Weddings are notoriously expensive affairs, and have loads of hidden costs that can ruin your perfectly planned budget. According to ABC News, the average American wedding budget is $27,021, and understandably, many couples experience stress and anxiety over wedding costs. It is possible, however, to avoid going bankrupt from your wedding, while still throwing a memorable and beautiful event.
Approximately 40 percent of weddings take place in May-August, and you can save money by getting married in the off season. Many venues have lower winter and spring rates, so ask your top venue choices what their lower rates are. The majority of weddings also take place on Saturday night, and you can save by booking your wedding on a weekday. If you have out of town guests and need to have a weekend wedding, you can book on a Friday or Sunday for less than you can on a Saturday. Another fun cost saving strategy is to have a sunrise service and brunch reception.
Reception costs are a huge area of wedding budgets, but there are ways to save and still maintain the atmosphere you want.
- The number one way to cut your reception costs is to trim down your guest list. The average cost per guest is $196, so be selective about who you invite.
- Consider holding your ceremony and reception in the same location in order to cut down on travel costs from your vendors.
- Use larger tables, so you can cut down on the number of centerpieces you use.
- Ask your florist what flowers are in season, or use more greenery and baby’s breath.
- Cut down on flowers by using other decorations, such as lanterns.
- Skip the wedding favors.
Wedding and Engagement Rings
Engagement and wedding rings are most likely the one aspect of your wedding that you’ll see every day, so you want to consider carefully which rings you want, but that doesn’t necessarily mean spending a fortune.
- If you’re interested in gold rings, look for 10 or 14 karat, instead of 18 or 24 karat. Sterling silver bands are also an affordable option.
- Many jewelry companies have petite ring options, which are smaller versions of their most popular engagement rings.
- Buy an engagement ring that has either multiple smaller diamonds or other precious gems, like sapphires or emeralds. Many celebrities, like Duchess Kate Middleton and Mark Zucherberg’s wife, tools that can help you estimate your wedding expenses based on your overall budget and number of guests.
Other wedding resources
Adria Saracino is a marketer and blogger. When not consulting on business strategy, you can find her writing about style on her personal fashion blog, The Emerald Closet.