How to Spend Your Money Wisely on Your Wedding

For some, weddings are the ultimate fantasy that they’ve been shaping since they were children; for others, weddings an annoyance that must be endured throughout the summer; and for many, weddings are their bread and butter. The estimated amount of money that is annually generated from this timeless tradition ranges between thirty and eighty billion dollars (that’s right, I said billion), as each couple pour thousands upon thousands into planning their dream nuptials. The result? Many newlyweds face a harsh, post-wedding reality of low funds and even debt. As easy of a trap as this is to fall into, it is just as easily sidestepped without sacrificing your dream nuptials.

1) Couples may have the best intentions when initially setting out to create a budget, but that doesn’t stop the majority of them from soon surpassing it. Instead of simply throwing out a number during the initial stages of planning, sit down and evaluate both your priorities and what are realistic expectations. Thorough research will reveal whether are undervaluing a design element or if you are spending unnecessarily. The more insight you have, the less likely you are to deviate away when something pricy catches your eye. By having a clear idea what personally takes precedence for you, you can splurge on what matters the most instead of becoming tangled in the smaller details. Furthermore, research will help insulate you from emotional buying. Always shop around for the best prices and look for deals before handing over your credit card – companies like American Bridal and Wedding Warehouse offer perks like discounts and free shipping if you spend above certain amounts so smart purchasing practices may save you hundreds of dollars.

2) Avoid peer pressure –  having been exposed to seemingly flawless weddings on the television, in magazines, in our personal lives and more, we often have a clear cut idea of what is expected of us when we get married. However, don’t spend money on something that you don’t personally want simply because others have featured it in the past.

3) We all know that cutting the guest list can save on food, but it also reduces your price tag in other ways. You can rent a smaller venue, needless invitations, less wedding favors, less tables and, therefore, less decorative centerpieces . . . the list can go on and on. We are not suggesting that you neglect your circle of friends and loved ones but, if saving money is your objective, then sidestep the idea that your wedding must be the social event of the season by inviting every casual acquaintance.

4) Timing is everything when it comes to planning a wedding. If you plan enough in advance, you can buy items when they are not a hot commodity. For instance, if you are planning a beach themed reception, buy your seashell placeholders as the leaves turn red and the temperatures drop. Furthermore, avoid holding your wedding on a Saturday, as this day of the week is in high-demand and will result in costlier venues and services. Furthermore, holding receptions earlier in the day so you can serve brunch or lunch instead of a formal dinner is a smart way to lessen the cost of the rental facilities, food and alcohol. Furthermore, the month you marry in can make all the difference in the world; while June and September are considered “not too hot, not too cold”, few people want to wed in colder November, January and March; during these months, venues will be more likely to offer discounts to entice you to use their otherwise empty space.

5) No one likes the idea of skimping on the honeymoon, as we like to fantasy of clear skies, luxury suites and vibrant culture. However, it is very easy to shave dollars off the price tag of your grand romantic vacation without sacrificing your fairytale getaway. For instance, by demonstrating some flexibility in scheduling, you may find that delaying your traveling by two weeks or a month may make all the difference in the price, especially if you can journey during the shoulder season. Furthermore, flexibility with the time or the day of the week will also have a significant impact. If the two of you are feeling the burn of an expensive ceremony, consider embracing the growing trend of the “mini-moon”, a shortened honeymoon that happens immediately after the wedding with the lengthier vacation happening at a later date. When choosing your destination, determine what is truly important to you. If you desire to see specifically the Pyramids, then Egypt is the place for you; however, if you long to hike through verdant forests with no clear idea where they should be, consider unearthing a local hidden gem instead of spending thousands to fly across oceans. Also weigh your preferences – if you had to choose, would you rather live the lap of luxury somewhere semi-local or pinchpennies in an exotic location? When you factor in the fact that people tend to under budget their getaways, such a decision is not too farfetched for those couples who are looking to spend responsibly.

By being practical about your budget, your dream wedding does not have to turn into a financial nightmare. After all, you want the next chapter of your life together to start on a happy note instead of being plagued with fiscal woes.