Everybody knows weddings aren’t cheap. But did you know the average couple drops a whopping $28,000 on their celebration? If an alarm just went off in your head, don’t worry—we are here to help eliminate unnecessary expenses without ruining your vision for a dream wedding. Read on for ten items you can cut from your budget and still have a party worthy of your love.
1) Expensive flowers
Peonies are our wedding flower of choice—but unless your wedding is in May, these flowers can cost up to $7 a stem. Pick florals that are in season and grown in the US to keep costs down.
2) Extra paper goods
While we encourage splurging on gorgeous wedding invitations (which first set the tone for your wedding), it’s unnecessary to leave a costly paper trail with elaborate paper menus, table numbers, escort cards, and other paper goods. Set up a chalkboard or a large sign announcing the menu options and the table chart, or spend a day with your girlfriends customizing the stationery yourself.
3) The full bar
A full open bar is a great way to get the party started. Unfortunately the bill can sometimes amount to several thousands of dollars depending on your party size. Limit drink choices to wine and beer, and serve a signature cocktail as a way to rein in the budget.
4) A Champagne toast
Surprisingly a single toast can do a lot of financial damage. Prepare to pay around $5 per glass of sparkling wine (and much higher for a glass of actual Champagne), and expect some of the guests to take only a few sips before returning to their preferred drinks. Instead, just ask the waiters to refreshen everybody’s beverages prior to the toast.
5) Traditional wedding cake
Most of the time that pricey traditional multi-tier cake looks a lot better in photos than it actually tastes. Go the unconventional route and order a cupcake cake or set up his-and-hers dessert bars.
6) A deejay
Why spend money on a deejay when you can create your own playlist for the wedding? If you’re not convinced of your or your significant other’s musical taste, ask friends and family to suggest songs before the big day, or offer a music-savvy friend the option of creating a great playlist in lieu of a wedding gift.
7) Intricate party favors
We love personalized shawls, flip-flops for dancing, and other cutesy party favors as much as the next wedding guest, but unless all the favors are handmade, they are another cost that you can easily refrain from. You’re already spending on a venue, food, and entertainment; your guests will be more than happy to leave with leftover dessert or table centerpieces.
8) Professional makeup
Chances are that your bridal party has at least one beauty guru who can do your makeup for you. Not the case with your girlfriend group? Not to fret. We got local beauty vlogger Claire Ashley to create a step-by-step tutorial for a pretty and long-lasting wedding look.
9) A full-price dress
Avoid paying full price for a wedding gown by attending trunk shows, where you can often score a discount as well as free customization perks. If you are an unfussy bride, make sure to check out bridal sample sales, where designer gowns can be reduced up to 90 percent, or even consider an already-worn gown.
10) A reception dress
As tempted as you might be for another excuse to shop, there is no reason to throw away money on another dress for the reception. Take advantage of your ceremony gown and wear it all through the night. After all, you’ll only wear it once.
Do you have other tips for avoiding unnecessary wedding costs? Share them in the comments!