Congratulations! You’ve found your happily after and are taking the next step with your partner. A wedding is just for a day, but marriage is a big commitment. However, that special day can end up costing more than an arm and a leg. And if you don’t have endless amounts of cash to spend on your big day, you can get yourself into financial trouble if you aren’t careful. But, contrary to popular belief, it is totally possible to make your wedding fabulous without breaking the bank! Weddings don’t have to be as outrageously expensive as popular culture leads you to believe. You can absolutely have a magical and spectacular day without spending tons of money.
Tips for a Fabulous Affordable Wedding
Here are just a few tips on how you could have an affordable wedding.
1. Set an Off-Peak Date
Different wedding dates can make varying impacts on your overall cost. This is especially true when it comes to venues. It’s always worth picking an off-season month in which weddings aren’t often held like January or February to save yourself money.
2. Get Unconventional with the Venue
Speaking of venues, this will likely be one of the higher costs of the wedding. The more conventional options tend to come with a higher price tag. If you can think outside of the box and choose a different venue, like a restaurant, brewery, your backyard, or a friend’s backyard, you could save a pretty penny.
3. Go Paperless for the Invites
Consider sticking to electronic invitations instead of forking over cash for fancy paper, envelopes, printing, and postage. This will also make it easier for you to track the RSVPs because, over email, you can link people directly to your wedding website.
4. Bridal Consignment or Sample Gowns
There are amazing consignment shops and websites dedicated to selling gorgeous once-worn or never-worn bridal gowns. Websites like Stillwhite, Nearly Newlywed, and Wore It Once are great options to look into. Also, you can find some amazing discounts by buying your wedding dress off the rack instead of having one custom made. Bridal stores usually carry sizes 6 to 12 in-store.
5. Price Out Your Meal and Drink Options
Take a look at all the options available to you when it comes to food and drink so that you can figure out which one fits your budget best. Instead of plated dinners, look into buffet or family-style options. When it comes to drinks, instead of having a full open bar, you can look into limiting the menu to beer and wine or having only one signature cocktail.
6. Rethink Dessert Traditions
If you do get a wedding cake, keep it short tiered. The more tiers you have only make the cake more expensive and harder to cut. You can have a cake to cut that doesn’t actually feed all the people in attendance. Also, who says you have to serve cake as the dessert? Instead, you could choose to serve a favorite dessert of yours, like cookies or ice cream!
7. Keep the Guest List Small
Keeping your guest list more intimate is probably the single biggest thing you can do to keep your costs low. If you can cut down your invites, you could save thousands on food and drink. Another way to keep the guest list small is to limit the plus ones you allow for all your guests. You don’t want to pay big chunks of cash to host people you don’t even know.
8. Have a Photography Strategy
Instead of hiring a photographer to take pictures of the entire ceremony and reception, have a professional take pictures of the wedding party before the wedding and then have your friends take pictures throughout the event itself. You can make this particularly fun by including a call to action in your invitations. Tell your friends and family to use their amazing camera phones to capture as many fabulous pictures as they can and upload the images to a shared album online. Modern technology and camera quality on iPhones will make those gorgeous pictures nearly as good as a professional photographer.
9. Be Your Own DJ
You don’t need to hire a band or pay a DJ hundreds of dollars to do something you can do yourself. To ensure your guests are dancing all night, all you need are good speakers and a great playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.
10. Wedding Help instead of Wedding Gifts
If you have talented or hard-working friends, then ask for wedding help as their gift to you. They could be the DJ, the photographer, or the wedding cake maker. Your friends and family could instead gift their time and talents!
Thinking about Borrowing for Your Wedding?
If you simply don’t have enough money to make the fabulous wedding you want to happen, then you may be considering borrowing some money for the big event. This is a reasonable decision to make since it is such an important day in your life, but you do need to be very careful moving forward so that you don’t have to deal with any bad financial consequences.
Friends and Family
Your friends and family likely want to help you make your dream wedding a reality. If they are willing to help by lending you money or even contributing to your wedding fund, then that is great. However, it is important to be mindful of how loans affect your personal relationships. Finances can add a new dynamic that can also cause tension.
Loans and Credit
Conversely, you may be considering using some form of credit to gain a little extra cash to cover your wedding costs. Some options to consider include a personal loan, credit cards, an auto title loan, or a home equity loan. If one of these options seems favorable, then make sure you understand the interest rates you agree to obtain the best deal possible.
Your fabulous wedding is within reach! You can bring your dream wedding day to reality without becoming broke in the process. So, get to work planning one of the best days of your life!