Summer is wedding season — the time of year when so many couples choose to get married that prices go up over the already shocking amounts people spend. The first rule of creating the perfect budget wedding is don’t get married in June.
But that’s only one of dozens of ways to keep your wedding costs down and start your life together on the right financial foot. Consider these other tips for getting married on a shoestring without sacrificing the memories.
Lie About the Event
Begin negotiations for any product saying you’re planning a family reunion, birthday party or similar get-together. When some venues hear “wedding” they jack up the prices by 10 to 20 percent. Tell them it’s for a wedding later, once they’ve already given you the initial estimate.
Hand-Make the Gifts
Rather than a gift card or engraved piece of mantel litter, make a heartfelt and individualized token for each member of the wedding party. The same goes for items like centerpieces, invitations, thank-you cards and bouquets — you can save literally thousands by putting these together yourself.
Enlist the Guests
Why use a DJ when that one cousin would be honored to keep the iPod playlist on track? Why spend hundreds on a wedding photographer when dozens of your guests will take a ridiculous number of digital shots for you to choose from? Not only does this save on money, it gives your chosen helpers memories of their special place at your wedding.
Get Creative With the Venue
Famous local churches and other landmarks make beautiful locations, but can double the price of your wedding. Look for small churches, parks, recreation centers and dance halls that could host for a fraction of the price. Better yet, hold your wedding at a home, club or other place with sentimental value. Your host may opt not to charge at all, just for being a part of your special day.
Hold a Pot Luck
Wedding catering can run in excess of $50 a plate. Have a few of the cooks in your extended family do it for you, with an informal feed that keeps everybody happy and the bill to a minimum. If you can’t do that, check with local delis for a buffet spread instead of a formal, catered dinner.
Trim the Guest List
There’s no reason to invite every friend, former friend, ex, co-worker and shirttail relative to your wedding. Keep the roster to your closest friends and family members — those who will be there to help keep the marriage strong when things get tough. Explain to everybody else that it’s a small wedding, and that you’d love to have dinner with them sometime soon to celebrate.
Photo Credit: epSos.de