There’s nothing like it, planning your wedding. You and your soulmate have found each other, and now you’re planning your big day where you’re going to start your life together with your family and your friends. It’s an exciting time, and you can’t wait for it.
But that doesn’t mean that you’re carefree. The fact is, one of your biggest worries is the cost of your wedding. Even with the money you’ve saved up, everything you have to pay for is overwhelming. Not to mention the fact that you’ve also got to pay for your honeymoon, and maybe even a house or apartment to move into together after you get hitched.
Luckily, there are some great ways you can save money on your wedding. So if you want to learn about the best ways to save money, without having to sacrifice that perfect wedding dress or a classy venue, read on.
1 Set a budget
The first thing you’ll have to do before you start deciding what to save money on is create a budget with your partner. Sit down, take a look at your finances, and decide whether either of you needs to ask your parents for money. (It’s not a pleasant thing to ask, we know, but considering that it’s traditional for parents to help out, it’s something to consider.) Then, you need to decide what’s most important to you at your wedding. Is it the wedding dress? The venue? Considering that the average cost of a wedding was over $35,000 in 2016, you need to ask yourselves these questions.
According to The Knot, “As soon as you’re engaged, start putting aside as much of your income as you can for the wedding. Saving 20 percent of your monthly income is a good—though lofty—goal.” Completing this calculation will give you an idea of what you can afford, and you can decide how much you want to spend on each aspect.
2 Save on the dress
Did you know that, in 2017, the average bride was looking to spend almost $1,000 on her wedding dress? That’s a pretty hefty cost, and considering that it’s the average, that means that many bridal boutiques are going to be selling their dresses for even more. If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest to find beautiful dresses, we’re not surprised that you’ve experienced sticker shock the second you’ve found them for sale on a website.
But there are strategies you can use to save on your wedding dress. These include buying a used dress from one of these retailers or buying from an ecommerce site like Azazie, where the experience is still personal, but you can save way more than traditional boutiques. Also, don’t forget to visit brick-and-mortar stores, then look up the perfect dress on your phone to see if it’s available cheaper on their online sites.
3 Be creative about your venue
According to Money Crashers, there are lots of great ways to save money on your party venue, all depending on where you’re based. If you’re from a town, prices are going to be automatically lower, which means you can use a country club or public events space; if you’re from a city, smart places to look are local restaurants and a museum or gallery space. Be creative about where you could host your wedding, and chat with already-married friends to ask them where they looked.
Don’t forget to include in your calculations the catering services. A country club or restaurant, for example, will expect you to use their dining services, which could end up being more expensive than expected. But a more flexible space might even allow you to bring food you’ve cooked at home or ask for a small amount of money for an open bar, which means more savings for you.
96 percent of couples getting married admitted that wedding planning is stressful, so if you need to delegate this research, consider hiring a wedding planner or asking your maid of honor to help out.
4 Hire friends
Finally, you can get a lot out of hiring friends. Do you have a friend who’s a musician? Ask him if you can get a discount on his services. Or if you have a friend who’s breaking into the wedding industry, ask if you can use her services for free in return for a rave review on her new website. Whatever you do, remember that this is the way your friends make their living, so phrase it in such a way that you know they’re doing a favor to you. (And not the other way around.)
By following these tips, you’ll save on your big day. How else do you think you’ll save money on your wedding?