Falling in love — and then making it official — isn’t cheap. Case in point: In 2018, the national average cost of a wedding was more than $33,000.
Take a breath, though, because it’s not impossible to plan a dream wedding that falls below a steep $30,000-plus price tag. With the following unique cost-effective ideas, you can start to plan a wedding that’s perfect for you — and your finances.
Make It About You Two
Not only is it expensive to be a bridesmaid or groomsman — it’s just as costly to have bridesmaids and groomsmen as part of your special day. If a wedding party seems non-negotiable, though, consider calculating all wedding party purchases, which includes everything from thank you gifts and setting up a head table to bouquets and boutonnieres. You’ll also be doing a favor to your friends and family who would be obligated to pay for a dress or tux, accessories, shoes and hair/makeup.
From Trendy Tool to Necessity
Ask any guest and they’ll tell you having a dedicated wedding website, which are often free to create and where they can easily access vital wedding-related information, is essential for planning purposes.
In fact, these websites are perfect for sharing your love story and engagement photos. Not only that, but they also serve as an informative platform where guests can conveniently find times, addresses, travel plans, dress code, registries, local restaurants/activities for out-of-towners and other details in one virtual location.
Rather Than a Wedding Cake
Donut walls. Cupcakes. Ice cream sundae bars. Mini cheesecakes and cake pops. Adorning the dessert table with these typically less-expensive sweets in lieu of a wedding cake isn’t uncommon these days. Martha Stewart Weddings offers even more unique wedding cake alternatives that are friendly to the wallet and sweet to the palate: waffle or pancake “cake” with berries and whipped cream (flavored syrups on the side), cookie or macaroon towers, churro stack or even a homemade pie potluck.
The Simplicity Theme
To stay within the wedding budget, trim down the list by looking out for “why bothers.” Extras quickly add up, so ask yourself, “Is this necessary?” “Will this make the party that much better for our guests?” Wedding reception non-essentials could be a:
- Photo booth
- Patio furniture or games
- A late-night dessert or snack food truck
- Dance floor special effects
- Getaway car
Oftentimes, guests won’t even notice the presence or absence of certain wedding “must-haves,” so ditch the pressure to have it all.
Think Long Term
It’s easy to swipe now or write a check, but how will far will these purchases set you back? Do you want to begin your new journey together with thousands of dollars in debt? Pinterest boards and beautiful accents posted in bridal blogs are tempting, but remember the multibillion-dollar wedding industry has a reputation for being financially predatory.
Staying within budget while planning for one of the biggest and best days of your life can be overwhelming. During moments of struggle, keep the long term in mind to stay debt- and regret-free.