For many brides-to-be, the prospect of paying for the festivities can be a serious source of distress and anxiety. The statistics speak for themselves: in 2014, the average cost of an American wedding was a whopping $25,200.
In the interest of saving money to sustain a life beyond your big day, we've compiled a list of tips that will make your wedding budget much more manageable, allowing you to focus on the truly important things (like the person you'll be spending the rest of your life with!).
Many venues offer as much as a 50 percent discount for weddings that take place in less popular months like January and February (as do photographers and entertainers). Choosing to marry off-season can leave a lot more room in your budget to splurge on areas like food and booze.
Though they can get a bit hectic, buying your gown from a sample sale can save you hundreds (or even thousands!) of dollars on a designer dress. Sample sales tend to be held between seasons in the summer and winter.
Since catering costs for a sit-down meal can be outrageous, Intimate Weddings suggests hosting a cocktail reception, which will allow you to serve your guests fabulous food at a fraction of the price.
Favors are unnecessary and can become expensive in a hurry. If you're determined to send your guests home with a token of appreciation, try making them a homemade treat for the road.
Instead of opting for a pricey tiered cake, consider a less-traditional dessert option. Many caterers these days can create tiered arrangements of cookies, petit fours, miniature pies, or even cake pops for the couple's alternative "wedding cake" of choice.
Bride2Be came up with this awesome way to cut down on alcohol expenses: rather than paying for a full bar, pre-mix a signature cocktail in mason jars and provide plenty for your guests to grab throughout the reception. This way, you'll save on paying a bartender
Saturdays are generally the go-to day for weddings, but choosing to have your ceremony and reception on a Friday or Sunday can save you big bucks.
Vintage weddings are oh-so-trendy these days, and using vintage pieces for your own celebration can actually save you a pretty penny. Consider a vintage gown or centerpieces that incorporate unique antique store finds-but beware retailers and vendors that actually tack on extra for anything sporting a trendy "vintage" descriptor.
You know that friend of your mother's? The one who runs that amazing catering business? Or your second cousin who owns the adorable flower shop? Now is the time to get in touch and cash in on your connections-and your connections' connections.
Many wedding vendors and venues charge fees that may not be listed in the estimate price you're initially given. Watch out for these extra fees as you plan your event, and make sure to ask plenty of questions along the way.
To cut costs, select flowers that are locally-grown and in-season. For example, tulips thrive December-April, while peonies are best late spring and early summer. Figure out which flowers will be in season during your wedding at Bridal Guide.
Hiring a professional makeup artist for your wedding day can cost you hundreds of dollars, especially if you want them to meet you on-site. Consider doing your makeup yourself, and check out these helpful tips from Lucky Magazine.
You don't need to spend lots of money on new jewelry for your wedding day. Chances are, a friend or family member has nice pieces you can use-plus, that instantly covers your "something borrowed!"
If you plan on using white icicle or twinkle lights at your reception, buy them after Christmas. Most major stores will have their extra inventory on sale for dirt cheap!
Having an outdoor wedding can seriously cut your spending on du00e9cor. With so much natural beauty surrounding you, you can go super minimalist on added flair.
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