When you’re planning a wedding, a good place to start is by looking at your budget. The average American wedding costs over $25,000, which can seem like a daunting figure. However, not everything you do has to be expensive—there are places where you can pinch pennies and places where the big bucks are worth it.
Save on the Guest List
First of all, a smaller guest list means less food, less travel, and less space needed for the event. All of that equals less money. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a tiny party, though; it just means that you should think carefully over who you really want to be there. Your parents and best friend? Definitely. Your coworkers or buddy you haven’t seen since high school? Think twice. In the end, it’s your party, and inviting the people you want most will make the wedding more intimate, enjoyable, and budget-friendly.
Splurge on the Photographer
A few years down the road, the decorations will be lost, the cake will be eaten, and the guests will be long gone. What you’ll have left is your memories. Keep these memories as crisp and wonderful as possible by hiring a good photographer. Make sure that he or she captures the key moments and preserves the events. Look for quality here instead of simply the lowest price.
Save on Music
More than anything else, people will remember that they had a good time, so you need fun entertainment. That doesn’t always mean ‘most expensive’, though. If you want live music, a local band or DJ can still provide great songs. The cheapest option, though, also gives you the most control—just set up an MP3 with your favorite handpicked songs. The guests will still have a great time and you’ve just saved quite a bit of time and effort.
Splurge on Food
The food is one of the best ways to help your guests enjoy themselves. While the drinks and appetizers don’t need to be too fancy, the entrée should really stand out. Lasagna is no way to start a party. Also, the dessert is the last thing they’ll taste and should finish with a bang; make sure that the cake’s made with high quality ingredients. Having it beautifully decorated won’t hurt either.
Save on Decorations
The décor is a great place to save some cash. Just because it’s low-cost doesn’t mean that it has to look cheap; this is a great place to use your creativity. The internet is full of ideas and instructions for how to make everything from centerpieces to wall hangings on your own. If you’re doing a themed wedding, collect objects that match the theme. Use cute handmade place settings instead of pricey custom-ordered ones.
Splurge on the Ring
Last but not least, the ring. While you might only dig out the wedding photos once in a while and the dress will probably end up in storage, you’re going to be wearing the rings every day for years to come. They symbolize commitment, unity, and undying love, so there’s no better place to splurge. Get them custom-made or engraved; choose a style that fits the two of you. There are a lot of things you can save money on in a wedding… but it’s important to spend it on what really matters.