So you’ve finally decided to tie the knot. A wedding can be a memorable and fulfilling experience with your friends and family. It can also cost an arm and a leg if you don’t budget accordingly. You can still have a lovely wedding on a budget, and we’ve put together some tips to help you out.
1. Start Saving Early
If neither the bride nor the groom will receive any financial help from their parents, it’s a good idea to start saving early. This doesn’t mean just throwing money into a savings account, but rather planning how much you’ll need and saving accordingly.
Calculate the cost of everything you’ll need for the wedding, down to the last fork. Is this tedious? Absolutely. But it’s a necessary step to ensure you’re not overspending. After all, you’re on a budget, so a few hundred forks can definitely add up.
If you’ve gotten engaged already, it’s probably a good idea to wait a few months or even a year to allow enough time to save for your wedding. Shop around and compare prices for catering, venues, and photographers. Don’t be afraid to turn down an offer if it doesn’t fit in your budget.
Set an amount to put towards the wedding every month, and stick to it. Start saving as soon as possible, and as much as possible. If you work some extra hours and can afford to save more during a particular month, it’s a good idea to do so. You’ll be grateful later when you don’t have to worry about having enough money to pay for everything.
2. Do You Really Need That?
We understand fully that a wedding is a special day, and one of the highlights of adult life (especially for the bride!). There’s a fine line, however, especially when you’re on a budget, between need and want.
Maybe a horse and carriage offers a bit of a romantic feel to the wedding, but is it really necessary? These are the tough questions you’ll need to ask yourself when you start planning the ceremony and reception.
Maybe you want to have a big reception but the venue that you wanted it too expensive. Parks are a great option, as you can usually rent out an entire pavilion for the day for a relatively cheap price.
Another large cost is usually entertainment. If you wanted that live orchestra, you might need to skip it if you’re on a budget. Hiring a DJ is almost always cheaper than a group of professional musicians; just make sure you provide a list of your favorite songs.
The best practice is to pick something, sit on it for a few weeks, and then go back to it after you’ve had some time to think. You might find what you thought you needed is actually a want that you can do without.
3. Use A Budgeting App
If you find that budgeting isn’t your strong point, you can try utilizing a budgeting app to assist you. There are many apps out there to help you manage your finances, with each bringing its own personal spin to the industry.
Mint is an app that allows you to track costs, see real-time changes and costs, all from the palm of your hand. Mint connects to your bank or financial institution so you can track all of your accounts and transactions on one app.
Every Dollar is another budgeting app that helps you create a personalized monthly budget so you can meet your savings and spending goals. This is great for adding wedding expenses into your monthly savings efforts.
If you’re not sure which is right for you, consider your needs, or visit our Mint vs EveryDollar article for an in-depth comparison of both apps.
4. Try Using Digital Invites
Paper, ink, and postage can add up quickly when you’ve got a hundred people or more to send them to. If you want exquisite paper and fancy calligraphy, you’ll find the bill climbing quickly. Paper is not cheap and postage continues to rise.
A good alternative would be e-invites, or even utilizing a wedding app to send out invites. There are many wedding invite apps that have great looking invites completely free of postage or costly paper.
You’ll be surprised how much you’ll trim off the wedding cost with this simple alternative, and your guests won’t have to worry about RSVPing via mail, they can simply return the email or answer through the app.
5. Trim The Guest List
The guest list is a crucial part of any wedding, but an extensive guest list can up your costs rather quickly. You’ll have to rent a bigger venue and provide more food and drink. When you’re considering who to invite, keep a few things in mind.
Do you really want to invite the high school friends you don’t talk to anymore? Or your third cousin who you’ve never met in real life? If you have a large family, it’s understandable to want to invite everyone, but sometimes it’s just not practical.
We’re not saying don’t invite whoever you want, just keep in mind that you’re footing the bill at the end of the night, so if you can trim a few numbers off of the list, you’ll trim a few off your final bill, as well. Maybe your old best friend doesn’t need an invite after all.