With the average cost of a wedding topping $30,000, it may present a great opportunity for you as a couple to evaluate every aspect of your wedding day and plan wisely on the fiscal front. Since most weddings are planned a year in advance, you have time on your side to talk about options for every aspect of your special ceremony and reception and hatch a scheme to pay for all of it in advance.
Where the money comes from ~ Your first step is to determine how much money will be gifted from parents, friends, relatives and yourselves. The bride’s parents may have the $30,000; perhaps the groom’s family is willing to provide for more than the traditional rehearsal dinner. You and your betrothed might have savings or a plan to save some amount per month between you across one year. Sometimes grandparents willingly share, as well as other relatives and close friends, monetarily or otherwise.
Once you know the money coming in from family members and what you have on hand, you can then look for ways to earn and save more, as well as evaluate the importance of every else. Consider opening a bank account for the wedding. You might need to toss in $1,000 to avoid fees, but you get that back as you watch the account expand during the year. You can deposit as little as one dollar into the account any day of the week.
- Toss change in a jar daily, bank it monthly
- Set aside the dollars of every latte or treat you decide not to have
- Get a part-time seasonal job and auto-deposit those paychecks to the account
- Sell what you simply do not use, bank the proceeds
- Take clothes, accessories and sports equipment to consignment stores
- Refrain from spending frivolously and deposit discretionary money in the wedding account
Where the money goes ~ It’s not a news bulletin that it’s very easy to spend money, and little monies can all add up to large totals. In order to plan a beautiful day and walk away wedding-debt-free, begin planning the financial angles before anything else. The budget drives the train, and there are many creative ways to have a beautiful day without breaking the bank. Beginning your marriage without wedding debt can place you well on the road to sound financial management principles in the years and decades ahead.
Some of the largest expenses can be reduced simply:
- Guest list ~ the number of guests impacts food, drink and space expenses
- Venue ~ churches, homes, casual outdoor places are least expensive
- Time of year ~ off season deals, even in your hometown, are available for the asking
- Food ~ prime rib vs. BBQ, wedding cake vs. cupcakes, plated upscale dinner vs. buffet, and there’s always homemade and heavy hors-d’oeuvres only, small wedding cake with sheet cake back-up to serve
- Drink ~ Dom Perignon and open bar vs. regional wines and craft beer and soda, one signature drink
- Ceremony and reception in one place ~ save travel time and per hour expenses
- Photography ~ not generally a place to skimp
- Hair and nails ~ do your own hair, naturally, and nails
- Choose two special flowers ~ and fill in with greenery and natural accents
- Skip the favors for guests ~ they come to honor you on your special day
- Music ~ evaluate your crowd and party goals, shop around
- Invitations ~ e-mail save the date, simple non-embossed invitations are lovely
- Shop off-season and post-holiday for decorative accessories