The average wedding can cost as much as a well-equipped SUV. While many couples decide on a budget that fits their income, they find that the wedding they have in mind is going to cost far more than they imagined. So, how can anyone be expected to find a perfect balance between their dream wedding and the financial constraints of real life?
If you already have an idea of how much you can afford, great! If not, then this list should help you pick a ballpark number. Here’s how to throw the ideal wedding without breaking the bank.
Pre-Work: Clean Slate
Before deciding to get married, make sure any existing debt is wiped clean. While this isn’t always a possibility with car payments and student loans, paying off the debts you can is essential if you don’t want to end up with more than you can handle. Websites like www.debtacademy.com can make this a near effortless task.
Step 1: Location Matters
A wedding is far less about location. That doesn’t mean that a budget version of your special day shouldn’t come with a unique and beautiful venue, however. The trick is to have a good friend that either owes you a favor, or you can owe a solid.
If you happen to know someone with an impressive backyard you can borrow, or even a business owner who wouldn’t mind lending you the building on a day off, then your venue costs are instantly eliminated. If not, do you have a particular skill that could be bartered for a cheaper venue price, like marketing?
Skip the high price tag venues and look around at your connections. You’re bound to find a great location at actually affordable cost.
Step 2: The Dress
Unless you have a movie star salary, you’re going to have to skip the designer wedding dresses. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t find something equally as beautiful elsewhere. Whether you choose to shop at a boutique, rent, or borrow one from a recently married friend, you’ll save hundreds on quality dresses like the ones seen here.
Step 3: The Honeymoon
In this day and age, very few of us are going to be living with our significant others for the first time after the wedding. That means you probably have all of the usual home appliance and housewarming gifts. Instead of doubling those appliances, why not let your guests pay for your honeymoon?
Use a crowdfunding site that allows guests to use the money they would have spent on a gift as a donation towards your romantic getaway. Your family and friends already know you don’t need a blender, so everyone should be on board with the idea.
Step 4: Bundle
When it comes to event coordinators, ministers, consultants and planners, use a company that bundles these services together. It’s ten times cheaper than paying individual high priced fees, freeing up your budget for other things like an open bar.
Step 5: Stay Thrifty
Food, photography, music and décor all add up to a hefty bill. Your goal here should be to shop around if you plan on staying within your budget. Don’t be afraid to call DJ one for a quote, call DJ two for another quote, then call DJ one back to see if they’ll beat the second DJ’s pricing.
Alternatively, you could put your DIY skills to good use and decorate the venue yourself, or even make a playlist to rival any DJ. The choice is yours, but always shop around for the best price available.
What tips would you add to this list?