Weddings cost a ton of money.
If you are in the process of planning a wedding, chances are you are already seeing how expensive a wedding can be. Costs add up really quickly. You also might be asking this question:
Why are weddings so expensive?
Keeping up with the Jones’s.
Mr. & Mrs. Jones paid for their daughter’s wedding. It was huge. It was beautiful. And about 200 people came. And four hours later just like that $40,000 worth of savings was gone with some great memories, a three minute highlight video, and lots of photos. I can think of many ways to spend $40,000 and none of it includes a five hour party. People trying to impress people they really don’t even care about. Do not keep up with the Jones’s because the Jones’s can not keep up with themselves.
Have the wedding that makes YOU and YOUR significant other happy.
Depending on where you choose to have your wedding, this can be a huge expense. One venue alone that we looked at was $10,000. Our budget was $15,000, no thank you. Be smart about the venue you choose.
1 in 4 vendors will hike up the cost when they hear the word wedding. Service costs, cake cutting fees, the things plates sit on, the chair upgrades, all these little things add up, and they add up quickly.
Every family member, friend, cousin, cousin’s boyfriend of two weeks, best friend’s current lady friend from last Friday, and your Aunt Betty who still gives you gifts at Christmas that are meant for a 10 year old have to be invited. I get it. But guest lists add up in a hurry and before you know it your list is somewhere around 150-200 people and you start to panic.
This can escalate just as quickly as all the service costs and vendor hikes. Pay for a plated dinner and you will quickly have a huge bill on your hands.
Alcohol (Brad Paisley voice) is expensive. Simply put. Open bar is really expensive. Consider all options like beer & wine only, or when applicable providing your own. We factored the amount of people who would consume alcohol and how much they will consume, the average recommended by planners is 5.
So with those in mind, here are 9 simple ways to save on your wedding and start your marriage on the right foot!
Create one first. A budget will determine what kind of wedding you have. At the end of the big day it is the company of friends & family, coupled with all the fun you will remember, not the decorations or even the food. Sit down and create a budget.
I have attached our budget to the article. We had a goal of $15,000, we had some things paid for as gifts for our wedding from family. Even with that we still went over $320.00 after we upgraded our video package. Food, Alcohol & the Venue was 59% of our budget.
Choose your venue wisely. We went with a venue that could do the food, alcohol, services, planning, and everything in between all for one price. There was an initial down payment/rental fee, then after that the cost for rest was per person, we just had to guarantee we would have 80 guests (or guarantee we paid for 80).
The biggest challenge, limiting the guests. This was a challenge as we had lots of friends and family to consider. Besides forgetting one friend who was in dental school, people understand that when you are planning a wedding limiting the number of people means they might not be invited.
There is also the expense on their end, so it is a win win in some senses. Stick to your budget and you will figure this out. You do not have to invite everyone! The intimate setting turned out to be way more fun, everyone was involved in the action.
We went with just beer and wine. Liquor was available at the cash bar outside the ballroom. Our mindset was if you are not happy with just beer and wine you could go get some liquor. I think the first two make happier guests, liquor makes people act interesting.
Buffet style was a hit. We had recently been to three plated weddings where one side of the room was done eating while the other was still waiting on food. Buffet style allowed people to get as much food as they wanted, and everyone ate at the same time. The cost was much cheaper going buffet over plated.
Everyone knows a DJ. My buddy referred a friend, who was reasonably priced and asked for a hotel room since travel was involved. He also assumed the role of keeping the wedding on schedule – no need for a planner! A live band would have been cool, but $4,000 was a bit excessive. With a DJ we also were able to give the lists of music we preferred.
This was an area looking back we could have cut down on, but we knew the commitment it takes to be in a wedding and wanted to take care of the wedding party. In the end, come up with something original and genuine that your wedding party will remember. For example, we made wooden coasters with engraving for every person in the wedding party!
8. Flowers & Decorations.
Here is where you can spend or save a lot. Lauren did some planning and we got creative. See what you can make, for exdample, my brother and I made maple slabs for each table and the cake.
Lauren ordered flowers whole sale to do her self, the girls did them together the night before while drinking wine in the suite, the cost about $1100. We got mason jars, 1 big, 1 small for each table to hold the flowers, a total of about $10.00. As party favours, we gave each person a succulent that served as a decoration as well on the tables. The amount of flowers we had would have been over $4,000 had we not done it ourselves.
9. Photography & Videography.
A great photographer is key to capturing your wedding. Look into someone starting out and check out their portfolio to save money. This is an area you want to make sure get right.
As far the videographer, there is company that sends cameras that allow the guests to film the wedding or download an app and film from their phone – Wedding Mix. All the videos go to a cloud where we quickly realized we were not video editors and paid the extra $200.00 to have the company make a 20 minute highlight video. This was a hit!
The guests loved filming the events and uploading it from their phone including the photos they took. It got everyone super involved and was super inexpensive. We got every clip on a thumb drive and a highlight video included!
In the end, weddings are meant to be fun not stressful. We went a little over our budget but for the most part did well. Vendors know people are excited about their wedding, coupled with inexperience, it is really easy to see how wedding costs quickly adds up.
For starters, use this budget sheet for your personal finance or wedding!