On average, US couples spend $26,542 for their wedding. However, the majority of couples spend between $19,907 and $33,178. This does not include cost for a honeymoon or engagement ring.
Guys. Seriously? This is ridiculous. Why would you spend $20,000+ on your wedding, when you can spend $5,000 TOPS and have an absolutely gorgeous day? Yea, and you're thinking "HA! If I elope!"
Let me break this down for you. You can budget your ENTIRE wedding with $5,000. If you were willing to pay $20,000+, keep that for a down payment on a house or even for a rainy day. I even found out that in my hometown, the average wedding is $34,256. That's on the high end of "average" wedding cost.
Well, let me tell you how my wedding will be wonderful AND affordable.
- Create a wedding checklist (I have 3 more days until I start my wedding checklist for you guys, stay posted).
- Create a tracking chart for all of your vendors (I mixed this in with my How To Make A Budget post)
- Research the wedding vendors in your area so that no ones tries to negotiate towards a higher price.
- Go to Bridal Shows! It is overwhelming the amount of vendors that come to these but it really is helpful.
- Don't be afraid to change your mind. John and I have changed our minds on venues, ceremony sites, even our actual date. If pushing your date back or moving it up will save you money, do it. John and I ended up saving $3000 from moving our wedding date from a Saturday to a Thursday.
Hit up David's Bridal, Alfred Angelo, wherever. Their dresses are still gorgeous and way more realistic in terms of price. I have my dream gown. I would post pictures to show you that $500 on a gown can get you just as far as $5,000 but my fiance reads this and I keep it traditional. He can't see it. Nice try honey, keep reading.
KLEINFELD'S VS BRIDEWARDROBE
Pnina Tornai Gown- $9600
Very similar gown for only $187. Beats spending almost $10,000
Next, visit venues! Don't get your mind made up before looking at them. John and I's first choice was The Vineyards in Florence. Turns out, just to rent the facility would be $6,500+. Just because it was something we decided on, doesn't mean we can't change our minds and have a wedding just as beautiful. Now look at me, I found a venue that I believe to be even more beautiful for less than a third of that price, and that is including a coordinator. Also, pay attention to what the cost includes. If you think it is a great price, ask yourself if it gives you what you were expecting. Would you spend $2,000 on a venue that the price just included use of the facility? Or would you rather spend $2,000 on a similar facility that includes setup and cleanup, wedding day coordinator, tables, chairs, linens, use of bridal suites, etc?
Now. Talk to your caterers. See what they provide. I had a nice long conversation with our caterer and found that he is getting us a HUGE discount on tableware with Almighty Rentals. What would have been $400 is now $50. Also, the company we are catering with makes AWESOME food, yet you don't see me spending $35 a plate when I can spend $7 and get the same quality food.
As for decorations, have fun! Don't go overboard with flowers. The florist will push you to it and you'll end up spending $2,000+ on flowers like the average bride. Make it simple, yet elegant. A little goes a long way. Plus, what are you going to do with $2,000 worth of flowers 6 hours later? Throw them away? Well, there you go. You just threw $2,000 in the trash, literally.
Lastly, keep your guest list down to the people who care about you. I wrote a how to on that a couple of days ago, I suggest you look at it.
All in all, your wedding day is about you and your love. Don't get caught up in trying to make your day for everyone else.
Have fun and Happy Planning!