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According to one recent survey, nearly three-quarters of engaged couples take out debt to finance the wedding of their dreams. However, beginning marital life owing on credit cards isn’t the best recipe for a healthy union. Money matters are one of the leading causes of divorce.
The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $30,000, but you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a beautiful celebration of your love. Here are five tips for saving cash if you’re planning weddings on a budget.
1. Stay Small
If you’re a member of the British royal family, it doesn’t matter how many people you invite to your wedding. However, most mere mortals have to pay the price per plate, plus the cost of beverages and banquet hall space.
Ask yourself how essential it is to invite those distant relatives you only see on occasions like weddings and funerals. You might face pressure. For example, your parents or future in-laws might insist on inviting folks you might not have seen since you were a toddler. Are they willing to offset some of the extra cost?
Ultimately, you, your future spouse and the officiant are the only people required at your wedding. If money is extremely tight — such as if you, your fiance or both lost work during the recent pandemic — why not consider eloping? You can always plan a fancier ceremony later when your economic picture improves. Starting your marital life without extra financial stress could improve your overall happiness.
2. Skip the Pricey Reception Hall
The average reception hall costs $10,000 or more, a pretty penny for weddings on a budget. However, you have lower-cost options. Are you planning on saying, “I do” during the warm weather months? If so, why not host an outdoor celebration by renting pavilions from your local parks and recreation department? You’ll enjoy a glorious natural setting and pay a tiny fraction of most banquet hall prices.
Another option? Why not DIY your reception? Your pad might not be large enough to host the gathering you want — do you have friends or relatives with spacious homes they’re willing to open for your event?
Backyard weddings offer maximum comfort and convenience and can be every bit as beautiful as those in professional venues. You can even pick up your decor cheaply by frequenting dollar stores, many of which have an extensive selection for such events.
3. Consider a “Non-Wedding” Dress
If you shop for your dress exclusively at bridal specialty shops, you can expect to pay thousands for your gown. Your bridesmaids will also likely need to drop a pretty penny for matching ensembles.
However, these stores don’t have a monopoly on white clothing — and you might find a simpler style you like far better. One early summer bride had luck shopping in the prom section of her local department store. A pretty white peasant skirt lends hippie appeal when paired with a floral headband instead of a traditional veil. A sleek white pantsuit is perfect for the power couple, and it doubles as chic interview attire instead of hanging uselessly in your closet for years.
4. Get Creative With Transportation
You need a way to travel from your ceremony to your reception site and make a sleek getaway for your honeymoon. However, a traditional limo isn’t your only option. If you go that route, you can anticipate paying $100 or more an hour and many companies make you book for the entire event duration.
Instead, why not consider renting a nice car if you drive a broken-down beater? Recruit one of your friends to do designated driving duty — it can be their wedding gift to you if they’re a bit low on funds. You can find nice rides like Teslas for less than $150 for the entire day, slashing hundreds off your total bill.
5. Minimize Your Honeymoon Costs
Finally, you and your spouse need and deserve time to celebrate your union privately. However, you don’t have to drop a fortune on first-class plane tickets to Bora Bora to have a proper wedding on a budget.
Instead, why not opt for a road trip closer to home? If you and your partner are the active outdoor types, a camping getaway takes you off your electronic devices and provides unlimited time to devote to love. You don’t have to sleep rough in a tent — a few nights in one of America’s top glamping resorts or hitting the road in a rented RV delivers creature comforts at a fraction of many hotel prices.
Start well before your intended honeymoon if you want to earn a passport stamp for less cash. You can find vacation share sites online where you essentially trade your home with someone wanting to travel here while you visit their country. Such arrangements eliminate lodging costs, perhaps providing the bump you need to afford plane fares.
Weddings on a Budget
Getting married is expensive. Many couples break out the credit cards to finance their dream but doing so puts unnecessary financial strain on your new union.
Instead, embrace the tips above for planning weddings on a budget. You can still enjoy a beautiful big day without all the expense.
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