Weddings can be expensive. It’s a trend that’s gone on for a while now, and the forming at that tradition is a story in itself.
The short version is, grand, expensive event weddings used to be exclusive to upper class and aristocrats. Department stores such as Marshall Field’s saw an opportunity to present this event-experience to the middle class, and thus, the wedding market was born.
Today, the average American wedding costs around $25,000.
But the millennial generation has become more aware of/against debt (and with less parents are covering wedding expenses), many are eager to throw weddings they can actually afford.
How do you do that without compromising on your wedding experience? Is it even possible?
It can. To a degree, at least. Here is some guidance for having a wedding you can pay for upfront.
Set a Budget and a Way to Pay for It
First things first. You need to know what you can afford. That means you will need to create a budget cap and stick to it. Every decision you make from this point on should fit inside of that budget. Once you’ve decided on the budget, it’s time to go to work.
Find a Free Location (if Possible)
Venues are costly, ranging from $2000-$20,000+ in cost. Since a venue is one of the first things you decide on, it’s a great place to save some money. How? By choosing a place you can use for free.
Have parents or a family friend with a beautiful home and/or yard? Maybe you’re well connected with a farmer or a pastor of a church.
Try to network and use who you know without taking advantage of a person. At the very least, you can probably get a heavy discount. This will make it much easier to plan the rest of the wedding.
Don’t Ask for Traditional Gifts
Gift registries are a big deal. It’s like shopping for free. That said, if you and/or your spouse have lived independently somewhere, you probably have all the household items a person needs to live on.
So, instead of asking for a bunch of new stuff you might not actually need, why not try and put those wedding gifts to better use?
Honeymoon registries have become a thing in recent years. They’re a simple concept. Think of it as a cross between a wedding registry and a Kickstarter or Indie Go-Go campaign. You set up your honeymoon and the costs for it, and your wedding guests put money towards that instead of buying you something.
That’s another expense taken care of right there.
Rent, Don’t Buy
Wedding clothes are something you’re only going to wear once, and yet, renting is rarely considered an option for the bride’s side. We know, the wedding dress is a very big deal. But you can rent a beautiful dress and save some serious money.
Otherwise, try an off-the-rack or pre-owned dress. It’s not settling. It’s saving.
Don’t Hire a DJ
Wedding DJ’s can occasionally be a nice addition to a reception, but with today’s technology, they’re considerably less relevant. All you need is a Spotify or Tidal account, and you have access to all the music you could ever want. Rent some equipment (or borrow someone’s), and find a friend with good music taste and a fun personality.
It will save you a nice chunk of money.
Print items look great, but they can add up fast, and they’re not necessary. Instead, be as digital as possible. RSVPs can be handled online. You can even offer downloadable programs for the ceremony.
If you’re feeling particularly progressive, you can try for digital invites too. It may feel informal, and even a little risky, but it can save money.
Easy on the Ring
Some people spend more on a wedding ring than they do the car they’re driving. If you’re really serious about being frugal with your wedding, it actually starts with the ring. You can purchase attractive, unique wedding bands without putting yourself into debt.
Materials like titanium or tungsten are affordable alternatives that will stand the test of time.
Whatever you do, just make sure you talk about it as a couple first.
Be Fair to Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Too
As you’re trying to save money for yourself, make sure to treat your bridesmaids and groomsmen in a similar manner. Being in a wedding can be very expensive. Choose affordable rental options. For the groomsmen, you can always try and utilize an outfit they may already own.
It’s like we said before, wedding clothes are something you’re (probably) only going to wear once.
But What About the Food?
You may think another simple way to save on wedding costs would be to cut out the caterer and supply the reception or rehearsal food yourself. However, the small amount of money you [might] save doesn’t make up for the huge investment in time it takes.
Catering a wedding is not something the average couple is in a position to do. A lot of food needs to be made on a large scale. That food must then be stored, transported, prepped, and served. Even if you’re able to do that, unless you or your friends/family are professional chefs, the end result might not be very tasty.
Trust us, it’s a lot of work to successfully prepare food for a wedding. And since you have to buy all of the ingredients and materials for it, it doesn’t save near enough money to justify the added work.
Instead, use a caterer and focus your creative efforts elsewhere. You and your guests will be glad you did. For affordable catering in Dayton, Ohio and beyond, Rudy’s is here for you. Contact us today!