When I got engaged back in September, I couldn’t wait to start looking through bridal magazines and start planning the details of my special day. I am not oblivious to the cost of having a wedding, but I certainly did not want to spend a high amount either. According to Reuters Online, the average cost of a U.S. wedding in 2012 is $27,021. That’s quite a dent in your wallet or your parent’s wallet. In the beginning of the planning stage, it’s crucial to at least set a budget. Everyone needs a starting point. A free online tool that I like to use for my budget is The Wedding Wire’s Budget Tracker. It’s a great resource to estimate costs, track your spending, set up payments, and it provides lots of visual graphs.
To help you save a few dollars, I’d like to share with you some of the ways that I found to be helpful and effective with the planning.
- Three Little Words – Do It Yourself
Some brides are extremely crafty, and others wouldn’t even know where to put a glue stick in a glue gun. That’s OK. DIY wedding items are not just about making pretty decorations. It’s about finding what works for you. That could be supplying your own playlist, baking your own pastry favors, or printing off your own invitations. Plus, if you do have that Martha Stewart bridesmaid or relative – use them to your advantage! One of my bridesmaids is a great sewer, and offered to make me a clutch for the day of the wedding. Its little things that you can do which will make all the financial difference.
- Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Some might feel odd about reusing a wedding item, but think about the savings! I made my wedding band out of diamonds that I inherited from relatives and it turned out cheaper than buying a new one. Plus, it’s more sentimental. Also, there are great websites out there like The Recycled Bride and The Wedding Bee’s Classifieds that showcase tons of great items for sale. Think about it, it’s just one day that you will be wearing that veil or sash. You might as well buy it from someone for less than from some bridal store.
- Daily Deal Websites
You might think Groupon is just for dinners or daily outings, but think again. You can find lots of wedding deals on there from photography to floral. I recently bought a Groupon for a photobooth that saved me $1,000. If you are doing a destination wedding like myself, then you can even receive notification emails from that particular city and not just your hometown. Also, if you think you’ll need some bulk items like centerpiece vases or favors, why not order online through one of FatWallet’s affiliated retailers and get some cash back. I know, shameless plug on my part.
- Use Other’s Ideas
With the rise of Pinterest and Etsy, start logging some time and check out what other people are doing. Often these websites can spark some great ideas in your head. I recently made my own cake topper for under twenty dollars, because I saw one that I liked on Etsy.
So, there are many ways you can trim your wedding costs without losing the fun factor. Be smart and realistic on what you can do. Your bank account will be thanking you in the long run!