Summer: the time of year where love fills the air and wedding invitations flood your mailbox. Typically the invitations portray the theme of the wedding and inform the invitee when and where the wedding will take place. Over the past couple months, I’ve been getting a ton of invites in the mail seeing how I’m at that age where everyone seems to be getting married (except me, but that’s another topic all together).
Anyway, if you haven’t heard, the average cost of a wedding these days’ is about $24,000. When you consider most people getting married are around 26 and that bill doesn’t include the rings or the honeymoon – the fact is that weddings are freakin’ expensive. In most cases, the couples getting married have just finished paying off their college debt and saving for their new home. Sure, some families help take care of a wedding. But there are definitely ways to host a $20,000 for less… much less.
Below are 8 money saving tips to help alleviate the expense of a wedding.
Tip #1. Off season weddings are much more affordable than a typical summer wedding. Also, it would also help to cut costs if it were scheduled on a Friday or Sunday. Depending on the time of the year, certain places may be decorated in advanced which can also encourage savings.
Tip #2. The average guest list is 178 family and friends long. This is possibly where you can end up saving most of your money considering everything – outside of the ceremony – is dependent on the head count. If possible, limit your guest list to 125-150. A good rule of thumb here: don’t invite more guests then you can spend at least a minute of your time with.
Tip #3. It is important to capture the memories created during your special day with photos, but getting professional photos could be cheaper than you think. Find a family member with some photography experience, a friend that you graduated with that majored in photography, or a cheap freelancer. Chances are they are willing to donate their services as a wedding gift or for much cheaper than a professional.
Tip #4. Food is probably going to end up costing the most out of all the wedding expenses. You may want to consider a buffet style meal instead of a sit down meal. It may also be feasible to have the caterers drop off the prepared food and set it all up and then leave. Or, if you’re really ambitious, do the catering yourself.
Tip #5. Wedding announcements and invitations can be found for FREE! There are a ton of services on the web that provide free personalized announcements which can be printed from your home computer. Use some theme colored ribbon to spruce up the look and feel of the card.
Tip #6. From my experience, I know how you ladies like to browse dresses in magazines and try on dresses at bridal shops like Alfred Angelo. The dress is always a pricey piece of weddings, but if you’re not afraid to wear last season’s fashions, hundreds of dollars can be saved by going with an older style dress.
Tip #7. Some marriages find it a must to have a live band at their wedding. Others may suffice with a DJ. Good live bands can cost as much as $2,000 or more. Instead, find a musically inclined friend that will do it for cheap or even free as a gift. If you really want to go cheap, find a play list online and download the songs to your iPod and use an amplifier to play it. I’ve seen this done at many weddings recently and found it to be just as effective as a DJ.
Tip #8. Certain beverages at the wedding can be extremely costly. Instead of hosting an open bar, have a beer wagon and a wine bar. If your families aren’t big drinkers only have a glass of champagne for the toast or just cut it out altogether.
Many brides dream of their bridal shower. The classic bridal shower was held in the spring or early summer, and would be a light luncheon or a tea. It was pretty much the same just about everywhere you went. Today’s bridal showers are much different! You’ll find today’s bridal showers are just as individual and unique as the brides.
But the biggest challenge in planning a bridal shower is trying to decide what type of bridal shower to hold. Where once only one type of bridal shower was “perfect,” now there are so many choices! Take our quiz to discover your (as a bride) or your friend’s (the bride) Bridal Shower Style to plan the best bridal shower ever!
The perfect vacation for you is:
- A romantic getaway to Paris with your sweetie
- A weekend getaway with friends to Las Vegas or another hotspot
- Renting a beach house with another couple
- You’ll just “go with the flow,” the perfect vacation and destination will come!
You have an extra $100. You…
- Take your sweetie out for an evening at the theatre
- Buy that little black dress you’ve had your eye on, or a great pair of shoes
- Get steaks for the grill and plan a BBQ with family and friends
- Do the first thing that inspires you, buy jewelry, donate to charity, go out somewhere fun!
You’re getting a new pet. Your pet is…
- A faithful and loyal Golden Retriever
- This year’s most popular breed dog you’ve seen every celebrity get
- A German Sheppard puppy. You’re good at taking care of animals.
- You’re not sure, you’ll see what they have at the pet store/animal shelter
Tally up your results!
Mostly A’s: You’re a Romantic & Traditional Bridal Shower
This bride will especially appreciate a bridal shower that focuses on love & romance. She’s very excited about the wedding, because she’s marrying her sweetie and probably talks about him often. If she’s registered for bridal shower gifts, they are probably gifts that she can enjoy with her sweetie – not just things she can use on her own.
Mostly B’s: You’re a Trendsetting & Trendwatching Bridal Shower
For this bride what will please her most is having a bridal shower that is modern and fun, probably one that has details that you’ve seen in popular celebrity and style magazines. She has sophisticated tastes even if she doesn’t live in a big city, and will enjoy food that goes beyond a simple tea and sandwiches shower – try serving sake and sushi for something unique!
Mostly C’s: You’re a Jack & Jill or “Couple’s” Bridal Shower
One of today’s most popular bridal shower trends is the Jack & Jill shower, a wedding shower for couples. If a bride truly enjoys being with her sweetie and doing mostly “couple” things more than anything, she would probably appreciate a fun Jack & Jill shower. There are many things you can do to adapt this theme.
Mostly D’s: You’re an Adaptable Bridal Shower
Some brides are super particular about every last detail. This bride is likely to be very easy going, and will be pleased to get together with friends and family to celebrate her bridal shower. Don’t worry so much about small details like monogrammed napkins or table decorations with this bride. She’s going to be more focused on spending time with the people she loves.