 survey by The Knot. This doesn't mean you have to give up your entire dream wedding or take out a wedding loan to have the special day you want.
A couple of easy steps can save you a ton of money on your wedding. Here's 10 simple ways to save on your wedding.
1. Trim the guest list
Sure, it would be nice to have every single relative and friend with you on your big day.
But if you’re looking to save money, the first step you should take is trimming down your guest list. Once your list is finalized, you can save further on things like seating space, amount of food and invitations.
2. Consider an alternate venue
If you have your heart set on a destination wedding or at a big ballroom downtown, you can count on shelling out a chunk of your budget to that alone. Consider alternatives, like a destination closer to home or a cheaper venue.
3. Skip the weekend wedding
You’ll save money on almost any venue by having the event on a weekday or Sunday. There is less demand for these days, so vendors may also give you a better rate.
4. Opt for a morning ceremony
Though it may be less conventional, but you can save a lot on catering by having a morning wedding and breakfast buffet instead of a big evening party full of pastas, meat dishes, and booze.
5. Make your invitation digital
Though there are very expensive invitation options out there, this is one of the easiest costs to cut.
Consider getting custom stamp to print on stationery you purchased from a store. You can even hire a graphic designer to make an invitation that can be printed at home. Both of these will save a lot of money.
Or, instead of using paper at all, you can send digital invites and accept RSVPs online. This will save you money on both printing and postage.
6. Shop around for an affordable dress
Trying on as many dresses as possible can help you compare styles, but also costs. If you find a particular dress you like, take a look online to see if you can find a more affordable alternative.
Vintage shops and secondhand stores also often carry wedding dresses, as do certain online dress sites.
7. Combine flower arrangements to save
Employ a florist who can create arrangements to be used for both the ceremony and the reception to save. If you are set on a specific flower, consider mixing in a less expensive type to lessen the overall cost.
8. Plan out your menu
Don’t be afraid to ask your caterer what their cheapest entrees are or if a seated dinner would be the same price as a buffet for your party size. And, consider going for a family-style meal instead of a three-course meal to save. (Just make sure you're accommodating any dietary restrictions.)
You may want to also skip the appetizers like bread and cheese so guests can instead focus on the main dish you’re paying for. It’ll save you money and eradicate potential waste.
9. Save without skimping on booze
Ask the hall vendor and caterer if you can buy your own alcohol, or if only serving wine and beer would be less expensive. If providing your own alcohol, look to buy wholesale. You can also elect to have a full bar only for cocktail hour and serve only less expensive wine during dinner.
10. Tap local resources for music
A local university or music school may have teachers or students available to sing or perform live music for a fraction of the cost of a professional wedding band. Just make sure it's the type of music you want.
Another important part of wedding planning picking your bridesmaids. Here's how to plan your wedding without your bridal party going broke.
Additional reporting by Jazmin Rosa.
This article originally appeared on CentSai.
Image: Jeremy Wong Weddings