Weddings may be expensive, but they don't have to be financially taxing. You can enjoy your wedding without worrying about spending more than you can afford if you plan appropriately.
With the average cost of a wedding now approaching $35,000, it's natural to feel a bit of concern about the costs involved. You don't necessarily have to dial back your ambitions, however. If you start saving early -- and employ some savvy strategies to keep costs down -- the wedding you want will likely be within your reach.
To help you accomplish this, we've outlined some steps you can take to make your saving efforts more impactful.
Use the same site for your ceremony and reception -- and go for non-peak hours
This can be a significant money saver as you usually won't have to pay two full fees for two separate sites. Additionally, public spaces are often vastly less expensive to rent than private spaces. If you go with a private site, considering avoiding the premium you'll pay for weekend evenings by booking during non-peak hours.
Avoid Getting Stuck With The "Wedding Premium"
It's been reported that vendors will often charge higher prices when they hear the magic word "wedding." Vendors assume weddings mean larger budgets with less oversight and time to haggle. This premium can be as high as 25-percent, so it's worth watching your language when you're ready to start calling around.
Embrace The DIY Aesthetic
Don't feel like spending thousands on professional wedding photos? Leave disposable cameras on every table and hire a friend or a local photography student to shoot the event. Can't afford to pay a DJ's steep fee? Cue up your wedding playlist on an iPod and set it and forget it. Sure, it might not be how you envisioned it -- but it will save you thousands of dollars.
If you can begin preparations two years before the wedding, that's great. The more lead time you have, the better deals you'll be able to strike. You'll also have more time to build a wedding nest egg.
Skip The Elaborate Cake
Anyone who is unfamiliar with wedding cake prices might faint from sticker shock the first time they start comparison shopping. Cake prices can easily run $500 to $1,000. You can slash those costs by making the simple decision to go with cupcakes or cheesecakes.
Save on Wedding Attire
While tux rental is common, opting for a rented or used wedding dress isn't nearly as popular. Finding a gently worn designer wedding dress on eBay or another platform can result in massive savings.
Weddings may be expensive, but they don't have to be financially taxing. By taking steps like those listed above, you can enjoy your wedding without worrying about spending more than you can afford.