a) Not cheap
c) More expensive than 4-year degree at a state school
d) Unfortunately, all of the above
If you selected "d" - congratulations! You've won the opportunity to keep reading this awesome post!
According to The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study the average cost of a wedding is $33,391!!
Luckily, there are PLENTY of ways to save money so that you can still have the most unique, beautiful, dreamy love fest on a friendly budget. Let me highlight some strategies:
1) Skip the multi-layered cake. Save your money and get donuts that you can display in whatever creative way you (or Pinterest) can imagine! How will you save money here? Let me break it down:
a. Let’s say you want a fancy fondant cake for 150 guests. Considering bakeries charge per slice, let’s take the upper limit price of a slice of fancy fondant cake at $8/slice. That cake would cost you $1200. Now, let’s say you went with donuts – you could get a dozen donuts from a shop like Cake Among Us (located in Rancho Cucamonga, CA which was voted the #1 Donut Shop in California!) for $10.95. With 150 guests, you would need 12-13 boxes – lets go with 13. The total costs of 13 boxes of donuts at $10.95/box equals $142.35. I don’t know about you, but I could do with saving $1057.65!! Plus, donuts are simple and practical, and a fun touch to your wedding – everyone will enjoy them! What about if you don’t like donuts? How about milk and cookies? Churros? Funnel cakes? I mean, the non-cake, budget friendly options are endless!
2) Have your wedding on a Tuesday. Okay, not really a Tuesday, but have you ever considered a Friday? Or even a Thursday? (Worried that your guests won’t be able to make it? My cousin got married on a Thursday afternoon in England last summer and over 300 of their guests showed up!). Weekday weddings are significantly cheaper than having your wedding on the weekend, specifically on Saturday when rates for venues and vendors are likely to be the highest. It’s worth considering if you’re really trying to save money. When selecting a venue, discuss what options they have for non-Saturday weddings and if anything would be different if you decided to marry there on a Thursday versus a Saturday.
3) Purchase your alcoholic beverages from a place that allows returns for unopened bottles. Open bars are popular at weddings and the concern is always how much to buy to make sure things don’t run out without completely blowing your food and beverage budget. Many of the big stores like Costco, Sam's Club, and Walmart have flexible return policies but you should also look into smaller beverage stores. For example, in Washington, DC, when you order from a place like Ace Beverage, you won’t have to worry about wasting money. Part of their service allows you to return any unopened bottles of beer, wine, champagne and liquor, and they will return the money back to you. The bottles however cannot be chilled down with labels falling off because it cannot be resold. While you may spend more money up front, you can rest assured knowing that you can return unused bottles and get your money back.
4) Get married in December, January, or February. Really, just any month that isn’t June, September, or October. Those are the most popular months to get married so when you wed outside of those months, not only are you more likely to get your preferred vendors and venue, but you’ll also likely get lower prices on the services you need.
5) NEGOTIATE. Don’t be afraid to ask for a price that is more in line with what you can afford. Start off by acknowledging the quality and the value of their service (because everyone loves a compliment!) and get them to meet you in the middle. Let the vendor know how much you want to spend on their service and let them use their expertise to see what they can create for you. If you’re flexible, you’ll be surprised at how much you can save!
Bonus tip: hire a day-of wedding coordinator (don’t know one? I hear the author of this post is pretty dope…). Day-of coordinators are significantly less expensive than full service wedding planners yet they can bring to life what you ultimately want – a flawlessly executed wedding of your dreams!
Do you have some money saving strategies to share? I'd love to hear them! Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.