Planning the biggest day of your life takes a lot of work and therefore a lot of money. (Are you sitting down?) The average cost of a wedding is now $27,000 nationally according to a survey conducted for the Conde Nast Bridal Group. But at the end of the day, no one is going to sit and calculate how much you spent on your wedding. (except you, and maybe your parents if they are helping to pay for it.) Here’s some helpful tips on how to get the most bang for your buck and how to have a great wedding while doing it!
Before you begin planning your wedding and reception, sit down with your significant other and make a list of your top five priorities. This seems so simple and yet, most people go in so many different directions trying to get EVERYTHING for their wedding. (Its best to focus on what you really want!)
2. Limit The Guest List
Keeping the guest list as concise as possible will drastically reduce reception costs. Sure, it would be great if Aunt Irma, Uncle Larry, your next door neighbors, co-workers, extended friends you haven’t seen in 10 years, your financial advisor and even your hair stylist could celebrate your special day with you, but do you really want to pay for all of them? (I’m exaggerating a bit, but its amazing how quickly the cost of your guest list can grow when its not trimmed down…)
Food can be the biggest expense at a wedding. There are many different options and the best thing you can do it research them. You may want to consider a buffet instead of a sit-down meal, cupcakes instead of a full wedding cake, and even a self-made snack bar later in the evening.
Find the ceremony and reception location that you like the best, it’s not always the more expensive and elaborate ones. There are many beautiful options for low-cost or no-cost locations, including local and national parks, forest preserves, gazebos, your own back yard or that of a friend or relative.
Everyone’s music tastes are different, but one thing is for sure, music at your wedding puts people in the mood to have fun, spark great conversation and create a celebration! In many ways the entertainment makes or breaks a reception.
Some couples prefer a band, but many people today choose a disc jockey. The big advantage of a DJ is you get a master of ceremony to move the reception along for a fraction of a cost and the variety of genres and song choices is much greater than a band. Its hard to put a price on a true professional, but you’ll see the value throughout your entire special day.
With a little upfront time and research you’ll be amazed what you can get spending the same amount of money focused on what’s important to you at your wedding.