Did you know that the average price for a wedding in 2016 came in at over $35,000? It’s true, according to The Knot, which polled 13,000 brides to get that number. While that might be the average, for some, it’s just not possible to spend that much on a wedding, no matter how much they may desire it. If you’re reading this post, then chances are you’re in that category. That’s where some shoestring wedding tips can come in handy. Fortunately for you, we have a few, seven to be exact. If you’re interested in saving some serious cash on your nuptials, here’s how you do it.
1. Save on the Location
Your wedding venue can cost you big bucks, but there is a way around that, according to The Huffington Post: Choose a free location. And just how do you do that? You get creative. Think about friends or family who may have a stunning backyard and ask them if you can borrow it for your wedding. Or maybe you’re extra good at graphic design and you can pull off a trade: You design a menu and some flyers for a local restaurant in exchange for being allowed to hold your wedding and reception in the banquet room.
2. Save on the Extras
According to She Knows a lot of the dreams of the perfect wedding come from brides looking at one too many impossibly expensive photoshoots. This results in brides thinking that they need personalized napkins, special signs, party favors that no one has interest in nor can use, etc. In fact, as much as two-thirds of the party favors wind up staying on the tables after the wedding is over. Avoid these purchases and save your money.
3. Inexpensive Lighting and Decorating Ideas
Wedding Forward suggests that brides and grooms use candles to light their wedding. You can purchase pretty candles inexpensively at the local dollar store and dress them up to create elegant displays. Try placing candles and a bit of sand or small pebbles in glass jars to create lanterns for the wedding venue. Also create displays for the tables and even ones for the bathrooms using these inexpensive lights. For added beauty, look at your dollar store’s silk flower selection as well. If it has some of the flowers you’ll feature in your wedding, use those to decorate around the base of the candles. In fact, if you play your cards right, you can get many of your flowers at the dollar store. Some brides will combine silk and fresh arrangements in their weddings. For example, the bridal bouquet might be made of real flowers, but the flowers on the tables and around the wedding venue might be made of silk. Finally, if you are holding your wedding at an outdoor venue that has beautiful landscaping, plan your wedding decor and floral arrangements around that. This type of setting provides you with a lot of “free” decorative elements. Take advantage of them.
4. Get Help Paying for Your Honeymoon
If you haven’t tried Honeymoon Wishes registry, you’re missing out! It works just like a gift registry for brides and grooms, except it allows you to put your honeymoon wishes in a registry. The site carries honeymoon registries for destinations like Mexico, the South Pacific, and Africa. Or if you prefer, get your friends and family to pay for that special cruise somewhere. Additionally, you can stack your honeymoon savings by cashing in some of your travel credit card benefits. Some offer airline tickets. Others offer vouchers for hotels and resorts. Still others give you cash back. Don’t overlook this freebie. The airline miles alone could save you hundreds of dollars when it comes time to pay for your honeymoon travel arrangements.
5. Save on Food and Drink
The Nest reports that less than half of weddings feature a sit-down dinner. This type of meal can be a big expense and often, it really isn’t necessary. Guests would rather spend the time mingling or dancing. To reduce your food budget, think about having a wine and cheese event, do desserts only, or have a barbecue. Finger foods are also an option, and if you know someone who is particularly good at couponing, try to get cold cuts, crackers, and dips at a reduced price and assemble the food trays yourself. As for drinks, think about doing away with the bar – alcohol is a big expense – and opt for an afternoon wedding, where non-alcoholic drinks will be served. Planning an event like an afternoon tea allows you to serve finger foods and a variety of teas and coffees. You can also make up pitchers of lemonade and iced tea ahead of time and serve that instead of soda and other beverages.
6. Pick an “Off” Day for the Wedding
Saturday is the big day for most weddings, which means that if you get married on that day, you’ll probably pay more. Instead, have your wedding on a weeknight or a Sunday afternoon to save a bit of cash. As a side note, the Sunday afternoon wedding is a particularly good day to hold the afternoon tea wedding if that strikes your fancy.
7. Thin Out Your Guest List
Each additional person you add to your guest list adds to your wedding expenses. Having fewer people show up means you need less food, fewer decorations, and fewer tables, which cuts down your expenses.