The average wedding cost in 2016 was $35,329 according to a Knot’s weddings survey. This does not include the honeymoon. If you live in New York City, it cost $78,464 according to the Knot survey.
If you haven’t been able to save up for a wedding budget, chances are this expense is going to put you into debt. This is not the way you want to start out life after the honeymoon.
What Goes Into the Wedding Budget?
The first step is to set a realistic wedding budget. These are the items that typically go into the budget. You may have additional items or less depending on your preferences. Once you have your budget, pad it a little. Most people surveyed said they went over budget. If you over-estimate, no problem.
- Wedding Invitations
- Wedding Dress and Groom’s Attire
- Wedding Cake
If you don’t have $35,329 or more saved up, how can you have your dream wedding without going into debt?
9 Tips to help you Save Money
Planning ahead gives you the luxury of selecting the most affordable time and location for your wedding. Planning ahead also gives you time to save. The less you rely on loans and credit cards, the happier you will be.
Be Careful with your Credit Cards
If the average wedding cost is $35,329 then you are looking at dishing out a lot of money. If you haven’t had the time to save for your wedding, then you may need financial assistance. If you are already in debt, paying off student loans and earning an entry-level salary, saving can be very difficult. Nevertheless, try not to add to your headaches.
If you find yourself short, turn to family and friends for a small loan. If this is not an option apply for a peer-to-peer wedding loan from Peerform. Either choice is much better than taking on or increasing credit card debt.
Many vendors like to be paid upfront. Therefore, even if you will have the money later, you need cash now. A P2P wedding loan is great for these situations. Bottom line: keep your credit cards in the drawer.
This a tough one. The bigger the guest list the higher the cost. If you invite everyone you know, then your budget will look more like the noted average wedding cost. But, you want to save money. This means the two of you will need to take a serious look at your guest list.
If you have saved up for your wedding and can afford it, no problem. But, if money is tight, keep it small. Invite close family and friends, adults only. You can post video and photos on your social media channels so everyone else can “experience” your happy day.
The Average Wedding Cost is All About Timing
This $35,329 average wedding cost is predicated on a number of factors. One of these is the time of year. Prime season for weddings is summertime. Weddings outside of prime time will be cheaper.
A winter wedding is much more affordable than a June wedding. The more popular the season, the more expensive it will be to rent the venue, photographer, and videographer, florist, caterer, etc. To find out seasonal prices, check out the wedding date calendar on WeddingWire.
It is your wedding, and hopefully, it will be the only one. So, you both want to look good. The wedding dress is among the most expensive items in the wedding budget. According to the 2016 Knot survey, a wedding dress averaged around $1,564.
The best option would be if you have a family member or close friend who is a seamstress. If not, department stores are more affordable, as are stores that specialize in prom dresses. Borrowing is another option. In fact, borrowing is an especially good idea for the accessories and the veil.
As discussed above, timing matters. During the most popular seasons for weddings, you can expect to pay a lot more. Less demand means lower prices, it’s a simple matter of economics. Try to schedule your wedding for the off-season.
Negotiate everything. Whatever price they offer, engage your best bargaining skills and try to get the price down. If they don’t drop the price, work to get as much as possible included in the price.
Better yet, find someone with a gorgeous house and huge yard to host your wedding. Or, rent an Airbnb home (tell them ahead of time you will be holding a wedding there). It will be more affordable than a traditional wedding venue.
You may love certain flowers, but if they are not in season, it is going to cost you a lot more. Select flowers that are in season and order from local growers.
Food and Beverage
Catering is another significant chunk of your wedding budget. The Knot survey found that the average cost is $71 per person. One way to bring this cost down is to have a late morning wedding and serve brunch. If your venue will allow it, enlist friends and family to make the food. And, remember, keep the food theme local. Prepare dishes that are indigenous to your area. Skip the alcohol.
Take Advantage of Students and Friends
One way to beat the average wedding cost is to utilize the talents of students and friends. Aspiring photographers from your local college is an affordable alternative to professional videographers/photographers. They will love the exposure and you will love the money you save.
Ask your friends to help out with decorations, graphic design for the invitations, organizing before and at the event and even with the music if they happen to be musicians. They will enjoy being more a part of your big event.
A final note: Remember the most important thing about your wedding day is you. After the guests have gone home, it will be just the two of you facing the rest of your lives together. Communicate about everything, minimize your stress, especially financial, and keep your eyes on your financial goals for the years ahead.