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The average cost of a wedding these days is around the $30,000 mark. That isn’t for a fancy wedding or anything, but just a regular wedding with standard catered meals.
It may seem like a lot of money until you start investigating all the components that go into a wedding such as booking the venue which seems to be the bulk of the cost, down to the little incidental fees such as wedding cake plating or wine corking fees (both of which only really serve to vex and gouge those poor couples who have booked the venue and want to bring in their own cake or wine).
That said, there are a few ways you can save on a wedding without compromising on quality.
1. Look for talented students who want to build their portfolios
Whether it is for makeup application or photography, you might want to consider checking out portfolios of local students. Some of them are just as talented as the pros, and need to get their foot into the industry so to speak, so are willing to go for cutthroat rates just to build some clientele and word of mouth.
You could test drive their skills by booking an appointment to see how they would do your makeup on the wedding day, or have them shoot your engagement photos and see how they turn out.
If you are pleased with the result, you could end up saving over 50% of the cost of over a professional, with the almost exactly same results – beautiful photos of your big day.
2. Use fresh flowers strategically
Fresh flowers cost a lot of money and if you can use it strategically (just in a bouquet and a few touches here and there), you could save a lot more money than you think. For centerpieces, if you submerge cloth or plastic flowers under water, they may not look as fake as if they are left dry and out in the open. You could also consider buying succulents or other plants that you will be able to take home and replant in your garden as not to waste money.
Otherwise, choosing centerpieces that can be easily made, such as vases filled with marbles and a few spray painted silver branches can be just as elegant and beautiful as a vase of expensive blooms.
3. Consider just having a huge dinner at a restaurant
If you aren’t into having a huge ceremony and a big hall where everyone can party, why not dress up, have photos taken, sign the marriage license and splurge on a big dinner or party at a restaurant to celebrate with all your friends and family?
It might take some of the pressure off planning the day (aside from the restaurant planning) and you won’t be locked into a venue and subsequently be reluctantly coaxed into using their preferred vendors and caterers.
4. Have the wedding off-season and during the day
A lot of weddings are held from May to about September, as it is prime wedding season to be able to not have to wear a winter jacket or boots.
Consider holding the wedding in an off-season instead, or if you truly must have the wedding between May to September, consider having a morning ceremony and lunch reception rather than an afternoon ceremony with a dinner reception.
People are less likely to drink during the morning and afternoon (which will save you money if you are holding an open bar), and as wedding venues really want to maximize the time slots allotted for wedding season, you could get a higher quality venue for much cheaper if their mornings and afternoons are empty.
The bottom line is that you have to focus on the fact that you are getting married to your favourite person in the world, and the wedding in the end, is just one day that will mark the beginning of the rest of your lives. Don’t get too caught up in the details and enjoy your big day.
What are your recommendations of ways to have a cheaper wedding?