According to the Wedding Report, the cost of an average wedding in the U.S. has dropped from $29,000 to about $25,000 – that’s almost by a third, and a big part of it is obviously a harsher economic environment which is forcing couples to cut down expenses.
Still, many couples find ways to endure – with smart planning it is possible to save significantly while still maintaining a high level event that will leave everybody with a lifetime of memories. And it doesn’t have to come in the price of quality – sometimes simply doing a little extra research and making compromises in the right places can give you almost identical results with a smaller budget.
So here are some of the most important things that anyone planning a wedding should consider in order to Save Money On Your Wedding:
Keep the Guest List in Check
One of the biggest direct correlations with the cost of a wedding is the length of its guest list – each person adds to venue, food, drink and other expenses, so a difference of even a couple dozen of guests can really amount to an impressive sum of cash.
When picking who you should invite, there are a few simple rules that can make the process easier – all the friends should be known by both to-be-weds, and any co-workers should be friends outside of work to be invited.
If you really want to reduce the total expenses, here’s a list of more tips:
- Don’t invite children – they usually don’t have much interest in the wedding and also might need additional costs for entertainment or activities to remain occupied;
- Only invite couples that are either married or are well on their way in the relationship;
- Don’t invite everybody from the reception to the wedding party – the older family members will probably not want to go anyway.
Choice of Venue is Essential
Now it might seem obvious, but it has to be reiterated that finding the right venue is not enough – the price has to be right as well. There are many incredibly beautiful venues available in all parts of the country, but most of them usually go for prices that are very inflated because, well, great venues tend to be popular.
Still, that doesn’t mean that you should settle for a second-tier venue or shell out most of your wedding budget on a prime one – even the best and most luxurious venues can sometimes be attained for a much lower price than usual. After you narrow your list to a few venues you like the most, constantly check to see if there aren’t any last-minute cancelations – sometimes the owners might be willing to settle for less to fill an empty spot. Also, having the wedding on a weekday can increase your chances of getting a significant discount.
And if you want to really save a bundle on the venue and still have a special atmosphere, there’s always the option to create your own venue – it’s becoming increasingly popular to find a special spot in nature or even in a park and simply put together a nice cozy ceremony. It might be more budget-friendly, but that does not mean it will be any less special than a fancy venue.
Drinks Shouldn’t Be the Focus
For many people it might be difficult to imagine a wedding without booze, but even though it’s understandable for people to want to have a drink in a wedding, that does not mean that you have to provide a bespoke bar for everyone that can leave you spending tremendous amounts of money on alcohol, while you should be saving for a special honeymoon.
Instead, why not serve only beer and wine, which work for most people and will not break your bank. You can even buy the booze at wholesale prices and, if the local laws permit, hire someone to pour them to the guests. And if you want something a little more special, you can provide a signature cocktail or two for the event – it will add a personal touch to the event without excessive costs.
Jeremy is a content strategist at A List Guide, a part of Intermedia Group, one of the most comprehensive & targeted B2B publishing network in Australia. A List Guide is a stylish and comprehensive online and print directory listing the best venues, event suppliers and team-building activities in each state and territory of Australia.