Getting married is absolutely one of the happiest times and events of your entire life. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive. Unless your plan is to go the way of a simple courthouse wedding, you’ll find yourself with expenses that you didn’t even know were customary when it comes to weddings. There are so many things that go into a wedding that you don’t realize until you find yourself in the position of planning your wedding. A wedding dress, dresses for the bridal party, a tux, flowers, venue, catering, and drinks are just the beginning.
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed, because there are ways to pay for a beautiful wedding without needing a second mortgage and going bankrupt.
Set a budget
And stick to it. It’s much too easy to spend ungodly amounts of money when you don’t have a set budget to work with. If you set a budget, you’ll find yourself carefully checking the prices and shopping around before picking something, and you’ll spend considerably less, even if you end up exceeding the budget a little bit.
Prioritize your spending
Before you start writing checks, figure out what the most important things to spend money on, for you, are. It can help to think about it in matters of long term investment versus short term investment. This is your wedding day, you want it to be beautiful and magical, and you absolutely deserve that. So figure out what aspects are the most important for your wedding day, and where it’s okay to cut back. For some, that looks like your photographer being the most expensive part of your budget, as that is the one thing you really get to keep and continue benefiting from for years.
Spend less on the dress
Wedding dresses are expensive, there is no way around it. However, you don’t need to sacrifice the wedding dress of your dreams for your wedding budget. This is often one of the most extensive processes of wedding planning, finding the right wedding dress for you. Shop around and try on lots of gowns until you figure out what style and cut you like the best. Then get to work looking for inexpensive options. Look for liquidation sales, bridal conventions, and even wedding dress rentals. With just a bit of searching and research, you’ll easily spend less than $1000 on your wedding dress.
Some aspects of your wedding can be done yourself, and that is a blessing to your wallet. Make sure you accurately anticipate what you’ll actually be able to do, though, and don’t put too many DIY projects on your plate. Enlist the help of your wedding party, and both involved families. Instead of finding a florist, purchase flowers wholesale and make the bouquets yourself the day before the wedding. Look into making the decorations yourself. Things like paper lanterns, tulle garlands, and table centerpieces are a lot easier to make than you’d think.
Cut back on unnecessary expenses
Not every wedding is going to be a Pinterest perfect wedding. Can you imagine the kind of money that you would have to spend to perfectly recreate a wedding of that magnitude? The most important thing about a wedding, is that you are celebrating the union of two people in love.
There are some wedding extras that you probably don’t need, and will end up saving you thousands of dollars . Just a few things to think about when you’re planning your budget and deciding what is necessary:
Invitations (opt for something not handlettered, and get them printed locally which is cheaper)
Photo booth (instead, urge everyone to take photos on their phones and share them on social media with a wedding specific hashtag to find them later)
Takeaway favors (if you’re providing cake and food, it shouldn’t be necessary to provide your guests with anything else!)
Tossing confetti (although adorable, it’s a mess to clean up and there are less expensive options. Sparklers are considerably less expensive, but going the traditional route with rice is also inexpensive)
Remember to enjoy the reason for the wedding
Overall, your wedding should be a joyous occasion when your closest friends and family come together to celebrate the two of you. It doesn’t need to be anything outside of that, so don’t let yourself get caught up in the unnecessary parts of the after party.