"On average, US couples spend $25,200 for their wedding. However, the majority of couples spend between $18,900 and $31,500. This does not include cost for a honeymoon."
Then I realized family and friends are more than happy to help out any way they can and depending on who you know it can really cut costs. The panic I felt is now gone and I have my Top 10 Easy Tips to calm the shock I may have just given you!
10 Simple Tips To Save Money on Your Wedding
Tip #1 - Call in every favor you can!
This is the time to use those favors and IOUs you have collected over the years. Try to think of anyone that may be able to help out and ask them to! Usually they are happy to help for big events like this.
Tip #2 - Offer a Trade
This works great if you know it would be a burden on the person to give you their services for free. Is there something you can give them to make it worth it for both of you? Do you have a chef friend? Will they cook if you buy the food and supplies? This works with people you don't know also. If you have a service that someone is willing to trade their services for, Go for it! It never hurts to ask.
Tip #3 - Do It Yourself (if possible)
I have heard a bunch of disaster DIY wedding stories and it certainly can turn you into bridezilla quicker than anything else, but it is one of the biggest ways to save money. The key to this is to start early! I bought a bin for my storage shed and got started on anything I could make ahead of time and threw it in the bin when I finished it. I was at the 18 months before mark and I was already starting on my centerpieces.
Tip #4 - Splurge Smart
Don't go over the top, it is just a big party that only lasts one day. Talk it over with the fiance and pick one or 2 things that really matter to you. Those are the things you should splurge on. Try to go as cheap as possible on all the other things that don't mean as much to the two of you.
Tip #5 - Keep An Open Mind
Don't be too quick to say no to something because it is too cheap, expensive, or weird. There are lots of ways to work an expensive look into a cheap budget. Something that may have seemed weird when you first started planning may end up being perfect once you learned more or really hammered down your vision.
Tip #6 - Push your date back
The farther you are from your wedding date the more time you will have to save up money. It also gives you more time to DIY and plan!
Tip #7 - Trim Down Your Guest List
This is a hard but very effective way to save money! Mentally it makes it easier to take people off the invite list if you remember it is about you! Each and every person you are inviting should be someone you want there with you that day. Figure out an estimate on how much each person is costing you to be there and you will quickly realize it is NOT cheap with a lot of people! Food, invitations, rental items, and more will all go down in price with fewer people.
Tip #8 - Get Your Decor On Sale
You can find color themed decor on clearance after major holidays like Christmas and Valentines Day. Easter and Christmas are great decorating holidays that have a larger variety of colors to choose from. Also keep an eye out, some holidays may have colors that don't instantly come to mind. For example if you think Christmas you think Red and Green, but it is also a great time to find Silver, Gold, and Light Blues!
Tip #9 - Get Creative!
A lot of little savings add up quick if you can get creative with your choices. Maybe you can go with a cheaper in season flower, or even skip flowers all together and do candles or another fun item for the decor. You can do a signature themed cocktail instead of having an open bar. If you keep your theme in mind taking a lot of simple shortcuts can save A LOT of money.
Tip #10 - Start a wedding savings account
Throw a set amount of money in there each paycheck and DO NOT touch it! The items you couldn't find a free or cheap way to do have to get paid for somehow and this is how. Knowing how much money you can put into it each month will also help you get an idea of how much of a wedding you can realistically afford.
Next time I will talk about how I figured out my wedding budget.
Now it's your turn! What are your best tips for saving money on your wedding?