Getting married is an incredibly exciting time for yourself and your soon-to-be spouse. Not only does it mark a new chapter in your lives, but you get to celebrate your love with your closest friends and family. However, it can also be incredibly stressful, especially regarding your finances.
This is due to the fact that weddings are expensive, with the average cost of a wedding in the US being $28,000. This is a daunting figure for many, especially if you are in the process of saving for your first home or planning an unforgettable honeymoon.
However, despite rumors saying otherwise, you don’t have to break the bank to say ‘I Do.’ Nor do you have to sacrifice your fairytale moment in order to save a few bucks. Here are some top tips that you can use to plan a magical wedding on an even more magical budget!
- Use a wedding planning checklist. The first step towards planning a successful wedding is creating a wedding planning checklist. This will help you to organize your time (and your budget) accordingly, as you’ll have a clear idea in mind of what work needs to be done and when. When compiling your checklist, you should also figure out how much of your budget you can dedicate to each task. By putting together a checklist, you’re also giving yourself more time to save up, as it’s advisable to start planning at least 12 months before the big day. Bright can also help, finding faster, smarter ways to save and set aside for your wedding and other personal goals.
- Hold yourself accountable for your budget. Once you’ve figured out your wedding budget, you must ensure you stick to it. While this may sound easy in theory, nearly 50% of couples go over their budget, meaning that you must practice discipline to protect your bank account. For example, if you overspend in one area, try to figure out a way you can cut back in another.
- Get married on a weekday. Many people choose to get married on the weekend, due to the fact it’s easier for guests to make it this way. However, this also means that venues can be more expensive to hire on these days, as everyone is vying for the same date. As a result, you should do some research to figure out whether or not your dream venue is cheaper if you get married on a weekday instead. Additionally, marrying outside of ‘peak wedding season’ (June- September) can also save you a great deal of money for the same reason.
- Research to find the best price for a caterer. On average, couples spend 12% of their budget on the caterer, which makes up for a significant amount of money. As a result, it’s essential that you do plenty of research ahead of time so that you are able to find the right caterer for your big day. For example, your chosen venue may suggest a caterer to you that they have a partnership with, who may be much more expensive than finding someone yourself.
- Decorate the venue yourself. Adding decor to your venue is a great way to heighten the romantic atmosphere and create an even more stunning backdrop for your photographs. However, it doesn’t need to be expensive – in fact, this is one of the easiest parts of your wedding to DIY. For example, instead of hiring someone to decorate the venue on your behalf, you could create a stunning wedding venue with flowers, candles, or fairy lights. Remember, small touches make a big difference on your wedding day, meaning that simplistic decor is often more effective than something expensive and OTT.
- Let yourself splash out on some purchases. While you may be keen to save as much money as possible, don’t forget that it’s okay to splash out a little on your big day. After all, this is an incredibly special moment for you and your partner, one which you will look back on for years to come. As a result, you should allow yourself to make some extravagant purchases – whether that be your wedding ring or dress.
- Put together a playlist instead of hiring a DJ. The right music can make or break your wedding reception, which means that many couples choose to hand this task over to a DJ. However, if you want to save money, why not put your guests in charge of the playlist? For example, you could include a small note in your invitations that requests each guest to write down two or three of their favorite songs. You can then compile this into one extensive playlist, as opposed to hiring a DJ. This way, everyone will hear a few songs they enjoy, making it easy to get everyone up on the dance floor. Alternatively, if you have any musicians in your friends or family, you could ask them to play as part of your wedding gift.
- Send out digital invites. Whether you are inviting just a handful of guests or hundreds, wedding invites (or RSVPs) are often much more expensive than you can imagine. However, this does not have to be the case – especially if you send out digital invites or even a Facebook group. As we spend more of our time than ever before, digital invites are perhaps the most effective, as guests can automatically set a reminder for the event in their calendar. Alternatively, you could embrace your creative side and make the invites yourself!
- Hire a photography student. Photographers and videographers are another significant expense when planning a wedding, but they are also a great way to document your special day. After all, they ensure you can look back on every magical moment for years to come. However, you can save money on this aspect by hiring photography students or up-and-coming photographers to snap away on your big day. This is because they often offer lower prices due to the fact that they are still learning. Hiring a newer photographer can be mutually beneficial as they get to sharpen their skills while you get some great photos at a budget-friendly price.