These days, weddings and their associated costs seem to be getting higher and higher (for better or worse). And it makes sense. There’re SO many aspects that go into planning your big day. And according to a recent study, couples in the U.S. spend an average of $26,444 on their wedding day, and that figure doesn’t include the cost of a honeymoon.
As soon as you have a ring on your finger, it’s amazing how quickly all of the planning begins and, in conjunction, how quickly the wedding budget goes up. After all, it’s super easy to get caught up in all of the planning excitement – we don’t blame you! But if you’re planning to walk down the aisle in style while adhering to a budget, the process of wedding planning can at times be more stressful than joyful.
Don’t you worry! Although weddings can get super pricey, there are always ways, big and small, to save a few dollars. That’s why the experts at PAPER & LACE are sharing their smart bride’s guide to saving big on wedding costs! Here’s what you can do to keep your bridal budget in check:
Ways to Save on Wedding Ceremony & Reception
Choose a Smart Date
Deciding when during the week to get married could definitely help you save on your overall wedding costs. Typically, Saturday is the most expensive day of the week to get married. As a couple, you and your fiancé could definitely plan to save extra by planning your wedding date for a Friday or a Sunday (brunch reception, anyone?!). If you’d like to opt for going more nontraditional, during-the-week weddings usually go hand-in-hand with big money savings.
Set a Time
You can save big by having a reception earlier in the day as opposed to an evening one. Remember, just because it’s earlier in the day doesn’t mean it can’t be just as fun as an evening wedding!
You can also save big by planning a wedding away from a full meal time to cut on catering costs. Consider something like a 2 p.m. wedding with a champagne and cake reception following it!
Marry During the Off-Season
Venues and hotels usually lower their rates during the off-season (which is from November through April), so planning your wedding during this time could help you cut major costs.
Think about it – the offseason also gives you the opportunity to play up unique wedding details that wouldn’t be possible during warmer months. Think features like a hot chocolate bar complete with marshmallows and whipped cream! Yum!
Hold Your Ceremony & Reception at Same Venue
Holding your reception in the same location as your ceremony is an easy way to cut the cost of transportation and decorations. Then, you won’t have to deal with added travel costs. You can also save on multi-purpose decorations!
Ways to Save on Wedding Products & Services
Saving on Your Wedding Dress
Ask your bridal salon if they offer any discounts for paying the full price of your gown upfront. Designers and vendors will often offer discounts if you are able and opt to do so.
You may also want to consider buying a wedding dress off-the-rack. Of course, your wedding gown is arguably one of the most important outfits you’ll ever wear, but with dresses costing up to thousands of dollars, it can be frustrating trying to find the perfect style that’s within your budget! Buying off-the-rack is a great solution.
Before purchasing off-the-rack, be sure to check for stains, rips, or loose beadwork. Also, keep in mind that it’s much easier for seamstresses to let a dress in rather than letting it out, so don’t be afraid to purchase the next size up.
Be a DIY Bride
More brides are taking on bigger DIY projects to cut costs, especially when it comes to invitations and decorations. But going the handmade and personalized route doesn’t always cost less.
In order to determine whether a DIY project will actually save you money, we recommend researching the purchase price of that item and comparing it to the cost of supplies if you were to make it yourself. Plus, factor in the value of your time. Consider the skill level of the project and come up with a plan B if you find that it’s more difficult than you anticipated.
Buy Necessities in Bulk
If you don’t want to skimp on things that are important to you and your guests, such as alcohol or the dessert bar of your dream, you may be able to cut costs by buying food and other products in bulk. Discounts are usually given to larger purchases of candy, liquor, or craft materials.
Recycle Items from Former Brides
You can find anything from candles and table numbers to chair sashes and wedding dresses! Take a look for savings…
Use Fake Flowers (Yes, You Can!)
Ever considered ditching the real blooms for something craftier? Why not consider making your bouquets and bouts out of fabric flowers. Bonus: you can keep them forever and have ANY color or pattern you want!
You might also consider using artificial flowers for ceremony and reception decor. If you dream of lining your ceremony space with thousands of but know it would be crazy expensive to use real flowers… just get the faux version. They still look great! Hint: Afloral has beautiful, realistic-looking faux flowers!
Be Your Own DJ
Check to see whether or not your venue has a professional sound system built in. If it does, you can literally in a MacBook Pro, have friends help you to create a playlist that flowed, and dance the night away. Even if you do decide to serve as your own DJ, you can still arrange to have an MC present to keep things flowing.
Being a Budget-Friendly Bride
Don’t be afraid to fake it till you make it! There is a TON of ways to be a smart bride who spends smart when it comes to her wedding day. Use the ideas above as inspiration on being a budget-friendly bride (your wallet, and your future, married self will thank you!).