When it’s wedding season, you can say “Here comes the bride” – and here comes a large bill if you’re not careful! Weddings are beautiful occasions that warrant investing in a lovely time that you’ll remember with your spouse fondly for the rest of your lives. Still, you don’t need to break the bank for your wedding.
1. Know the Average Wedding Budget
While it would be ideal to host a wedding for a couple of thousand dollars, the truth is that most weddings cost far more than that. You’ll want to be optimistic and practical with your budget while considering how your budget measures up to other couples on average. According to Allied Party Rentals, a typical pair of soon-to-be-married will shell out about $22,500 for their wedding ceremony and the reception that follows. This means that you might not be able to dip significantly below that figure without sacrificing the quality of your ceremony or covering basic costs like food and cutlery.
If you don’t have a lot of money for your wedding, you may want to look into the average wedding budget for small weddings or weddings that are performed at the courthouse. Instead of shelling out money for services, you may be able to do some of the work yourself to save money, as well. As with anything in life, the average factors the highest budgets and the lowest budgets so you shouldn’t let it deter you from saving money where you can.
2. Think Beyond the Wedding
One common mistake that couples make is only thinking about the cost of the wedding and forgetting that there’s a whole life you’ll need to finance together after the wedding bells stop ringing. Besides buying a house, you’ll want to consider how you’ll afford to maintain a house since every three to five years, Americans tend to remodel their houses. Sometimes, taking more time to save money before the wedding can pay off because it allows you to have a savings account for emergencies, home renovations, and other unplanned expenses.
Some wedding gifts can help offset the cost of your new life. For example, you may save money on cooking if someone buys you a slow cooker. Tailor your registry to include big-ticket items to lower your expenses down the road.
3. Break Down Your Budget by Percentages
If you’re having a hard time deciding what services are out of your budget, you can use percentages as a guide for what you can afford. According to Brides, you should portion out 5% of your total wedding budget for DJ services. This means a DJ who takes up 25% of your budget may be out of the question.
Dividing your budget into percentages also minimizes the amount of fighting that happens between you and your spouse because it ensures that you’re both on the same page about how much you’re comfortable spending for something related to the wedding. If your dress is 15% or even 25%, you may feel less guilty for splurging on your dream dress. Likewise, your soon-to-be spouse may feel less sticker shock when they see the bill for it. You can also plan to revise the budget at certain stages of the wedding planning process to account for some services and items being more expensive than you planned and others being less expensive than you anticipated.
For millennial couples, it can be wise to consider that the world you occupy differs from the one your parents may have when they got married from a financial perspective. Many millennials are struggling to buy homes and afford other milestones that previous generations may have taken for granted. As a result, you may want to save money by hosting your wedding at home and paring down your expenses to set you and your new spouse up for success by following our tips.
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