It’s definitely possible to cut wedding costs. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $35,329 according to The Knot, and that, by the way, does not include the honeymoon. Of course, this is an average and if you live in small town USA, your cost will probably be a lot less, and if you are in Manhattan or Silicon Valley it will be even more. Needless to say, unless you are part of the one percent, this is a lot of money.
No one wants a cheap wedding, but you can still make wise decisions for a quality wedding. Here are ten secrets to cut wedding costs without looking cheap.
- Cut down number of guests.
- Winter and Spring over Summer and Fall.
- Any day but Saturday.
- Online invites, skip the custom-printed invitations over fancy invites.
- Skip favors.
- Forget gold and diamonds and go for sterling silver or cubic zirconia or man made diamonds or semiprecious stones.
- Wedding cake. Forget 7-tier get a sheet cake or a 2 tier non-wedding cake.
- Crowdsource photos.
- Hair and makeup from a cosmetic student.
- Watch out for hidden fees at venues including service, taxes, clean-up etc.
There are many variables that go into a wedding, so there is no single number that can represent what you will pay. Below is an example of how to turn a $36,000 wedding budget into a $3,600+ budget.
Low-Cost Wedding Budget:
Reception: $500 (Friday evening or Saturday lunch or consider a park or wealthy friends backyard)
Catering: $2000 ($20 per head can get you 100 guests)
Cake: $150 (Go to a bakery but don’t tell them its for a wedding, get 2-3 tier cake)
Photographer: Free (Find a friend, student, favor)
Favors: Free/$100 (pass on them and make a donation instead to a charity)
DJ/Music: Free (make up your own playlist)
Invitations: Free (use evite)
Wedding Dress: $500
Thank-You Cards: $10 (Dollar Store)
Imam Fees: $200
Marriage License: $35
Total Expenses: $3,695
There is a direct correlation between expensive weddings and the likelihood of divorce, according to a study by two Emory University economics professors. Same applies to correlation between expensive engagement rings and divorce rates. It is the example of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to have simple weddings and ones where the poor are also invited. Be smart, not stingy focus on quality over quantity and make it personal over mass. You can save money for things that will be of value in your relationship over the long run. Please share your thoughts of how you cut wedding costs.