Young Bride Choosing ShoesIn 2015, the average cost of a wedding was more than $30,000. To put this number in perspective, imagine putting a down payment on a house or buying yourself and your partner each a new car. Spending so much money on a single day seems a bit silly when you can put the money toward more important and permanent aspects of your life. This is why so many people are choosing to go non-traditional and cut their wedding budget. In fact, if you are strategic about it, you can have a beautiful wedding day for less than $5,000.

Think Outside the Venue and Reception Box

Who says you need to throw down a huge chunk of change on a ceremony and reception venue? Plenty of places offer rentals for much more affordable prices. If you and your partner love the idea of getting married and celebrating in nature, look into national parks in your area. Many allow wedding ceremonies and receptions for a very small fee. Some even provide space for the bride and groom to get ready or an area for someone to prepare food for the reception. If you're the type who prefers to stay indoors, look into local bowling alleys, arcades or other fun and casual entertainment venues. They are often much more affordable, and your guests will likely enjoy the relaxed environment.

Go to the Thrift Store

Thrift stores and other secondhand shops are overlooked gems when it comes to nearly any type of wedding. Even if you rent it, serving your reception meal on expensive fine china carries the risk of accidental breakage. Instead, simply purchase a range of beautiful plates from your city's thrift stores. The mismatched but vintage pieces will add a shabby chic feel to your wedding reception. Consider purchasing other items from secondhand shops as well.

  • Fake flowers
  • Silverware
  • Glasses
  • Other décor
  • Shoes
  • Vintage wedding dresses
  • Vintage suits
  • Vintage bridesmaid dresses
  • Jewelry

Consider Hiring Students

You don't have to hire the most sought-after photographer, videographer, DJ or band in the state for your budget wedding. Doing so not only costs a ton of money, but could even leave you with music or pictures you don't like because you based your choice on popularity rather than personal taste. Instead, talk to colleges in your area. Sometimes the music or photography students perform or provide services for a discounted price. They build their portfolio, you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the process.

Skip the Fancy Cake

A four-tiered gourmet cake may look beautiful and taste delicious, but it's also going to cost quite a lot of money for something that will disappear within a few minutes of being cut. Save money by going for a more traditional cake. Buy one or several sheet cakes and decorate them with flowers and wedding messages. They'll taste just as good and still provide happy memories, but they won't break your wedding budget in the process. You may also consider serving pie, cupcakes and other smaller desserts that are yummy but more affordable. If you absolutely must have a professional cake, get a very small one for you and your partner to share after the reception.

Choose Your Wedding Date Wisely

One of the easiest ways to jack up the price of your wedding is to get married in June or near any major holiday. To save the most money possible, get married in an off-month like January. Not only is it not as near a major holiday, but because most couples do not want to get married during the winter, most venues and vendors have deeply discounted packages available to those who do. You may be able to pull off your dream wedding for a small fraction of the price.

As you figure out your wedding budget, remember the day is about a special emotional connection between you and your partner. There is no rule that says you need to spend thousands of dollars on fancy meals and décor just to please your guests. The day is about your love and your interests.

Category: Wedding Planning

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