Did you know that the average wedding in the US costs around $26,000? And they feature an average of 14 different wedding vendors.
That’s a lot of money spent on a single day that will be here today and gone tomorrow. Of course, wedding celebrations are worth the expense. But if you don’t have all of that money laying around, you might need to find some tips for saving serious money on your wedding, so you don’t need to go into debt.
So what are the best ways to save money when planning a wedding? Keep reading below to find out now.
Get Married at the Courthouse
Courthouse weddings are becoming a lot more popular. While in the past, courthouse weddings were done by couples who simply didn’t have money for a traditional wedding, that narrative is changing.
Many couples who do have money are instead opting to perform a courthouse wedding and saving tens of thousands of dollars to either plan an extensive honeymoon, purchase a home, or make other investments in their future.
A courthouse wedding typically costs less than $100. For example, a courthouse wedding in Sarasota, FL, a popular destination for these types of weddings, only costs $30 in addition to the cost of a marriage license.
The ceremony lasts about 30 minutes or less, and you get to perform it in a beautiful, historic building. Couples can then plan their own version of a reception, whether that’s a picnic on the nearby beaches, going out to a restaurant, or inviting friends and family over to their home or hotel.
Consider a Backyard Wedding
You can host a traditional wedding, with dozens, if not hundreds of guests, without paying thousands of dollars for a venue. If you have a large backyard, or if a family member or neighbor doesn’t mind you using their backyard, you can host both your ceremony and reception for free.
This works great for weddings with fewer than a hundred people. You can still pay for other services, like catering, or you can host a potluck-style wedding where each guest brings a dish to pass around.
These weddings are fun, intimate, and every bit as enjoyable as a wedding at a proper venue. You can even set out yard games like cornhole, ping pong, and so forth, which most traditional weddings don’t have.
Plan a Mid-Week Wedding
Want to have your wedding at a beautiful venue, but don’t want to pay full price? Many wedding venues offer weekday weddings for a lower price since these days are in much lower demand.
Weekday weddings tend to work best for smaller celebrations since your closest relatives and friends are more likely to come out for a weekday wedding. They also work well for destination weddings, since most guests are already taking time off work to attend. Since they are away from their jobs, it doesn’t matter if your wedding is on a Thursday or a Saturday.
Elope on Your Terms
Maybe you don’t want to have a traditional wedding ceremony with dozens or hundreds of people. And maybe you don’t want to get married at the courthouse. Well, you can elope whenever and wherever you want.
More couples are eloping than ever before. They are becoming popular because you can technically elope anywhere. So if you want to hike up a mountain and perform your wedding ceremony with magnificent views, you can do so.
You just need a licensed officiant in the state that you are getting married in, and you can get married in whatever type of location that is meaningful to you, like the mountains, beach, at your home, in the woods, etc.
Narrow Down Your Guest List
Maybe you want to plan a traditional wedding at a proper venue on a Saturday night. What are some ways you can save money? The simplest way to save money would be to limit your guest list.
One of the biggest expenses you’ll pay is catering. If you only need to pay for food for 50 guests instead of 200 guests, you’ll save thousands of dollars. That applies to drinks as well, if you’re having an open bar.
Of course, the more guests you invite, the more wedding gifts (and money) you’ll receive, so it becomes a balancing act at that point.
Planning a Wedding that Feels Right to You
In the modern era, there are countless different ways to plan a wedding. You can go all out and spend tens of thousands of dollars, or you can get creative and plan a budget-friendly wedding, so you can save money and apply it to something that will last longer, like a downpayment on a house.
There’s no right or wrong way to plan a wedding, so do whatever feels right for you.
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