Did you know that about $40-$70 billion is spent on weddings every year in the United States? Not surprising when there are about 2.5 million weddings every year and the average budget is about $20,000.
So, how do you downsize your Big Day?
Wedding experts say:
1. Cut down your guest list.
A smaller wedding can be more intimate.
2. Trim your flower budget.
You may want to consider transporting flowers from the ceremony to the reception.
Try candles instead of flowers--this makes for a romantic atmosphere
3. Cut down your bridal party.
4. Be flexible with the date.
Be open to off-season and mid-week weddings. Saturdays are pricey, but Fridays and Sundays are much cheaper.
5. Reuse and Recycle.
Check out second hand dresses. There's a great website, preownedweddingdresses.com, where you can find designer gowns at discount prices. You can also resell your dress. I've also heard about some girls buying their dress on Ebay. Also some stores allow you to rent your wedding dress.
6. Get married on a cruise.
Cruises offer deals and food is included.
7. Book in advance.
You can find deals by booking your reception site and vendors in advance.
8. Negotiate with your vendors.
Times are tough and they are willing to work with you.
So how did I cut back for our Big Day?
Well, I know we all have our idea of the perfect dream wedding. I've had to explain this to my fiance, Shane, over and over how girls dream about this day since they were four. I think he's finally starting to get it. But, even though we all dream big---reality eventually sets in.
The cuts we have made have been minor, but they have saved us money.
1. Shane and I designed our own invitations. We also decided to use just plain white, not lined envelopes (people throw them away anyway) and my sweet sister Natalie addressed all of them. This way we didn't have to hire a calligrapher.
2. We shopped day after Christmas sales for most of our decorations. Everything we got was 50-75% off. I highly recommend this.
3. My sister took our engagement pictures. They turned out beautiful!
4. We are using lots and lots of candles, instead of a lot of flowers.
5. I bought my dress off the rack. It's a sample--so it was half the price. We then negotiated for a lower price and for marked down bridesmaid dresses.
There are other things we did to cut costs, but I don't want to give it away before the big day. I promise to write again after the wedding, which is only 45 days away!!!
There were things that we couldn't do without. We have a huge wedding party. I have eight bridesmaids, three honorary bridesmaids, two junior bridesmaids and three flower girls. I know it's a lot. But, you only do this once!
I'm curious how you planned your wedding on a budget? Let me know. Leave your thoughts here or you can email me at email@example.com.