The weather is turning warmer and the flowers are beginning to bloom, which means wedding season is right around the corner! While this is an exciting time for many couples as they get ready to celebrate their futures together with family and friends, it can also be a stressful time as bills from vendors begin to roll in. Planning a wedding is a lot of work and it’s not cheap. Everything adds up very quickly, so it’s important that you budget and plan ahead for the big day.
According to The Knot’s 2014 Real Weddings Survey, the average cost of a wedding is now $31,213 and that doesn’t include a honeymoon! While some couples can afford to spend that much, the reality is most couples simply can’t without going into debt — and I wouldn’t recommend doing that! Going into debt right out of the gate will only add stress to your new marriage and make it harder to get ahead financially.
With a little planning and budgeting, you can have the wedding of your dreams without spending a fortune. Here are some tips to help you save:
Create a Budget & Stick to It
According to The Knot, more than 45% of couples go over their wedding budget, so it’s important that you create a budget from the get-go that is realistic and then stick to it. To get started, you’ll need to figure out how much you can spend by adding up your savings, contributions from parents, etc. There are many online resources, such as budget calculators and vendor estimates, to get a general idea of what your wedding is going to cost.
Once you have a realistic figure, you can start researching and calling around to see how much different vendors charge for their services. It pays to shop around and compare prices, but keep in mind that many vendors book up to a year in advance so you’ll want to plan ahead or risk not getting the vendor you really want. After you’ve gotten prices from vendors, you’ll have to decide how much you are willing to pay for each category, i.e. photographer, location, flowers, etc. You may have to skimp in some areas in order to splurge in others.
Take Out a Personal Loan
If you borrow money to pay for your wedding, a personal loan can be a great option. A personal loan gives you the option to borrow a large amount of money at a relatively low, fixed interest rate until you pay the money back. Discover Personal Loans let you borrow up to $30,000 with a flexible repayment timeline, no closing fee or prepayment penalty and a fixed interest rate. This flexibility will give you peace of mind as unexpected expenses pop up. Keep in mind that you will need to be diligent about paying the loan back or it could negatively affect your credit in the long run.
Prioritize Your Must-Haves
Is the location what you’re most concerned about? How about the photographers? Or maybe you want the best catered food money can buy. No matter what your preference, lay out your no-compromise, must-haves at the beginning of the planning process. This will inform all of your decisions moving forward. Identify what means most to you, and axe or cut back on the items that are less important.
Package Your Vendors
Hiring one person to take your photos, one person to shoot your video, one person to man your photobooth, etc. can become costly very quickly. These days, many people in the wedding business have begun packaging their services for a much more competitive fee. For example, at my wedding we saved by having the same company take our photos and shoot our video. You’ll find that in many cases it’s cheaper to buy a package deal than to buy a la carte.
Get Creative & Save with DIY Wedding Ideas
Pinterest is a fantastic place to look for DIY inspiration. There are so many great, inexpensive ideas to make your wedding beautiful! Whether it’s your guestbook, hair accessories, a welcome sign, invitations, centerpieces and more, there are so many ways to save if you take the time to create them yourself.
By following these simple tips, you can have the wedding of your dreams without spending a fortune. While it may seem overwhelming now, you’ll be thankful in the long run that you found ways to save. After all, the most important part of your big day should be centered around your love — not how fancy your wedding is!
What are some ways you saved money on your wedding?
I wrote this post as part of the Discover Preferred Blogger Program. All opinions are my own.
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