Watching wedding expenses add up can be frustrating, particularly if you are on a budget in the first place (like me!). Many couples are accruing huge amounts of debt to put on an enormous wedding, charging the maximum on credit cards and even taking out loans to pay for the occasion. This does not have to happen, though. There are some great ways to cut costs on your wedding while still creating a memorable day for you, your family, and friends, and without sacrificing the things that you want most.
I’m a firm believer in that you shouldn’t go into debt for your wedding. Here are some tips that have helped me with my planning!
1. Create Your Own Invitations
Wedding invitations can cost hundreds of dollars and often end up tossed into the trash. Instead of investing $5 or more per invite, create your own. There are plenty of ingenious ways to send out invitations that look as if they cost you dearly when the truth is that you made them at your dining table. A great trend right now is the ‘message in a bottle’ invitation. You can find small glass bottles for a few cents each at craft stores – just put a little aquarium sand in the bottom of each one and roll up a handwritten invitation with the wedding information to place inside. The greatest expense will be postage.
2. Eliminate What Guests Won’t See
Remember how uncomfortable complicated underwear and fancy shoes are. Don’t spend hundreds on special undies and shoes to go with your dress. Unless you are wearing a short wedding gown, no one is going to be looking at your shoes and no one cares what your underwear looks like. Instead, opt for comfortable undies that won’t pinch, make you lightheaded, or otherwise prohibit you from enjoying the reception. Choose shoes that look nice but don’t cost half your monthly income, such as ballet flats, white flip-flops, or even a pair of white slippers. When your feet hurt, you tend to be miserable all over, and your wedding is something to be enjoyed!
3. Rethink Your Guest List
If you have a guest list of over a hundred people and it includes everyone from your third grade teacher to the officer who let you out of a parking ticket last month, tear the list up and start over. A wedding is meant to be an intimate occasion with vows witnessed by the people you and your partner love. If someone who is not on your list asks about your wedding, don’t be guilted into adding them. Simply tell them that the ceremony is going to include only a few very close family members and friends. Try to keep the guest list below 100 people and half that or less if you will be having people travel somewhere else for a destination wedding.
4. Ditch the Exorbitant Cake
With wedding cakes costing into the thousands of dollars these days – or more, depending on your location and the style – buying a huge cake to feed all of the guests can take up a great portion of your wedding budget. Instead, choose a variety of sweets that guests can choose from. This will lower the price of feeding your guests and give them choices – which they wouldn’t have with a single cake.
5. Opt for the Music, Not the Band
If, like most couples, you want particular songs to feature in your wedding, consider deciding against the live band and wedding singer. You can hire a DJ to play the music you want for a fraction of what a band would cost, or you could simply have a friend with a little sound system knowledge cue up the correct music on a burned CD at the right times. Having a singer perform your favorite songs live sounds like a great idea, but they rarely live up to what made you choose those songs in the first place. By having the music played in its original form, you get the right feeling and guarantee that it won’t go off-key in the middle of your walk down the aisle.
So, if you’re getting married anytime soon, remember these tips for cutting down on your wedding expenses. Your wedding should be beautiful, exciting, but not expensive (unless you can afford that). I hope these tips will help ease the burden on your wallet!
What are some additional wedding tips you have for the readers of ChristianPF? Leave a comment!
20's Finances says
Saving money on your wedding can be the first financial goal that you accomplish as a couple. I enjoyed these tips. They are practical and you don’t have to sacrifice much to keep more bills in your pocket.
Good tips…another idea is to create your own wedding programs (although that probably isn’t much of an expense anyway). If you know someone in the printing industry or know how to typeset/layout text, all you really need is the pre-printed paper stock from a stationary store (usually they come with pictures on one side of the paper already). Then just take the paper stock to a copy store and a printout of your program and the staff can print your text on the back of the paper stock in a couple of minutes.
And photography… I do professional photography at $700 a wedding – I stick with the bride and groom from getting ready to the last “planned” dance of the evening – and give them all the photos I take on CD with a copyright release form (develop what and how much you want) – ask around, many people are doing this instead of the thousands of dollars for someone to show up with the same camera I have and do much less… Just make sure you like what they show you they have done before, and make sure they have a good digital SLR camera.
Briana @ 20 and Engaged says
I wish my sister saw this when she was planning her wedding. Now she’s planning an overly lavish wedding that doesn’t fit her budget, and no one even knows what’s going on! I’ll tell her these tips and hope she can implement at least some of them.