The idea of affording a wedding can be mind-blowing. After all, you’re talking about spending thousands of dollars on one single day, an experience that if you’re not careful, could end up costing you for years down the road. However, that’s why when I was getting married, I had to learn how to cut down the costs tremendously. Here’s what I learned:
Establishing A Budget
We knew that if we wanted to save on our wedding, one of the first things we had to do was establish a budget. In looking at the averages, this was looking to be an expensive affair, because as noted by NerdWallet, with the average wedding costing around $33,391, we certainly didn’t want to be in debt right after we said: “I do.” However, that’s why it was imperative to come up with a budget and stick with it.
For us, the overarching goal was to have our savings plan be reasonable per the amount of time we set aside for our engagement of 14 months. My significant other and I knew that we could reach our goal, however, felt it was also necessary to be a little more conservative on our estimates to avoid any shortfalls. Even though we were okay with possibly loaning a couple thousand to make ends meet, the thesis of our finances boiled down to how we were willing to spend on one day.
Going With The Unconventional
With a budget established, our next step was to dive deep into research. While the wedding industry has a ton of great vendors, those people also come up with a pretty steep price tag since a lot of their work is seasonal. Plus, as getting married is something people seldom do throughout their lifetime, this is an item that producers can get away with charging a premium, which we knew we could avoid if we looked in more unconventional places.
I sat down with my significant other, and we both wrote our needs for our wedding, no matter how big or small. Then, we started to map out a few alternatives for each. For example, with the average bridesmaid dress costing around $150, we felt like going in the direction of a sorority dress might not be a bad option for our wedding party. Furthermore, going through unique things like this allowed us to put our personal touch on the details, making it a more intimate affair. Yes, when it comes to thinking about the details of your wedding, the plan should always come with a little bit of going what you genuinely want versus what you perceive you need.
Knocking Out The Big Ticket Items
Perhaps the toughest hurdle we faced when it came to saving was going after the big items and knowing how to knock those down. Which, one of the most significant that we knew we had to get down on price was the venue, which if you’re not careful, can eat away at your entire budget. As noted by Value Penguin, with the average wedding venue costing between $12,343 to $,14,006, this was something that could have completely wiped out our savings. However, as the venue is a core feature of the event, we knew we had to get creative.
Especially considering that we didn’t exactly have any friends or family who could help out with either a farm or event space, we had to find a venue that was going to suit the needs of our envision. Both my partner and I were excited about the idea of getting married and celebrating in a place that wasn’t a typical venue, which made discovery much more fun. The place we eventually ended up deciding on was all-in-all pretty ideal, and something that both our families loved.
Making It About Us
Finally, in the midst of everything, our golden rule for our wedding was simple: focus on us. While this might sound obvious, you’d be surprised by the number of couples that make it a primary goal to appease their friends and family. This creates an environment where the celebration is less about your new love but instead if it makes others. However, throughout the entire process, this was our primary goal.
From the venue to the guest list, our M.O. was always about us. For example, as noted by XO Group, the average wedding has around 136 guests, which ours had about half of that. Why? Because after writing down our initial family and friends, we decided that didn’t want a big ceremony full of people we only invited out of guilt. Instead, our wedding was an intimate affair, and one that because we had our happiness as the mission, turned out as something we’ll remember forever.
What are some tips you’ve learned on saving for your wedding? Comment with your answers below!