How to have that amazing wedding without going broke
Summer wedding season is fast approaching and chances are you are going to be among the thousands who have chosen this time of year for your nuptials. Your wedding is going to be the pivotal experience of your lives together—a memory you will cherish for all time.
Wedding expenses are soaring
According to wedding industry experts, the average wedding in the US in 2015 cost more than $32,000. If you compare this to the average household income, it means that wedding costs take up more than half of your annual income. Surveys indicate that the vast majority of Americans spent much more than they intended. A Bustle poll revealed that 91% of couples regretted how much they spent. If you budgeted for your wedding and saved for the big day, then you have no worries. But what if you cannot afford half of your annual income for that one special day?
Nothing can be worse than returning from the honeymoon, or weekend away to face a mountain of bills from the wedding, or a depleted bank account. The debt you did not plan for could be an early cause of stress and conflict in your new marriage—definitely not the way to begin your lives together.
How can you still have that dream wedding and not go broke?
Here are 8 money saving tips to help ensure that your memories and joy are not robbed by debt or poverty.
1. Date: Summer is the most popular time for weddings and the most expensive. If you have not yet set a summer date, think about getting married in November or December. Costs across the board are much lower as venues and wedding service providers are looking for business.
2. The dress: This is important. All eyes are going to be upon you and you certainly want to look smashing in your wedding dress. But you are not limited to designer shops. Try online sites such as Etsy, Anthropologie or Mon Cheri. At Etsy you can find the same original designs at a fraction of the cost of designer shops.
3. Invitations: Take advantage of the new internet age and send out e-invites. Most are free, with great graphics and design styles. You can keep track of who is coming, automatically send out updates or reminders and your guests will not think twice about it.
4. Venue: This is the largest chunk of your wedding budget. If you really want that summer wedding and have chosen a certain venue, then consider having a morning wedding followed by brunch or a dessert and wine evening wedding. Shorten the length of the time you use the facility. For instance, on average a facility is booked for five hours, book instead for three. Look into venues that will allow you to bring your own alcohol, this will lower the largest part of your catering budget.
5. The cake: Depending upon the number of guests, your wedding cake can be pretty expensive, especially if you have chosen a top of the line bakery. You can save money by asking your baker to use decorated foam layers to make your cake look like one of those grand wedding cakes you see in the magazines, and then create several sheet cakes for actual eating.
6. Decorations: Resist the urge to wow your guests with the most out-of-this-world table design and decorations, passion flowers from some far-away land, take-away gifts and so forth. Go local. Use local florists, choose flowers that are in-season and keep everything simple but elegant.
7. Photographer and musicians: Almost everyone today hires a videographer and photographer to capture the special day. This can be expensive. But you can reduce the costs by finding friends with the required talent and equipment to photograph and video the wedding for you. Or, visit your local community college and find budding videographers to hire. Another very popular option is to place disposable cameras on all the tables and let your guests take the photos. You are sure to have some interesting shots to review.
8. Financing: If you do not have enough saved up, turn to a marketplace lender, such as a peer to peer (P2P) lending platform. You can easily and quickly obtain an unsecured loan in just the amount that you need to cover your wedding costs. The application is done online and the loan is repaid automatically through your bank account, giving you one less thing to worry about as you begin your new life together.