TYING THE KNOT DOESN’T HAVE TO TIE UP LOTS OF MONEY
That walk down the aisle may necessitate a walk to the bank: The national average wedding cost is $33,931. And that excludes the honeymoon. But treat that figure as a benchmark only, not as an expectation that can set you up for being harried when you’re getting married.
Keep in mind the following suggestions if you’re looking to stay on budget when planning the big day.
Where you get married matters: You’ll pay more for venues in major metropolitan areas where the full range of wedding services can all come at a premium.
Paying for professional services can add up so why not see if a friend can bartend or create your decorations and floral arrangements? Opting out of using professionals can save money and add a more personal touch.
Yes, it’s often a dream to be a June bride, or a bride in any other summer month. But the price could put a damper on your sunny event: Ceremony sites, receptions halls, and even photographers tend to hike prices in peak wedding season; lower rates are often available during off-peak months such as January and February.
Day Of The Week
Saturday is the most popular day for nuptials, and the high demand for this day often comes with a corresponding high price tag. Scheduling your wedding on a weekday or Sunday could cost significantly less.
Guest List Size
According to Deborah Moody of the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants, head count affects wedding expenses across the board. So even though you’re being encouraged to invite your brother-in-law’s second cousin’s wife and her husband and their three kids, think about how big you want your gathering to be and who make the list as the most important people you’d like to share in your day.
When you’ve determined the services you want, compare prices by visiting venues and talking with family and friends who’ve recently gone through the process themselves. Once you whittle down your choices, feel free to negotiate but bear in mind that a professional person has usually set his or her rates for a reason.
One of the best ways to lower rates: Consider asking vendors to work with you in terms of what’s included in a package. For example, ask a photographer to work a few hours instead of the entire day or inquire as to whether the caterer can limit guests to one or two drinks instead of the budget-busting open bar.