The average wedding cost $22,000. In order to get married people get second jobs, go into debt, or wait longer then they would like before they tie the knot as they pinch and save pennies in order to afford the ceremony. There are ways to reduce the cost of getting married without sacrificing quality. Low cost weddings can be beautiful, eloquent and less than $5,000.
Keep your guest list low. Limiting the amount of people you invite to the ceremony reduces the size of space you need to rent and the amount of money you will spend on food. As a rule, don’t invite people you haven’t spent time with in the last 5 years. It is ok only to exclude children from the ceremony and only invite parents.
Rent a less expensive venue. There are many beautiful places to get married that are in a cheaper price range. Look into getting married at a park, on the beach, at a beautiful home, or in a nice restaurant.
Sheet cake. Get a small wedding cake for you and the wedding party. Keep a few large sheet cakes away from public view. As you cut the cake have slices of the sheet cake brought out for the guests.
Music mix. Put together a large mix of songs that you would like played during your reception. Instead of paying for a DJ, ask a friend to man the microphone and the music mix. This way you save money and have more control over what is played!
Use people you know. Dip into the sea of people you know and their respective talents. Musicians can play music at your ceremony and reception, someone may have a cool car for you to drive off in, a time share they may let you use at a cool honeymoon spot, etc. Use your resources!
Go buffet style. Offering a buffet table of food is much cheaper than a multi-course meal. I know one couple who got married in the morning and had a brunch buffet rather than a dinner. Breakfast food was cheaper to supply than dinner food, and people were less hungry in the middle of the day.
Limit Alcohol. Don’t worry about having an open bar at your wedding if you can’t afford it. Give out drink coupons that limit the amount of drinks guests can have. Then have small flutes of champagne brought around for toasts. Avoiding the free flow of alcohol not only saves cash, but avoids awkward drunkenness at your reception.
Dress for less. Beautiful tuxedos and wedding dresses can be found off the rack and to rent for very low prices. Ask someone you know to help you tailor a dress to fit you so you don’t have to pay a wedding gown shop to do it for hundreds more. Select bridesmaid dresses that your sisters and friends can wear again from lower-cost stores that you regularly shop at.
Smart photography. While remembering your reception is important don’t spend thousands of dollars doing so. Ask family and friends to take pictures before and after the actual ceremony so that you only have to hire a photographer for the ceremony. Better yet, ask a friend photographer if they would be willing to give you a discount on wedding photography.
Design and print yourself. Make your own wedding invitations and programs. It is easy to design them on the computer using Microsoft Publisher or Word and print them off either at home or a local print store.
Cheap flowers. Buy flowers wholesale or grow your own in a flower garden. Select flowers that are in season and locally available to reduce costs.
Simple wedding bands. You don’t need extravagance to show your love. Go with simple wedding bands for now and wait till you can afford different ones later.