5 Ways to Budget for Your Wedding

Q: I’m ready to tie the knot, but I don’t know if I can afford a wedding! How can I cut costs without compromising on my special day?

A: You don’t need to skimp on the wedding of your dreams or go deeply into debt to pay for it. By planning ahead, choosing wisely and prioritizing what’s truly important, you can say “I Do” without stressing over wedding costs.

Here’s how:

1.) Start saving now 

Instead of waiting for that special someone to pop the question, start saving now! The average age of marriage is 27 for men, and 26 for women. It may sound crazy but, if you start saving for your wedding when you’re 20, you’ll only need to put away roughly $333 a month. But, if you start at age 26, you’ll need to put away $2,333 a month! You can establish any number of share savings accounts at Insight Credit Union and watch your money grow for whatever purpose you choose, especially a wedding.

2.) Time it right

Think off-season and mid-week, and you’ll save a bundle!

First, consider a winter wedding. You’ll shave thousands of dollars off the venue price by choosing an unusual time of year to get married. Second, think beyond Saturdays. If you can find a church with a vacancy on a Sunday, grab it! Venue prices drop dramatically with just a one-day switch.

You can also opt for a mid-week wedding that precedes a national holiday date, like July 4th. This way, your guests will still be able to enjoy the evening without rushing home.

3.) Skip the cake

A slice of dessert for $2.50 that doesn’t even taste good? Meh, who needs it? Here are some other ideas for the sweets at your wedding:

  • Fake your cake. If you can’t stomach the idea of a cake-less wedding, ask your baker to fake it for you by creating a false cardboard bottom for your cake and only baking a genuine top layer or two. You’ll get the same look without the huge cost.
  • Set up a dessert bar. You can serve hot waffles, brownies or chocolate chip cookies with ice cream, caramel sauce and a selection of other fun toppings. You’ll pamper your guests at a fraction of the cost!
  • Serve a sheet cake instead. Your guests will be happy to savor a slice – even without all that fondant and frosting.

4.) Save on your gown

Save big on your gown by looking for a pre-owned gown on eBay, OnceWed.com or PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com. You can often find a beautiful gown for under $100!

5.) Vary your venue 

Save a ton by choosing a venue that allows you to hire your own vendors. This way, you can shop around for the cheapest caterer, photographer and DJ.

If you really dare to be different, have your wedding in one of these budget-friendly venues:

  • College campus. You might even be able to snag a student discount!
  • Vacation home.  Rent a vacation home and let it serve as your wedding venue, lodging for out-of-town guests and a honeymoon destination for after the wedding.

Already married? Share your best wedding savings hacks with us in the comments!

6 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

wedding.jpgSpring is a very popular time for weddings. I’m sure you know at least one person getting married soon, or maybe you’re the one getting married! Either way, we’ve compiled these tips to help you navigate the often expensive world of wedding planning. The more you know, the better off you (and your budget) will be!

One of the very first things you should do is set your budget. Determine how much you and your partner feel comfortable spending, and make a promise to stick to that number. Next, you should come up with a list of your top five priorities. That way you can work your budget to include those things and try to save money on all the other things.

Here are a few ways you can save some money:

  1. Season/Time of Day
    If you aren’t set on a certain time of year, do some research on wedding costs at different times of the year for your area. You are likely to get a better price for venues and rentals in January than you would for a coveted June date. On a similar note, venues charge a premium for Saturday night events. Consider holding your reception on a Thursday, Friday or Sunday night. The savings could really add up fast!
  1. Location
    By having your ceremony and reception at the same venue, you can avoid paying multiple site fees and transportation costs from one place to the next.
  1. Destination Wedding
    If you don’t plan on having an extensive guest list, you may want to consider a destination wedding. This can end up costing less than a traditional event held where you live. After the wedding festivities, plan a honeymoon nearby so you don’t have to pay additional travel expenses.
  1. Flowers
    While everyone loves peonies, they have the potential to blow your budget if they are not in season. Work with your florist to pick in-season blooms for beautiful yet cost effective flower arrangements.
  1. Band vs. DJ
    Making a choice between a live band and a DJ can be a hard one, but you will save at least half by choosing the DJ. If your heart is set on live music, try looking for local bands that like to perform just for fun. They are likely to cost a significant amount less than a professional wedding band.
  1. Cake
    There are multiple ways you can save money on your wedding cake. Choose a smaller two- to three-tier cake for your display and cutting, and supplement with a sheet cake in the back for serving your guests. Chances are your guests won’t even notice the difference! You can also save money on your cake by keeping the design simple and choosing buttercream frosting instead of fondant.

We hope these tips help you or someone you know save money! Do you have any other money saving tips for planning a wedding? If so, comment and share them with us!