While research shows 91 percent of couples set a budget for their wedding, 32 percent overall wind up spending more than planned–and 30 percent use credit cards for all or part of the tab. The last thing you want to do is start off your married life in debt, so use these tips to make sure you don’t overspend for your big day.
Get Married During the Off-Season. Avoiding the most popular months to get married–June, August, September and October–will save you money because vendors aren’t as busy and are more willing to negotiate. If you get married during the off season–from November to March–you’ll be able to get better rates.
Skip the Saturday Night. You’ll also pay less if you don’t get married on a Saturday night. Friday nights are cheaper, as are daytime weddings.
Don’t say wedding. When you’re pricing vendors, don’t let them know it’s for a wedding. If you keep it a secret, the price is often 25 to 30 percent cheaper
Buy Secondhand. We’ve covered all of the items you can purchase secondhand for your wedding, so don’t hesitate to use this advice to save big.
Talk to Your Parents. Before you plan your budget, sit down with both sets of parents to find out if they can contribute financially to the wedding. Make sure everyone is comfortable with the amount they’re giving–you don’t want mom and dad going into debt either.
Have a Destination Wedding. Sure, you’ll have to pay for airfare and hotel, but throwing your wedding in another location can cut down on the number of people who will be able to attend.
Save Ahead of Time. There’s nothing wrong with having a long engagement, especially if it gives you time to save up for the wedding day. The more you can pay for in cash, the better off you’ll be after the day is over.
Keep it Small. Deciding on a smaller wedding not only helps you from spending a fortune, but it also allows for a more personal and intimate day for you and your groom. For example, instead of a hotel ballroom, you can hold your reception in the back room of your favorite restaurant.
DIY. Are you a master at arranging flowers? Can your BFF bake and decorate a cake like a pro? Is your favorite aunt a talented seamstress? By all means utilize it for the wedding to help you save.
Budget Shop. While you’re dream might to get your wedding bands at Tiffany, you can get a beautiful ring (and probably more for your money) at a chain store like Zales, Jared, or even Costco.
Elope! What’s more affordable than the two of you (and close family and friends) at City Hall, followed by an intimate dinner at your favorite restaurant?