Though rates of marriage are apparently decreasing — only 51% of adults in 2010 were married compared with 72% in 1960 — an average of 7,000 couples marry in the United States every single day. Though marriage is still an important step for many couples, since the recession many are looking for ways to trim the budget for the total cost of the wedding. Here are four ways to do it.
1. Have a Morning Ceremony
One easy way to help cut costs on your big day is to have a morning ceremony rather than an evening or afternoon ceremony. One of the main reasons this works is all about the food. Rather than spending a pretty high price per guest for something like steak or lamb, a wedding brunch is significantly less expensive. Wedding brunches are usually made up of food like eggs, french toast, and pancakes which are all relatively inexpensive, so you could even offer an unlimited brunch for your guests.
2. Hire an Expert.
Another super simple way to cut costs for your wedding is to find and hire the right wedding professional or expert. This might seem to be counter productive — spending money to save money — but the right wedding planner will know where to cut costs and how to negotiate with services and vendors. Almost half of people find their wedding planners through recommendations, so ask family and friends if they know anyone.
3. Choose an All Inclusive Venue.
This is a big one. The best places to have a wedding reception and ceremony will have all inclusive packages for many of the elements of your day — from the ceremony space to the reception hall, to food and decor. Paying for all of these things separately can not only cause confusion when you have to cut checks to six different people, but it’s also generally less expensive.
4. Send Centerpieces Home. When you’re designing your decor and centerpieces, keep your guests in mind. People generally give gifts to thank their guests for coming to the wedding, and you can use your decor to serve that purpose. Try using fancy candles or small potted plants that can be sent home with your guests — after all, what else are you going to do with 150 votive candles and holders?
If you’re a part of the 25% of couples who pay for their entire weddings with no help from either family — or even if you aren’t — looking for ways to lower your wedding budget is probably a priority. Try having a morning ceremony and serving a wedding brunch, hiring a professional, using centerpieces and gifts, and choosing an all inclusive venue.