Today I have a guest post from Kayla. Kayla is a content writer for OurStart at the Income Store, located in a small town in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When not working, you will often find her eating, lazing around with her pup, or on adventures with her husband!
Achieving a dream wedding is expensive. A lot of the time, we see our dream wedding on Pinterest. We visualize and plan our big day as little girls and try to make it a reality when we are adults.
Often times, when we are small we don’t realize how expensive a wedding can be. But as adults, we are able to find ways to make it less expensive. The real question that we all need to have answered is which expenses can we save on and what should we splurge on?
Areas to Save
Flowers to decorate an entire wedding venue can cost up to $2,000. You read that right. Over $2k for something that will only last a day or two. They may be pretty, but if you’re trying to cut your budget down, consider an alternative for decor instead of flowers.
This can save you anywhere from $100 to $1500 depending on the size of your venue and a number of flowers you wish to have.
Related: How to Save Money on Wedding Flowers
There is nothing saying you have to cut out buying a wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, or groom’s attire, but you can find cohesive looks that aren’t uniform. The average price of just a wedding dress is around $1,200 and the average cost of a tux rental is anywhere from $200 to $500 depending on the brand.
As for the bridesmaids? If you’re looking for just a similar color, ask each maid to go shopping for a dress that comes in the color and fabric you’re requesting. Not only will you be happy you saved each said an arm and a leg, but they’ll be thrilled as well to not have to spend a fortune on a dress they will only wear once.
Think outside the box with this one. For your more casual feel, 86 the tux and go with something more casual. As for the wedding dress, you probably thinking, “How can I save on a wedding dress without compromising quality?” Shop the prom section at your local dress boutique.
Most of the time, their dresses come in white or an off shade of white. One of the key things to finding a wedding dress is feeling good in the dress.
The average savings for both bride and groom’s attire? You’ll more than likely cut the sum of the pair of them in half.
You can’t cut out favors completely because this is the way you’re thanking your guests for celebrating with you and your new spouse. Personal takes on a small favor speak volumes more than a favor costing hundreds of dollars.
Go with the cheap, easy, DIY that will leave a smile on your guests’ face. Check bulk suppliers to find items that may fit with what you want your favor to be. For example, place some mints in a cellophane bag, pop a tag around the neck that says, “Mint To Be- Thank You For Celebrating With The New New Mr. and Mrs!” This shows your guests you are thankful they are there, and you didn’t spend a fortune.
Be creative! Grooms spend an average of $36 on groomsmen gifts while overall, couples spend around $50 to $500 on a wedding favor.
Depending on the scene that you want to set for your big day, this may be a big one that you don’t want to bend on. My suggestion? Find a venue that may not necessarily be used for weddings. Usually, when venues hear that they are issuing a service for a wedding, they will hike up the prices. It’s just how the industry is.
Ask a friend or family member for a suggestion. The best method of advertising is word of mouth, be sure to take advantage. To save a bit of money, you may have to do some extra legwork to get things exactly the way you want them with the price that you desire.
Searching around can save you $1,000 to $13,000, as venues can range anywhere from donation to $13,000. Talk about a bargain!
Areas to Confidently Splurge
Whatever you do, don’t ever let the ball drop on your photos. No matter what, when you look back on your big day, you’ll want picture perfect moments. You don’t want to see poor angles, forced smiles, and bad lighting. A good photographer will make sure to take care of all these factors. You will pay for this though.
Depending on what you want out of a photographer, you could comfortably spend over $1,000 and come out with high-quality photos.
Editor’s note: My husband and I considered having a family friend take our photos due to our low budget be we eventually went with a professional photographer that my sister recommended. Photos were super important to us too and we wanted nice and clear images of our big day that would last for years to come. We paid about $600 for our photographer who ended up taking 1,000 photos of our entire wedding which was a steal so I’d highly recommend that couples ask around to see if friends or family members have an affordable recommendation.
You’ve probably gone to an event and complained about the food. Not everyone makes food the same way but surely not everyone makes food well.
Don’t be the event that serves terrible food. While people remember bad food, they will RAVE about how delicious good food is. So what will you pay for such a meal? According to CostHelper, the average rate today for a meal for the average 150 wedding guests is around $13,000.
The food and cake go hand in hand. The cake is also the centerpiece of the reception so not only does it need to taste good, but it needs to look good too. A good cake will cost you $400 to $1,200.
This is a no brainer. You can pop an MP3 player into some speakers and go through your playlist, but more than likely you won’t have anyone to direct or organize the chaos like a professional DJ would.
To get these professional services for your big day, you’ll likely spend $200 to $2,500. Plus, your DJ can even double up as an MC for your reception.
That is a potential of $1,150 to $15,000+ in savings if you take our advice. You read that right. Think about it, if you save all that money, you’ll be able to use it on the honeymoon or put it toward other areas for your big day.
What we should save and what we should spend on does not have to be set in stone for everyone one, but these tips are pretty general for the wedding planning bride looking to save a bit on her big day. Take into consideration what you want from your big day, prioritize what is most important, and plan away!
Take a note from our book and you’ll be golden–so will your wallet when you’ve saved a pretty penny! Happy planning!
P.S. Want more savings tips and specific strategies when planning your dream wedding?
If you’d like more specific tips and strategies to help you save money on your big day without sacrificing your values, I recently released a 50-page digital guide called Save Thousands on Your Dream Wedding. My guide includes real money-saving strategies, resources you can utilize when shopping for even the tiniest details, the strategy I used to go on a $400 week-long honeymoon and more!
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