According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $35,329, as of last year (and that’s not including the honeymoon)! This is a couple thousand more than the year before, but that's not surprising, as we have watched wedding costs continue to increase. Having a wedding is an important step in a relationship for most couples, but the rising costs can create added tension and stress. So today, we have gathered smart ways to save money on your wedding without sacrificing on you and your fiancé's day.
Save On The Venue
-Find a venue that allows you to choose your own vendors. This could potentially be one of the biggest cost saving things you can do. This will give you the ability to pay more for the things that really matter to you and also let you pay less or skip completely on the things that won't be missed.
-Get married on a Friday or Sunday (heck even a week day). Choosing a wedding date that's any day other than Saturday can not only save you money, but also help ensure vendor availability, especially on a short timeline.
-Get married right at the end of 'Off Season.' Choosing a date during 'Off Season' can ensure that you still get a price break, but means you'll have nice weather!
-Choose a venue that can double for both ceremony + reception. Transporting your wedding party to and from sites can cost you a small fortune. These costs can be completely eliminated by having everything at at one location. Plus, it will save you some day of stress!
-Have your reception at a restaurant. If a separate site is necessary, a restaurant can actually save you money, since you'll only need to pay for the food and alcohol, instead of bringing in rentals (furniture, linens, and decor) at another venue.
Save On The Food + Drinks
-Print one menu per table. Do this instead of printing one per guest, reducing your print order dramatically! Not only is this economical, but it's environmentally friendly.
-Opt for beer + wine and skip the liquor. Or if you had your heart set on a signature cocktail, serve that exclusively during happy hour and then only offer beer and wine.
-Choose a buffet over plated dinners. Serving dinner is an expensive part of the wedding celebration, but having a buffet can save you thousands by eliminating the need for extra staff.
-Fake a wedding cake. You can have a bakery make you a decorative, fake cake with a real top layer or just use a small cake for cake cutting traditions and pictures. Then, serve a basic, more cost effective sheet cake.
Save On The Flowers
-Reuse flowers from the ceremony for the reception. This is especially practical if you have the same ceremony and venue location. Florals from the altar can be moved to your sweetheart table and bridesmaid bouquets used on the gift and escort table.
-Do your own flowers. Some things are better than others to diy, but this one would really save you some money. If you've got a green thumb and a little creativity, buy florals in bulk from the grocery store and create some dreamy bouquets.
-Go heavy on the greenery. It adds volume + texture without adding extra cost. You get more for your money than florals, and of course, it's so on trend!
-Concentrate your florals in the high traffic areas. Rather than a lot of small arrangements, try one or two statement pieces in high traffic areas that are sure to make an impression on guests. Think the the altar or maybe the dance floor.
-Nix boutonnieres in favor of pocket squares. Pocket squares usually come with a tux rental anyway, so eliminating this extra for an accessory that is already included is a great way to save money.
-Shop after holiday sales. The best deals are always after the holidays. Having your bridesmaids shop after New Years Eve would be the perfect time to find regular dresses at a discount in metallics. After prom season is also another great time to find regular dresses at a great price.
-Shop second hand. Websites like Craigslist and Ebay can be great resources for finding used wedding decor. Stores like Goodwill and local thrift stores can help you find unique, eclectic decor items. Try spray painting them all the same color for a cohesive look.
-Buy things instead of renting. Buying items out right give you the option of reselling them later. Just make sure the items you choose to buy will be easy to resell like tablecloths and decor items.
-Get a credit card with good points. This is pretty self explanatory, but in theory if you can find a card that has a good cash back percentage, you can save hundreds. That is as long as you can pay off the purchases as they come to not rack up interest.
Don't be afraid to ask
Lastly, don't be afraid to let people pitch in. When they offer to do a diy project with you or ask how they can help, let them! People love weddings and more importantly they love you! So make sure you include others in planning this special day, whether it's hunting for great deals or addressing labels. Having a wedding shouldn't break the bank and it shouldn't be done alone! For more ways to save on your wedding, see what these real brides had to say in Brides Magazine and Buzzfeed.