The average wedding price has hit north of the $29,000 mark, but you can still create the wedding of your dreams without busting the bank. Here are a few tips for creating your perfect wedding while ensuring that your marriage starts off on a solid financial footing.
Set a budget, – decide what’s important and what’s not.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of wedding planning and loose track of how much you’re actually spending. Your wedding is but a fraction of your larger financial picture. Setting a budget ensures that your wedding expenses don’t destroy the rest of your finances.
In the process, you’ll be forced to prioritize and identify what is most important to you as a couple. You may, for instance, chose to cut corners on wedding favors and invitations while allocating your precious dollars to securing a top-notch wedding photographer.
Think outside the box.
June weddings may be classic, but you can save serious money by holding your nuptials during off-peak months between November and March. If a summer wedding has always been your dream, consider a Friday or Sunday wedding date in order to take a serious bite out of your wedding costs. Thinking outside the box can pay off big when picking a reception venue as well. Non-traditional locations such as a lake, vineyard, public park, alumni college location, or family member’s backyard can shave thousands off your wedding bills.
Purchase the ring online.
While most men purchase engagement rings from traditional retailers, real savings can be found online. The biggest and most trusted player in the online diamond game is Blue Nile. Blue Nile offers a wide selection of GIA certified diamonds and wedding jewelry. The biggest advantage is that their prices run as much as 35% cheaper than traditional retailers.
But, for those who still prefer a more traditional approach, it pays to do the research. How to Buy a Diamond: Insider Secrets for Getting Your Money’s Worth by Fred Cuellar and the Diamond Ring Buying Guide by Renee Newman are two books which can save you money and prevent you from being taken for a ride when approaching your local jeweler.
Get the wedding dress for less.
For most women, a wedding dress will be worn once and never again. While sentiment may influence some women to purchase an expensive wedding dress, practicality drives others to find ways to slash the cost of the dress. Services like The Frock Shop allow women to rent their wedding dress for the special day. In the same vein, websites such as PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com allow ladies to purchase gently used wedding dresses.
If renting or purchasing slightly used dresses is not your style, consider purchasing a white bridesmaid’s dress or formal dress and having it altered into a wedding gown. Alternatively, an experienced seamstress can often create a traditional wedding gown at a much lower price than traditional retailers. Finally, don’t forget that many mainstream retailers like Target, J Crew, and Ann Taylor now feature bridal selections at reasonable prices.
Cut your food and alcohol costs.
Food service at your wedding doesn’t have to be formal. As long as the food tastes good your guests are guaranteed to leave happy. Spend your time, for example, finding a local caterer renowned for their food, and feature a buffet style reception. Know of a local chicken joint that serves off the chain food? Ask them if they’ll deliver for your special day.
And remember, it’s not your job to guarantee that your guests leave with a buzz. Instead of an open bar, consider providing just a few alcoholic selections – champagne for the toast and a keg of beer – and allow your guests to purchase alternatives from a cash bar. You may also consider having an open bar for a limited number of hours. The money you save on alcohol could go a long way to starting your marriage on the right financial footing.
BMWK, what are some of the ways you saved money on your wedding day?