Save Big on Your Wedding with These 6 Tips

Your wedding will be one of the most important days of your life, but planning the big day can be a budget-straining experience. These tips will help you and your partner achieve the ceremony and reception of your dreams — while maintaining your financial peace of mind.

Set a budget

Before you start looking for ways to save on your wedding, it’s important to know how much you’ll be able to spend in the first place. Brian Martucci of Money Crashers recommends starting with a budget. Once you and your partner have decided how much you can afford to spend, listed all expenses and estimated the costs, you’ll be in a strong position to save. The budgeting process is also an excellent opportunity to identify your highest wedding priorities. Instead of overspending or scrimping on everything, splurge on what’s really important to you and spend less on what’s not.

Pick a less-popular month and day

Setting a less-popular wedding date can save you quite a bit of money up front. According to The Knot, a late-winter or early-spring ceremony is likely to be quite a bit cheaper, as venue demand for these times is much lower compared to the peak months of May through October. For the same reason, you can also save money by having your wedding on any day that’s not Saturday.

Prune your guest list and bridal party

The bigger your guest list, the more you’ll end up spending on invitations, catering and the venue. Have a discussion with your partner about celebrating with a smaller number of attendees. Not only will you spend less money, but you’ll also have more time to spend with your guests. You can also save money by selecting a smaller bridal party — reducing the amount you’ll spend on everything from flowers and gifts to hair and makeup.

Get imaginative about your venue

Venue rental is likely to take up a huge portion of your wedding budget, but Martucci notes that you can reduce that amount with a bit of imagination. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, consider holding it on a friend’s property or renting a public park. If you’re getting hitched indoors, venues like libraries, museums and rec centers can be quite a bit cheaper than more traditional options. To save even more, look for a venue that can double as your reception location and doesn’t require you to work with a specific caterer.

Find cheaper meal, drink and cake alternatives

Costs for the wedding cake and for your reception refreshments can get out of hand fast, so it’s wise to consider less-costly possibilities. Instead of one huge, fancy cake, The Knot suggests ordering a smaller tiered cake for you and your partner’s cutting ceremony and a big sheet cake for everyone else.  For food, consider providing self-serve appetizers, a buffet or a taco bar instead of plated meals. Per Martucci, to save on drinks, see if you can buy a few kegs of beer or boxes of wine yourself instead of relying on a caterer.

Dress for less

It’s possible to buy a beautiful wedding dress without busting your budget. Writing for Brides, Anna Price Olson recommends several ways to save. For starters, order your dress at least eight to nine months ahead of time to avoid rush fees and late alterations. You can also keep an eye on social media for discounts, shop at designer trunk shows or buy a heavily discounted dress at a sample sale.

From dates and venues to dresses and cakes, a bit of imaginative budgeting can help your wedding dollars stretch further while still giving you the day you’ve always wanted.

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