Getting engaged is an exciting event in any ones’ life. Once engaged your head begins to swirl with thoughts.
Who will be in my wedding party?
What will my colors be?
What venue do I want?
How many people do we invite?
How soon is to get a wedding dress?
While you are over the moon thinking about the details of your dream wedding, you are hit with the realization of the monumental cost a wedding can come to be.
According to CNN, the Knot reported the average price of an American wedding in 2016 was $35,329. Yes, you read that correctly.
With all the bells and whistles, the cost quickly adds up. However, if you have a smaller budget, there is no need to fear because a beautiful and memorable wedding can still be had.
Here are some low-budget wedding ideas!
A significant contributor to the cost of weddings is catering. With an average price of $85 per plate, not including alcohol, catering a large wedding can eat up most of your budget. Imagine your wedding at a time of day where a meal may not be expected, such as around 1:00 to 2:00 PM. Following the wedding, you can host a brief reception with light refreshments, including a cake cutting. If you select this option, however, be sure to include it on the invitations, so the guests are aware. Also, consider the length of the reception. With light refreshments, you likely do not want it to exceed 1-2 hours to be mindful of the guests’ time. Looking for a fun twist on this? You could have a late-night wedding bonfire and provide s’mores and drinks to round-off everyone’s night.
Wedding venues are also a massive contributor to wedding costs, the average being around $13,000. Before going into this, I want to be clear. Looking at cheaper wedding venues DOES NOT mean you are sacrificing the “quality” of the wedding. A wedding does not have to be large and does not have to be in a highly regarded location, to be beautiful.
Venues that are likely to save you a significant amount of money are state parks and historical locations. You can have a gorgeous state park view at a fraction of cost. Many state parks also have venues that can accommodate large parties, just make sure they have amenities you require. Amenities to keep in mind are clean and functioning bathrooms, and if needed, other facilities such as electrical outlets and a catering kitchen including a fridge and oven.
Cutting down your guest list helps with cost in many ways, including large budget eaters, such as catering and venue. Having fewer people means less of the following is required: food, drinks, seating, invitations, souvenirs, room, and decorations, to name a few. The average cost per guest for a wedding is just under $300, so cutting the quest list saves drastically. When size is smaller, is it also easier to find a cheaper venue because not as much room will be required. Some places charge for the location, and extra per seating or you must rent accommodation yourself.
- Fun idea: pop-up weddings
Pop-up weddings are a fun new trend that is perfect for any budget-conscious couple. Not only does it help with cost given size and venue, but most of the planning is also done for you, for a fraction of the cost! Pop-up weddings are like well-planned elopements with an intimate guest list. If you make a quick research on Google you will get pop-up wedding ideas; you’ll likely find a service near you. Most services include venue options, an officiant, a photographer, a bouquet and boutonniere, and a limited number of guests. Some services even offer upgraded decorations or champagne and cake! If you cannot find a service offering champagne and cake, you could merely reserve a room in your favorite restaurant or bar and celebrate after there.
Sometimes venue, size, and/or time cannot be compromised, and that’s OK. When more substantial budget cuts cannot be made in that way, we turn to DIY. Doing alone can save a ton of service fees and mark-ups. However, be wary, markups on personally made decorations and products are likely there for a reason. Meaning, choosing to go the DIY route is not a light decision to make. Be prepared to spend money on supplies, and time on crafting your gems. Here are a few things to DIY that can save you some mullah:
Invitations. If you’re tech-savvy, you can design your own invites and print at home! If you are not tech savvy, you can likely still use a website like Canva or Mixbook to create your custom invites. Another option to this may be doing postcards and having everyone RSVP via a wedding website. This can save on postage and extra items like RSVP cards and envelops.
Floral pieces. Bouquets and centerpieces can be costly. A way to save is DIY. Some people jump to using artificial flowers. However, silk flowers can be just as expensive, if not more expensive, than real flowers. A great option is to look at buying bulk fresh flowers and creating your own pieces! Buy wholesale flowers from places like Blooms by the Box; you can save up to 80%.
Favors. Some couples like to give parting gifts to their guests. Any favor can be personalized with a little DIY. A simple example may be laying out some cookies and providing paper bags you printed a cute saying, is “All you require is love and cookies” and your names on it. You could provide a pack of seeds for flowers, and print stickers that say “watch love grow” with your names on it. The possibilities are endless and cheap.
Please remember. Getting married is a joyous occasion. It would be a shame to let budget woes’ take away the magic for you. Look at the wedding with a creative mind and remember that at the end of the day it is about the union.
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