Upset bride holding a piggybank and gesturing with her hand isolated on white background
Every girl dreams of her “big day”.  Wearing the white dress, walking down the aisle, marrying the love of her life.  These are all things that little girls dream of.  Now, paying for that big dream is a whole different ball game. A wedding typically costs an average American couple about $35,426, excluding the honeymoon expenses.  Yes, you read that correctly.  This is the maximum reported average cost since 2006.

However, you are not legally obligated to spend such a huge price tag to give your relationship new shape with a commitment to live together forever. In fact, most couples do not want to spend that much. We asked money experts and wedding specialists how one can set a reasonable budget and cut costs on some of the major expensive elements of a wedding. Here are 8 great insights that you can apply to save money on your wedding day.

1. Be Realistic

Most couples do not realistically see how much their wedding will actually cost them. They usually end up missing the mark and actually setting a budget that is realistically too low, thus far over exceeding their plan. Such a situation can push them under a heavy burden of debts. Starting a marriage in debt is certainly not ideal as the beauty and happiness of the marital relationship is lost in paying off debt for months and months. Consequently, begin with setting realistic spending limits considering every aspect of your wedding to save money. If you suspect overspending in one area, attempt cutting back on another. It is just like doing bookkeeping when preparing a budget for your marriage.  In addition, if you start by being money conscious and budget appropriate with your wedding, it will set you up for this pattern further down the line.

2. Use your Credit Card Wisely

It is okay to use a credit card for purchases related to your wedding as far as you are charging only the amount of money you can conveniently afford to pay off. Make the most of your accumulated credit card points towards your honeymoon, especially when you possess a card with great travel rewards.

3. Book a Sunday

Although Saturday is by far the most popular day for weddings, it is usually the most expensive day to have your ceremony. You are likely availing a venue reservation at a much lower price when you choose a Sunday or even a weeknight for your marriage. While it may not be the most convenient for your guests, it will certainly save you quite a bit of money.

4. Choose a Religious Day

For religious marriages, consider having your wedding on or near a major holiday when the church is already decorated. This can enable you to save money on flowers and other decorations. While on other days, go for simplicity. In fact, a candlelit ceremony can be inexpensive, gorgeous, and romantic. Furthermore, a Christmas wedding is always beautiful.

5. Trim your Guest List

Every time you add a guest’s name to your invitation list, you are increasing the wedding budget significantly. Besides catering costs, these additional guests also require extra centerpieces, rentals, favors, etc. Although you may ruffle a few feathers, avoid inviting any person you have not been in communication with for the past five years. There is no reason to feel pressured or obligated to invite each of your work colleagues. Consider making your wedding an “adult only” occasion.  This way, you won’t be stuck paying for everyone’s children as it will get pricey. In addition, you can save a lot of money by choosing to eliminate categories like ‘friends from volunteer work’ or ‘relatives other than first cousins’.  Yes, we know that “Aunt Sue” may be briefly upset that you aren’t inviting her third cousin from Australia, but she’s not the one footing the bill when it’s all said and done.

6. Save Postage on your Invitations

Choose simple, sleek cards for your wedding invitations in normal envelopes. Instead of having a reply card, simply ask your guests to reply by the telephone or online. There are so many websites out there that offer an RSVP option these days.  This will not only save money from bulky, expensive cards but also cut your postage costs in half.

7. Look for Reasonable Food and Drink Options

A couple should always be honest with their caterer about their necessity to save money. Ask them for the least expensive entrees as well as whether or not a buffet will be a cheaper option than a seated dinner. Figure out whether they will allow you to bring your own liquor or if severing just beer and wine will be much cheaper than a complete bar. Better yet, consider serving tea and water instead of expensive alcoholic drinks.  If not, it is a good idea to have the bar open only during the cocktail hour and then serve only wine with dinner. 

8. Take Advantage of eBay

eBay is a great source for everything for your wedding from second-hand clothes to marriage favors, ring pillows, cake toppers and more. Show patience for the auction to end as well as for shipping. Find a reliable seller whose product reviews demonstrate that the sale is of the exact quality of what they claim.

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