Frugally Fantastic Weddings

You’re getting married! Hope you have an extra $31,213 lying around, because that’s how much the average couple spent on their wedding in 2014, according to a survey by wedding website TheKnot.com. If that sounds a little steep for your taste, consider these 13 tips for cutting costs, while still making the event one to remember.

Pare the guest list:

If mom and dad are footing the bill, convincing them to cut back the list of second cousins won’t be easy. If the cost is coming out of your pocket, get out the Sharpie. Each guest can cost you multiple hundreds of dollars, so the smaller the list, the more manageable the bill.

Choose a cheap spot:

If your heart is set on a destination wedding, choose your destination wisely. According to TheKnot.com, the most expensive places to get married include the Northeast, California and Hawaii. The least expensive place according to TheKnot.com? Utah.

Time is everything:

Everybody wants a Saturday afternoon wedding. Why not a Sunday morning or a Friday night? Not only will you save money, you’ll have better luck booking venues. And you’ll be original.

Address the dress:

Do you really need a new dress? Many websites and consignment stores offer beautiful, cost-effective second-hand dresses. If you must have new, hit the sample sales offered by designers and bridal boutiques.

Go off-season:

You may have envisioned a June wedding, but you can save a bundle if you opt for a less popular month, such as November or January.

Don’t do dinner:

Sit-down dinners are the most expensive option for feeding your guests, and maybe the least fun. How about a buffet brunch, heavy appetizers, a formal tea or a dessert reception?

Flowers:

The key with flowers is to stay simple and in-season. No over-the-top bouquets, no tulips in December.

Get crafty:

If you have an ounce of creativity in your body, now it the time to use it. Hand-make your invitations, place cards, centerpieces and favors.

Rethink your reception:

You can pay for a fancy reception hall or country club, but why not hold your reception at someone’s home; at a public beach, park or garden; or your favorite restaurant? Be sure to consider the costs of bringing in supplies like tables, and get the proper permission from anyplace public.

Let them eat (a smaller) cake:

The higher the tower, the more you’ll pay. If you have a lot of guests and want to make sure everyone gets a piece, order a fancy small cake to cut and a larger sheet cake to serve.

Don’t go pro:

When it comes to capturing your wedding in photos and videos, consider hiring a photography student rather than a professional photographer. And surely one of your YouTube-loving guests would be up for turning your special day into a memorable movie.

Take over the tunes:

A band can be expensive, a D.J. less so. Want to go super affordable? Make a playlist, rent an amplifier and speakers, plug in your MP3 player and let the good tunes roll.

Lower the bar (tab):

A full bar can put a serious dent in your budget. Instead, consider serving only beer and wine, or a signature cocktail that matches the theme or color of your event.


StartwithChange.com: Frugally Fantastic Weddings

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