Money-saving wedding planning tips

Flickr photo by Daniel Chang

Flickr photo by Daniel Chang

Getting engaged and married is a rite of passage, but why oh why is it so expensive? I have a few friends experiencing sticker shock as they plan their upcoming nuptials, and all I can do is shake my head in sympathy. Depending on your geographic location, weddings cost an average of more than $28,000 these days, which is not easy on your personal finances.

Fortunately, there are ways to save on your wedding, but these tips have to be considered from the very beginning — before you even set a date. Still interested? Read on.

Photo by Flickr’s ndulj

Photo by Flickr’s ndulj

Timing

Consider having your wedding on a weekday or on Sunday. Saturday is the most popular day for weddings, and therefore the most expensive. This might not seem feasible, but when you consider how many couples are having multi-day events up until their weddings, or having destination weddings, this could work for you. It’s a fabulous way to have your dream wedding at a four-star resort — like the Four Seasons Westlake Village — for a 3-star price. You don’t even have to go as far as scheduling your wedding for Wednesday to see a big discount — Friday and Sunday weddings are also quite popular and much cheaper than having them on a premium Saturday.

If a weekday wedding isn’t feasible, look next at off-season months. I’ve previously found October to be the most popular wedding month both among my personal friends and the readers here. From my experience, most weddings happen from April through November. Considering all that, December and January are probably the months to get a discount on your date. Plus, you also get the benefit of having all the Christmas decorations up and being able to get away with fewer decorations for your wedding. However, keep in mind that December is also a big month for company holiday parties.

Wedding in Big IslandVenue

It seems counter intuitive, but if you plan a destination wedding, you will save money. Why? Because if everyone is making a special trip — booking airfare, a hotel, plus the expense of actually being a wedding guest — to attend your wedding, there will be fewer people who can go. Fewer wedding guests automatically equals less money spent.

Another way to save money is to go with an all-inclusive wedding venue. I talk about this all the time, I know — but its true all the time. Most budget-friendly wedding venues are all-inclusive, providing the food, decorations, cake, music, etc. (and sometimes even the officiant) for a set price.

And finally, think outside the box when it comes to venues — you don’t have to have your wedding at a hotel or a winery. How about your local community center? Or at your alma mater? If you’re looking to have a wedding on the beach, what about a state park? Or, if you’re in Southern California, how about getting married at a movie studio? These aren’t necessarily cost-saving ideas, but they can give you better prices than the 4-star resort on the beach.

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