I got married in 2011. We didn’t even come close to the national average. We weren’t in the same universe of that.
The Knot did a survey of 13,000 brides and one thing is for sure: people are spending a fortune. The average in 2016 was up to $32,641! THIRTY TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS.
I am no wedding expert, but I found a few ways to save some big bucks when I was wedding planning:
Do what YOU want. When you’re getting married, there are a lot of opinions being thrown at you. Don’t cave. This day isn’t about anyone but the happy couple. We didn’t want to do a sit down dinner, so we didn’t do that. We opted for heavy appetizers instead. I didn’t want to do a seating chart. So guess what? I didn’t do it. I just wanted people to mingle and drink and dance and enjoy themselves! You’ll find yourself spending money on traditions that you don’t even care about. Don’t want to do the tradition? Don’t.
Did you know that most caterers charge you to cut your cake? $1 per piece! If you have a big wedding, that really adds up. (and let’s be honest, no one lovessss wedding cake). We opted for cupcakes! We still had the topper that we were able to cut, but people loved being able to pick the flavor that they wanted. We supplied to-go boxes if they would rather enjoy it the following day.
Find a venue that’s a one stop shop! If you rent a hall or big venue, you’ll have to pay an additional fee just for the room that doesn’t include ANYTHING. My venue was free when we spent a certain amount on food and drinks. That saved us thousands. Seriously, thousands.
Things you DON’T want to skimp on:
Good photography. It’s the only thing you’ll have left when the day is over. Spend the cash on it. You won’t regret it.
Open bar. You wouldn’t charge people for drinks at your house would you? Don’t make them pay for their own drinks at your wedding. People will stay longer and enjoy themselves more if this is supplied for them!
Week-of or Day-of planner. I hired someone who was fantastic with guiding me through the planning process, but really became a huge help the week-of! She became the point of contact for all vendors and was able to put out fires that I never even found out about until after. She handled setting up everything so that my wedding party could be with me before the wedding. She even had all of our gifts and keepsakes delivered right to our hotel room after the reception. We didn’t have to worry about anything. Best money we spend the whole time!