The average cost of a wedding in the United States not counting the honeymoon cost is $26,444. And if you’re looking to cut those costs you might be looking at some steep changes to your dream wedding. Here are 5 tips to help you cut those costs without making your event look shabby.
Cut down on the Wedding Guest List
It might seem harsh but you have to do what you’ve got to do! Of course invite your family can’t have them getting offended but hey leave out your co-workers and that friend from college you haven’t talked to in 5 years. Really it’s ok!!!! When you’re spending $80-200 per guest you can really save a lot by cutting down on the guest list. Though your venue might give you a price per head for the meal, they don’t tell you the lower rates for your bar or the money you save on having to buy a smaller cake, less favors, and less centerpieces. You also might be able to go with a smaller venue or a decreased venue staff if you have a smaller wedding thus leading to so many cost savings.
Another way to cut down the list is to have a destination wedding. Of course if your wedding is in the Bahamas you’re not going to invite everyone and they won’t be offended. You can get a great small wedding package and celebrate your honeymoon while you’re there too. Guests pay their own way the guest list is small and the weddings are intimate and designed especially for you and your crowd.
Change the Date
Weddings held on Saturday nights are charged more because they are the most popular days. Fridays and Sundays are next on the list but tend to give you more flexibility in pricing and availability. June, August, September, and October are the most popular months for weddings though Decembers popularity has grown (I got married in December I helped this stat!) Getting married in off months like January, February, and March can help you save costs venues, florists, dj’s, photographers often give some great discounts in their off months when bookings are slow.
Cut the Open Bar
Gasp! No Open Bar! That doesn’t have to mean there won’t be any free alcohol it just means that there won’t be a free for all. Obviously people love a free open bar but they are also a huge expense. Alternatives to an open bar are of course the cash bar. But the another option is a limited bar. That includes certain bottles of wine, certain kegs of beer, and then also possibly a signature wedding cocktail. Limiting the guest options to what you have chosen though it limits the variety of what they can have will really save you a lot of money in the end and still gives them the option to have alcohol. Don’t forget you can always cut that Champaign toast as well! Guests will do just fine with the drinks in their hand. Another tip is to close the bar during dinner. Guests will have their drinks from the cocktail hour which they can bring to their table, or you can also do wine service at the table. But limiting the availability of alcohol during this time will also cut the amount that your guests are drinking thus cutting your costs.
If you’re crafty you can save a lot of money by doing it all yourself. You can make your own invitations, Save the Dates, make your own decorations, make your own wedding favors. Save the Dates are now also commonly being sent by e-mail instead of the additional printing cost.
Keep Food Casual
No where does it say that you must serve a 5 course sit down meal with $500 bottles of wine! Creating a more casual meal can be fun and delicious! Your guests with a more delicate pallet will also be appreciative of the selection!