Planning a wedding is very exciting – however, it comes with a cost. With inflation continuing to rise, the average cost of a wedding in 2023 went up to $29,000, according to data from Zola. This cost can come off as unsettling to many engaged couples, especially if it’s all new to you both. There are however many ways you can try to chop that price point down to something more affordable that won’t become a financial burden. Here are a few ways you can have a memorable wedding while on a budget.
Set a Realistic Budget with your Fiancé(e)
When you begin to talk about wedding planning with your partner, one of the first steps you should take is discussing the budget. You both should be honest and realistic as to how much you’re planning on spending without breaking the bank. Be sure to check with both parties’ parents to see if they’re contributing to the wedding budget as well, and how much money they will provide.
After assessing a budget, determine what type of wedding you two would want that can work with that budget. When discussing the type of wedding you want to plan, try to break down the different aspects of the wedding into categories (venue, catering, alcohol, flowers, wedding party attire, etc.). When looking at the budget, devote a certain percentage to each category to give you a general understanding of where to allocate the funds and give you a clear idea of what things you’re willing to splurge on and where you can cut costs. Don’t forget to also leave extra space in your budget for unforeseen hidden costs and emergencies.
If you’re both unsure of how to create a wedding budget, try using an online wedding calculator, like this one from The Knot, to help give you an idea of how much you may spend. If it is possible and, in your budget, hire a wedding planner to help ease the stress you could come across. Wedding planners not only help with planning the wedding, but also helps you and your partner stay within your set price point. They can help you stay on track of how much you are spending, source wedding vendors, and overall help with coordinating your big day and making sure things go as planned.
5 Tips to Keep the Costs Down
If you and your partner are still thinking of ways to cut the costs down and save as much as you can, consider looking into these options.
Trim the Guest List
Aside from discussing the overall costs of the wedding, you will also have to create a guest list with your partner. One thing that you must remember is that the number of guests you have can also become costly (more tables/chairs, food and drink, invitations, etc.). If you’re struggling to decide who to keep, add, or remove from the guest list, look into sticking with guests who you speak to regularly, making the wedding adults only, or eliminating the plus-one pass. Another thing you could opt-into doing is having the wedding livestreamed, whether you use a professional videographer or a tech savvy guest in the room, utilize Zoom or Google Meet to send to people you may have had to cut out the guest list, or for those relatives and friends that live out of town.
Have an Off-Season Wedding
If you’re looking for ways to possibly receive a discount on your wedding, consider getting married during the off-season, which is anytime between December and March. During this time, some venues may run special rates since weddings during this time aren’t super common. So, if the weather isn’t a dealbreaker, consider having a cozy snowfall winter wedding.
DIY When Possible
If you and your partner don’t mind getting creative, try to DIY when you can. Creating your own centerpieces, invitations, seating charts, and arranging flower bouquets are a few projects to tackle that’ll help keep the costs low. There are many different DIY projects that are worth looking into, and if you need help, call onto your bridal party and groomsmen! Create a fun night of creating things together as a group or make it a date night deal with your partner. If you need ideas, look on Pinterest or take a look at this article from Brides for inspiration.
Hold Off the Honeymoon
The average cost of a honeymoon in 2023 is $4,500 if you’re planning on traveling abroad. If you’re already sticking to a tight wedding budget, give yourself time to financially recover afterwards and think about pushing your honeymoon back, rather than going on it right after your wedding. You could also choose to do a less expensive option, like a mini moon or staycation. Look into all-inclusive resorts in your state or somewhere with decent flight prices where you and your partner can focus on each other and relax. Also consider going on your honeymoon during the winter months where prices may be cheaper but be sure to check how winter is at that destination, you’re planning on going to.
Look into Your Network
Another idea you could look into is using your network. Ask around your close family and friends and see if there is anyone with special skills who could help. You may have a relative who knows a local DJ or band, or you have a friend who is handy with a camera and could tackle taking wedding photographs, or there’s a chef/baker in your family that could prep food or make the wedding cake. Look to see if there is anyone in you or your partner’s circle that could lend a hand, and you could possibly get a discount or exchange goods for services.
Planning a wedding can be stressful, but if you keep some of these tips in mind, worrying about your overall budget won’t be an issue on your big day.