Weddings on a Budget
Weddings on a budget can be as beautiful and lovely as any other wedding. All couples want their wedding day to be that once-in-a-lifetime special occasion. However, the wedding industry that you will have to deal with is a huge, complex industry that can very easily drain you of a significant portion of your savings.
Avoiding emotional overspending on your wedding requires the same foundation cornerstones as required for living a frugal life- setting priorities, in-depth planning, creativity, and establishing well defined spending limits.
According to most wedding planners, the average cost of a wedding ranges from $22,000 to $ 26,000, but given the state of today’s economy, many people are beginning to opt for smaller, more intimate weddings.
Here are a few suggestions on how you can incorporate a wedding into a frugal lifestyle:
Weddings on a Budget Tip: Plan your wedding on the Off-Season
Most weddings take place between October and February with June a peak month also. It’s much like when you’re planning to go on a vacation. Everything is more expensive during the peak wedding season.
Locations, florists, limousine services, and other wedding services tend to be significant higher during the peak season. Try scheduling the wedding in one of the off-season months to keep costs low.
Weddings on a Budget Tip: Plan your wedding during the Day
Nighttime weddings, with their elaborate full-course dinners and ceaseless wine and champagne can quickly skyrocket the wedding expenses. Having a beautiful morning or afternoon wedding with a light and sumptuous brunch will allow you to keep your budget manageable and in line.
Weddings on a Budget Tip: Make your own Invitations
Professional printers can charge an arm and a leg for doing custom wedding invitations. Surprisingly, you can still achieve a professional and elegant look by doing it yourself.
There are plenty of online resources on how to make beautiful wedding invitations without enlisting the aid of a professional printer.
With some high-quality materials and an excellent laser printer, you can surprise guests at just how great your self-made invitations look. If you’re good at crafts or using graphic programs like Adobe Photoshop, this should not be too difficult.
Weddings on a Budget Tip: Cut Down on Decorations
Without doubt, beautiful decorations can produce beautiful wedding pictures, but wedding decorations can add budget-breaking expense to a wedding if not controlled properly.
At the end of the day, you might want to ask yourself: is my wedding going to be remembered for how it looks, or for how much fun everyone had.
Many people forget about the wedding decorations the next day, but they will definitely remember the good time they had for many years to come.
There are a few ways that you can reduce the cost of your wedding decorations while still keeping the aesthetics of them intact. Instead of choosing fresh flowers which are insanely expensive, try using fake floral arrangements, which are considerably cheaper. these arrangements, unlike fresh flowers, can be prepared weeks in advance. Replace ostentatious wedding centerpieces with simpler ones that can still add that special look but at a much smaller cost.
Weddings on a Budget Tip: Plan your Food & Beverages Carefully
Food and beverage service associated with the traditional wedding is one of the biggest expenses in the wedding budget. Catering services associated with hotels and other venues are often prohibitively expensive. One way to significantly trim these costs is to think outside of the box.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Instead of a caterer, set up a buffet where the guests can serve themselves. Veggie trays are inexpensive as well as such dishes as Swedish meatballs, ham, cold cuts, cheese cubes, dips, etc. Ask friends and family members to help with this part of the wedding
- If you have a favorite family owned restaurant, check with them about catering your wedding. Generally they will be delighted to do these events and their prices should be much cheaper than a professional caterer.
- For nearly half the cost of a sit down brunch or dinner, think about having a pasta bar. With this buffet, you can have a great deal of variety because you can serve different types of pasta noodles and at least four inexpensive sauces. To add fun to the meal, add meatballs and/or chicken breasts and some different cheeses so that the guests can create their own dishes. At the end of the buffet line, have garlic bread and rolls.
- If you plan to serve alcohol, limit the open bar to one or two hours and then go to an all cash bar where everyone pays for their own drinks after that.
Weddings on a Budget Tip: Invite Fewer People
This is one of the big categories you must focus on. The phrase ‘the more the merrier’, does not fit in with a frugal wedding. A smaller, more intimate wedding can slash your wedding costs by incredible amounts. Why? Because of the multiplier effect: less people coming to your wedding means less invitations you need to prepare and mail, less space and seats you’ll need to book, less food and drinks you need to serve, less people you need to house in hotels, and so on.
Realistically, do you really want to invite people you hardly know to your wedding? You can probably cross off those you haven’t spoken to in several years, relatives of relatives, work colleagues that you rarely talk to, your new friends at the gym, the people you met while helping out at the local animal shelter, and so on.
In this way, not only do you save a ton of money on your wedding, but it also ensures that the people you invite to the wedding are those that are the closest to you and who really want to be there to share your happiness.
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