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Corners You Can Cut Before You Cut That Cake

The average wedding in Idaho is projected to cost over $19,000. ( NINE. TEEN. THOUSAND. In states like New Jersey, multiply that by about 3! Almost $60,000! I don’t know about anyone else, but that number is a down payment on a house to me. If you’re like thousands of other happy couples and needing to cut costs on your big day, this list will help you make decisions on where to cut costs and not even feel the pinch.

Big one: guests. The larger your guest list, the more expensive your day will be. The average wedding guest costs couples $204 per head. With a larger guest count you will also need a larger venue, especially if you want to dance. One wedding planner said that if you have dancing guests, you will need 36 square feet per guest! That was before social distancing. Yikes!

Oh, the wedding party. You can expect to spend about $1200 per attendant. This includes dress/suit, meals, gifts, travel, and of course your precious time communicating with them. Need to trim margins? Take a close look at your prospective attendants and only choose those who are closest to you.

Venue. You can save thousands outright by booking a wedding venue during the off season (November-April) or by booking a weekday wedding.

Food. One of the most creative weddings I’ve ever seen had a taco truck as their caterer! It was such a fun and lighthearted way to feed guests, and keep them talking about that wedding for years to come. I asked the owner about how much the cost was and was told they cater for as low as $1.50 per taco. Rock N Roll Bride featured an amazing colorful food truck wedding!

Gowns and suits and gowns and suits. Wedding dresses have come a long way, and there are so many resources to help you find a great dress at a great price. Instead of taking a risk and buying a knockoff, you can buy your dream designer gown used from a site like PreOwned Wedding Dresses or Still White, or rent it from a site like Rent the Runway. You’re going to rock this gown for a few hours and probably not wear it ever again. Buying a used gown or renting is not only financially conscious, but eco-conscious. Suits. I love me a well-tailored suit. Unlike a gown, you can wear a suit over and over again. Renting is always an option, BUT if you invest and buy your suit it will likely pay for itself over and over again. The case with both gowns and suits is that you will need to plan on costs to have your wedding attire custom fitted, make sure to build an average alteration cost of about $250 per item into your budget. Give it a whirl. No one will ever know the difference.

Not feeling it? The wedding planning. The vendors. The pressure from family and friends getting to you? Elope. You’ll save thousands. There’s no shame in making the day about you and your love. You can celebrate with others later. Just make sure you hire an excellent photographer.

I hope these ideas helped you plan your dream wedding. In my next post, I will cover wedding essentials, and where you absolutely cannot cut corners. Spoiler: I talk about wedding photography of course! See you soon lovebirds!