When planning your upcoming wedding, deciding where to splurge and where to save can feel like the most stressful aspect of all. According to the Knot 2019 Real Wedding Study (pre-pandemic), an average of $28,000 is spent on the ceremony and reception alone, while another $5,000 is spent on the honeymoon. So, don’t let saying “I do” put you in debt. Read our wedding budgeting tips to reduce stress and save money on the big day.
Plan an Off-Season Wedding
Turning your wedding day into a winter wonderland not only looks beautiful, but it could end up saving you big bucks. The more popular months for weddings like May through October often get booked much faster because they’re in higher demand, so many venues end up charging a premium price for the most desirable dates. However, opting to hold your wedding during the off-season winter months saves you money due to avoiding higher upcharges and premiums.
Choose a Wedding Venue with Natural Beauty
Deciding on a wedding venue that doesn’t require extravagant decorating and loads of costly add-on elements and rentals will save you a pretty decent fortune in the long run. An outdoor location with gorgeous views allows nature’s beauty to do all the work for you at a pretty fair price. Look into local venues such as vineyards, beaches, country clubs, and our very own Niagara Falls, or opt for something less traditional like a stunning library setting or a backyard ceremony at sunset.
Save a tree and a dollar by signing up for free or low monthly cost websites that allow you to send out just as beautiful and totally customized wedding invitations electronically. If you don’t want to design from scratch, sites like Etsy provide user-friendly downloadable templates, usually, for around $10 or under that you can upload and make all your own. However, if you have your heart set on tangible wedding invitations, you can still save a good amount of money on printing by taking them to your local FedEx or staples instead of a traditional wedding printer.
DIY the Decor
Don’t let the idea of “doing it yourself” scare you off, simple classic touches like centerpieces and accent decor are often pretty easy and not nearly as time-consuming as you may think to put together. Check out apps like Pinterest or read up on wedding blogs from former DIY brides to gather inspiration and instructions. Explore your network of family and friends and call in some favors — whether that’s having your aunt with a keen eye for detail drape the ceremony chairs or a sweets-loving friend whip up a batch of reception cupcakes. Another tip is to search reseller sites or Facebook Marketplace for previously used wedding decor sold at a lower price. Odds are, these items were only used for one day and are still in excellent condition, then turn around and sell your own decor to make some of the money back.
Close Your Open Bar (Just a Little)
Instead of fully stocking your open bar with costly liquors, mixers, beers, and wines, consider sticking to just wine and beer as they’re often cheaper but equally enjoyed by guests. According to an internal study in 2020 by The Knot, an average of $2,300 is spent on bars and liquor. However, according to an article from mywalletjoy, a couple offering just beer and wine at their wedding spent only $1,086, saving over $1,000. If you love the idea of still serving liquor, offer guests a signature cocktail they can enjoy for a portion of the wedding.
Consider Shortening Up the Guest List
Food and liquor often come with a price per head and usually adds up to the most expensive portion of your wedding. Therefore, the fewer heads to count, the more money you save in dining dollars. A smaller guest list also cuts down costs on other details such as the amount of decor needed, venue size, favors, and rentals.
Spend in Season
Depending on dietary needs for your guests, consider simplifying your menu by staying in season and picking regional delicacies at a lower price than outsourcing. Along with food options, many florals are more readily available during certain times of the year, as their seasonality can affect your spending, so make sure to choose budget-friendly blooms.
Earn Reward Points with a Credit Card
If you’re confident you can responsibly pay off the balance each month, signing up for a rewards credit card could turn out incredibly beneficial in the long run. Put your wedding expenses on your card and earn points to use afterward toward your honeymoon! See about signing up for a Visa credit card with Greater Niagara Federal Credit Union.