Hey friend! If you’re stopping by you must be newly engaged or know someone who is. I am excited to share with you some great tips we have learned from photographing over 300 weddings in the past 11 years. I am excited to share with you how you can add style to your wedding without breaking your wedding budget. So lets, get started!
First things first: commit to a financial plan
The National average cost of a wedding is $33,391, give or take. Sit down with your fiancé and have an honest discussion about the collective budget for your wedding. To get a clearer picture of how your projected budget will be spent, break down your wedding into sections, including food, music, drinks, and even the dress. Hash out what you’re willing to spend on each factor, prioritizing a handful of sections (maybe those pearl-trimmed invites and elaborate venue are what makes the wedding) to allocate extra financial love to.
Be realistic about your budget in correlation with the time you’re giving yourself to save. Perhaps you’ve been saving prior to the engagement, confident that the question would be popped. Regardless, it is better to have more saved than not. Leaning on financial planning tools like budgeting techniques or using personal loans to keep spending at a minimum without overwhelming interest will add transparency and accountability to your financial journey.
Areas that you can cut? Open bar or plated meals. These always end up adding up and sometimes the day of the wedding you owe a lot more than what you were expecting.
Fitting in the Photos
One of the biggest regrets a married couple will have is not investing in a professional photographer and videographer for the wedding. You may be tempted to convince yourself that you don’t need to document every second of your nuptials (after all, staying in the moment is priceless, right?) but you’ll want something to remember your special day.
Save on wedding photography and consider planning your wedding in an off-peak month. Most wedding photographers work every Saturday from May through October. Choosing either a Friday or Sunday wedding during peak months, or opting for a ceremony in winter or early spring can slash a significant amount from your bill. Many photographers can offer payment plans as well, so be sure to ask. For me, I offer custom wedding packages and payment plans!
Go solo for music
A good deejay can cost you a pretty penny and, although it allows you to be hands-off with the music, it doesn’t stop your quirky aunt Deborah from requesting the electric slide on repeat. Sometimes this choice of entertainment can be overrated, not to mention overpriced. Consider auditioning and interviewing live solo entertainment, such as a guitarist well versed in popular and classic acoustic covers. This is a great option for adding a calm and relaxed environment in a unique way! If you’re feeling an elegant vibe for your wedding, opt for a string quartet, which can cost you 25 percent less than traditional music options.
Need food? Go local!
The average size of a wedding reception is 136 guests, with each plate costing an average of $70. If you’ve already done the math, that adds up to $9590 for catering, not including gratuity if it wasn’t already factored into the cost! First things first- try your best to minimize guest list bloat (kids or friends of your parents). Sit down with your partner and discuss who absolutely needs to be at your wedding, trying your best to put emotions aside. Having a more intimate wedding will not only lessen the people you have to feed but will open up more affordable catering opportunities, such as smaller family restaurants. Local small businesses will generally be cheaper than massive catering businesses, as they will be more understanding of a budget and grateful for the opportunity. You’ll be a priority rather than just another client (amongst dozens!), so your food will be extra special.
There are so many gorgeous venues available to serve as the backdrop to your magical day. Many of these, however, will charge you a significant chunk of your budget to host your “I Dos.” According to The Knot’s annual breakdown of wedding costs, the average cost of a venue will run you $15,439.
Take a page from your vacation planning playbook and look into AirBnBs as a potential option for a venue. There are so many breathtaking villas and estates that will allow you to rent out an entire, spacious property to host your closest friends and family on your big day- and for just a fraction of the average venue cost! Even better, renting out a gorgeous mansion will additionally provide plenty of space for family to crash if they’re coming in from out of town or are unfit to drive because they’ve danced the entire night away.
Don’t go into your wedding planning adventure feeling as though the vision you’ve dreamed of is out of reach. Luxury isn’t reserved for those with deep pockets and, at the end of the day- your wedding will be feel as luxurious as hollywood makes it out to be simply because you got to marry your soulmate surrounded by those who you love most.
Planning a wedding can be a bit of a rollercoaster, but I am here to help you out! Look to these tips in order to fit all the bells and whistles of your dream wedding into your budget. Here is some more great information for you on planning your wedding. I hope this has been informative and helpful!