Time to talk about every bride-to-be's favorite thing... the wedding budget!! (Did any one else cringe after reading that)
Getting married is such an exciting season and ideally should be a stress free, happy time. But, when you factor in the actual cost of a wedding, things can get pretty stressful! Did you know that the average wedding in 2017 cost $29,858?? Depending on where you are planning on tying the knot, that number can be upwards of $50,000! While these numbers can definitely be terrifying, there are some really simple ways to keep your wedding cost down and save a ton of money.
Okay, so you're engaged! Now what? Should you start contacting your favorite photographer and book your dream venue right away?? Definitely not. Your first step in the wedding planning process should be to figure out your budget. Sit down with your parents or whoever is financially supporting your wedding and decide on a realistic budget - and try your best to stick to that! Of course there will be unpredictable expenses that come up along the way, so always allow for a little extra cushion within that budget.
Here are some average costs in 2017 for the different vendor categories:
Wedding Dress: $1,509
Wedding Planner: $2,000
Florist: $2,379 (should be around 8% of your overall wedding budget)
*It should also be noted that this excludes the engagement ring and honeymoon!
Once you've decided on your overall budget, it's time to figure out how much you are allotting for each vendor. A super helpful (and free!) tool to help with this is WeddingWire's Budget Calculator and Checklist! By using this, you will be able to decide how much you should be spending on your hair and makeup, floral, DJ/band, venue, and everything else that goes into your big day! Another awesome feature of this tool is the payments schedule tracker. Within the tool, you're able to keep track of the actual cost, amount paid, and amount due for each vendor! With so many payments going in every direction and invoice due dates, this is seriously so helpful! Below I took a screenshot of what the WeddingWire Budget tool looks like!
Now that you've figure out your budget and what expenses you are going to have, here are some ways to save!
1. Consider your date and time of year! For most venues, Friday and Sunday weddings are less expensive.
2. Think about hiring a wedding planner! Many wedding planners are able to get "preferred vendor" discounts with certain vendors, which will help you save a little! If you don't want to hire an actual person, WeddingWire is basically an online version of a wedding planner and will also be super helpful!
3. Cut down on your invite list. This is not the most fun thing to do, but can dramatically decrease your wedding cost. More intimate weddings can also be more fun for the bride and groom because you won't be spending your entire night greeting guests! You can also think about it this way: each person you invite will add around $100+ to your wedding cost. So if you invite 100 more people, you're adding on $10,000 to your overall cost. Chris and I have fine tuned our invite list multiple times and while I wish we could invite everyone, limiting our invite list has really helped us save.
4. Limit your bridal party. Having a huge bridal party can be so much fun, but it can also be expensive. The more bridesmaids and groomsmen you have, the more floral you're going to have to buy and the more gifts you will have to buy. I would say cutting this back is one of your last resorts though.
5. Pick the 3 most important aspects of your wedding that you want to splurge on and save on the rest! My three are the venue, photographer, and floral! For others, food may be really important or your DJ/band. Picking your top three will help determine what your priorities are.
6. When setting up your registry, consider doing a honeymoon fund! This is a fun way for guests to help you pay for your trip and helps take some financial stress off of you.
I hope all these tips help you out when it comes to planning your wedding! If you have any specific questions, let me know! Also, if you have any suggestions for upcoming Wedding Wednesday posts, shoot them my way!
Thanks for stopping by! XO Heather