Congratulations! It’s official! You’ve found “the one,” the ring is on your (or your partner’s) finger, and you’re getting married! But now that the first ring has been exchanged, it’s time to start thinking about the big day and the big price tag that comes with that big day. It’s no secret that weddings can be expensive. Here are a few ways to have the wedding of your dreams without incurring the debt of your nightmares.
Set a budget and stick to it
According to Nerdwallet, the average wedding costs $33,931, and that’s not including the ring or the honeymoon! But just because the average wedding costs $33,931 doesn’t mean that your wedding has to cost that much. It may seem obvious, but if you establish a wedding budget, you’re more likely to stick to it. Make a list of all your expected expenses, write them down in an Excel doc, and determine how much you and your partner are willing to spend on your wedding overall. After you create your budget, add 10% to account for unexpected expenses. Then, determine how much per month you’ll need to save before your wedding day and write out when you’ll have to pay each bill in your calendar. Keep these dates in your Excel sheet too, and cross the bill out when it’s been paid. If it helps, open a savings account for wedding expenses. Save a monthly amount, and use that account to pay for your wedding expenses. That way all of your wedding money is in one place separate from your regular finances, and you’re not tempted to stray from your budget.
Now that you’ve determined how much you’re willing to spend on your wedding overall, it’s time to prioritize. Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to pinch pennies (unless you want to). Set aside an hour or two for you and your partner to figure out which details (the dress, the venue, the flowers) you’re willing to splurge on and which details you’re willing to spend less on. If you’re a fan of lists, try ranking your priorities, with 1 being what you’re willing to spend the most on to 10 being what you can spend the least on. Then, write down a range of what you and your partner are willing to spend in each category. This will give you a clearer way to budget for what you want without depriving yourself.
Don’t be afraid of DIY
DIY projects are not for everyone. At first glance, they may seem intimidating, but even the most non-creative people can do DIY projects that will help cut costs and add personalized touches to your wedding. Pinterest is a great place to find easy and fun craft ideas with comprehensive instructions that will make your wedding just as beautiful at a lower price. With the help of Pinterest, you can search for projects, organize your ideas, and budget accordingly.
Get by with a little help from your friends
Let’s be real. The last thing anyone needs is a third waffle iron. Wedding registries are great, but if you’re looking to go beyond Amazon and Crate and Barrel, ask your friends for more personal gifts. Ask them to officiate, make your wedding favors, place settings, design menus, create invitations, make flower arrangements, or even the cake! Anything can be made into a wedding gift! Involving your friends in your wedding beyond standard wedding party activities can be a great bonding activity and make your wedding even more memorable without breaking the bank. You can even turn your bachelor/bachelorette party into a wedding favor making session. Grab some drinks, get some fun supplies, and start crafting!
View this post on Instagram
Weddings can be the best day of you and your partner’s life. Don’t let the sticker shock of pricy weddings ruin your special day. With a little bit of planning and some help from your friends, you can have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of without going bankrupt. Just remember to budget, compromise, and prioritize. And don’t forget to communicate your financial needs with your partner so you can start your marriage off on the right foot!