Make your wedding day memorable without breaking the bank. To help get your wedding planning started, consider these four financial tips for saving money or at least staying within your budget.
Before you begin crunching numbers it’s important to figure out who is contributing to the wedding and calculate how much you can realistically and comfortably spend. Once you have a ballpark wedding budget, determine your guest count. The amount of food and beverages, as well as the size of the venue, will depend on how many guests you plan to invite. Now, let’s consider a few money saving options for your big day.
The Venue, Date and Favors
Many people dream of their “perfect wedding venue” from the time they are very young. While that venue may seem “perfect”, it can also be quite expensive. Have you considered a venue that is nontraditional? Venues that don’t usually host weddings may charge less but could include rental fees. Make sure the venue is large enough for your event and consider using the same venue for your wedding and reception. This means no travel expenses to transport guests, and you won’t be paying for two separate venues.
No matter where you chose to get married, remember, the higher the demand for the wedding venue, the higher the cost for the venue. Research the most popular dates to book your venue and chose a date and time that is less popular. Off-season dates may also be a good option. These options will cut down your venue costs.
Have you ever left a wedding reception and noticed wedding favors left on guest's tables? Choose less expensive favors and consider limiting them to one per couple.
Flowers, Decorations and Dresses
Make your wedding look beautiful while being mindful of pricey flowers. Using in-season local flowers can be less expensive and appear fresher because of less transportation time. Non-floral decorations are also becoming very popular. Check out the wedding decorations in your local craft store or use your newlywed friends as a resource. Friends may have centerpieces or other wedding décor that you could borrow for your big day.
Borrowing also comes in handy when it comes to your wedding attire. Family or friends may have dresses or accessories you could use in your wedding. If you decide to shop for your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses or other attire, try sample sales, consignment stores, online stores like Etsy or department stores. These types of stores may have more budget-friendly dresses and even discounts!
Food and Beverage
While plated dinners may seem like the more “elegant” option, they can also be a more expensive option. Discuss your dining options, like a buffet, with your caterer. The highest cost for a wedding meal is often the alcoholic beverages. Some venues allow you to provide your own beverages to trim down the cost of providing a full bar. Wedding cakes are no longer “the norm” at weddings. Instead, many people are choosing a nontraditional dessert such as cupcakes, pie, or cookies. These options can save you money as well. If you choose to go the cake route, remember tall cakes and cakes with fillings can be more expensive. Maybe a 1- or 2-tiered cake is best for you. Don’t forget to shop around for your cake. Some bakeries or grocery stores offer more budget-friendly cakes, or maybe you have a friend who would volunteer to make your wedding dessert.
Tunes, Photography and Videography
Hiring a full band to play at your wedding can be pricey, but a DJ may cost less. Also, consider your network, does someone you know DJ for fun or play a musical instrument well? Perhaps they would be willing to play or perform at your wedding and/or reception.
Commemorating your special day with photography and/or videography is important for many people, however, professionals may charge more than local talent. Again, consider tapping into your network or look for photographers or videographers in your local area.
The biggest piece of advice we can give you is to set your budget and stick to it. With so many financial decisions to be made, it’s easy to get carried away with your wedding costs. Wouldn’t it be nice to have money left over after your wedding? A Goal Savings account with Members 1st can help you stay on target, track your progress, and manage it all in our mobile app.
Do you still need help financing your big day? Consider taking advantage of the equity you have built up in your home to fund your wedding. You start building equity in your home with your down payment and your first mortgage payment. Use a home equity loan to pay for major life events like a wedding or even the nursery of your dreams!
Have questions? As a member, you have access to a personal concierge. It's their full-time job to help you navigate the details of spending, saving, and planning for the future. Best of all, they're here whenever you need them.
This article is for information only and should not be construed as tax, legal or financial advice.