The national average wedding costs $29,858.00 with 140 guests. While that’s not my Big Fat Greek Wedding, paying for 140 people can get expensive without a well-thought-out plan. Budgeting for a wedding can seem overwhelming with so many important to-do’s on your list, but with some good documentation, communication and creativity, it’s most certainly within reach.
Now that the cost of the bling-bling is behind you, it’s time to move on to the big celebration costs: food, drinks, additional ring, gifts, the dress, tux, wedding facility, flowers, officiant, lodging, décor, honeymoon, make-up, photographer, hairstylist, videographer, DJ, invitations, and so on…..
First you need to figure out what your absolute max budget is, then write down everything that you will need to fit into this grand total. When coming up with the list, start with the most important to the least, so you can allocate the budget appropriately. This list will also help to keep your budget in check. It’s easy to go over budget when we don’t account for the small ticket items that add up quickly. BUT, don’t fret. While this seems like a daunting task, I have seen some pretty AMAZING and elegant weddings that were budget friendly, as well as some of the most memorable ones yet.
Following are some ideas to help you budget!
All Inclusive Party!
Find a wedding venue that’s willing to offer an all-inclusive package. Just like going to an all-inclusive resort for a fancy vacation, the savings add up with this option versus doing everything a la carte.
Find a facility like The Winding River Ranch that not only offers all-inclusive, but allows you to bring your own beverages and use your own vendors. There are some pretty massive savings in alcohol and food costs when you can select a service within your budget or buy bulk food and drinks.
Ask family and friends for referrals, and even better, your friends or family may offer their assistance. Maybe you will get a friends and family discount through a referral. You never know unitl you ask. This step saved us over 10K! Cha-Ching!
We asked a friend who recently started a new catering business, and they offered us a killer deal for the opportunity to build their portfolio. Our photographer offered to take photos of the food spread to sweeten the deal. We provided the photos to them as a form of extra payment, plus, we graciously reviewed their business. We were also able to access a wholesale food store membership card which quickly added up the savings and the calories at our wedding dinner. You can purchase cases of, boxes of wine and bottles of champagne in bulk for a small toast.
Have your cake and eat it too!
Or rather two! Ordering two cakes versus one cuts the cake costs in half. Arrange two cakes for your reception: The sheet cake, which can be less intricately beautified, gets cut and dished up in the kitchen and a smaller cake for the WOW factor and photos is placed on the cake table.
A season, A reason:
Order seasonal flowers in bulk or make your own DIY paper flowers: While most popular marriage blooms are accessible year-round, some customary ones, peonies and lilies of the valley, for instance—can be costly if out of season. Look to your flower vendor’s recommendation before settling on your flowers.
Should you decide to save with DIY, there are plenty great ideas and resources for everything you can imagine. Check out our Pinterest, where we constantly update boards with amazing ideas.
Double Dipping is OK! Repurpose your flowers as centerpieces: If there’s a sufficient number of blooms and they’re a fitting size, they can fill in as centerpieces on the table.
Skip RSVP cards and have visitors handwrite a note with marriage advice or a song that they would like to hear at your wedding, etc. You can also create your own .com and have guests respond through your website. There’s plenty free website builders and you’ll also save money on printing and postage. The notes will be fun to read and add to your wedding scrapbook.
If an average wedding costs $29,858.00, getting a return on your investment can most certainly add up. Use or get a credit card that earns frequent flier miles or money back and use your wedding expenses earnings towards your honeymoon. You can also register your honeymoon as a shared gift option on sites like The Newlywed Fund, Honeyfund or Zola.
Get your wedding make-up in travel or sample sizes at your make-up counter of choice, and purchase your dress at a trunk show. Trunk shows are a great way to purchase designer dresses for a fraction of the cost. You can also ask dress boutiques if they sell samples.
Take a deep breath and remember, this is YOUR day, and no one will know or remember how much money you spent. They will only notice the glow coming off of your faces!