Getting married soon? You’re in good company. The average age for an American’s first marriage is 29 for men and 27 for women.
Take it from someone who has been happily married for 12 years – spending that much money on one day of life is insane. That kind of money should only be spent on the things that will make your marriage long-lasting and happy.
That said, who doesn’t want to throw a good party to celebrate love?
So I asked Jessica Lehry Bishop, aka The Budget Savvy Bride, to help identify some places where you can save money.
Skip the Fancy Invitations
Engraved, paper wedding invitations from a stationary store cost an average of $659, according to the Bridal Association of America.
If you really want to save money (and want to do your part to keep the world green), invite friends and family with electronic, paperless invitations.
But if you’re one of the Peggy Posts of the world, and believe online invitations are solely for informal affairs, there’s another alternative for inexpensive, paper, snail-mailed wedding invitations.
“DIY is always a good way to save money, especially on paper goods,” Jessica says. “There are so many great resources out there with inexpensive templates — one of my favorites is Download and Print, where you can download really nice wedding invitation templates that you can edit yourself!”
Rent Your Wedding Dress
I bought a pink dress for my wedding because I thought I’d be more likely to wear it again one day. Guess what? I never did.
Other friends have worn black or blue dresses to their weddings. Same thing – they never put the dresses on again.
Whether you choose a white dress or one with color, you’ll likely only wear it once in your life.
So why spend $1,281 (the average cost of a wedding dress) on it?
Rent one instead. “If you’ve got your eye on a designer dress that’s available for rent at a fraction of the price – I’d say that’s a no-brainer,” Jessica says. “With sites like Rent the Runway, it’s easier than ever to get the designer look for less.”
For example, Rent the Runway will loan you a $1400 Nicole Miller gown for $225. They also offer veils, jewelry, and bridesmaid dresses.
Limit the free booze
Plying each guest with food and drinks will cost an average of $66 per person. “An open bar can dramatically affect your budget,” Jessica says. “Stick to wine and beer only, or add in a signature cocktail to avoid the price tag that an open bar typically comes with.”
Pinterest has tons of boards dedicated to wedding signature cocktails.
Think long and hard about how much food to serve, and how guests will be served. “Consider serving heavy hors douevres to keep costs down,” Jessica says. “Another thing to consider is the way the food is served. Passed appetizers or plated dinners require more prep and service staff than a buffet table, but could lead to lower cost for food per person.”
What other cost saving wedding measures have you heard of?