We all know that weddings can be expensive affairs. Today, the average wedding costs more than $25,000 in the U.S. Unfortunately, such a costly shindig can sometimes send new couples down the aisle in debt. To help cut down the costs, here are a few simple tips to consider when planning for your big day.
Tip #1: Negotiate with Vendors
Negotiate (aggressively, if you have to) with vendors. According to Consumer Reports, one out of four vendors raise their prices when they learn that the event is a wedding, rather than another celebratory occasion.
Tip #2: Look for Bargains
Shop around for deals on your wedding dress. According to Cost of Wedding, the average wedding dress in the U.S. can set a bride back somewhere between $912 and $1,520. To save on your gown, consider a late fall or winter wedding. Often dresses are marked down at the end of the bridal season in August.
Also, check out affordable bridal lines from retailers including Ann Taylor, BCBG, and J.Crew. Most recently, Swedish retailer H&M introduced three wedding gowns into its sustainable Conscious Exclusive collection. The most expensive gown is only $649. Or, take your search online and head to sites like ModCloth, OnceWed, and Tradesy, which offer gently used wedding gowns for a fraction of the retail cost.
Tip #3: Take Out a Personal Loan
Taking out a personal loan to foot the bill is an increasingly popular alternative to using credit cards with high interest rates. Sites like Prosper Marketplace provide access to fixed-term, fixed-rate personal loans that can be used for special occasions.
Tip #4: Consider A Daytime Wedding
Think about daytime nupitals. According to Bridebox, breakfast and lunch tend to be less expensive meals than dinner. Guests at daytime weddings tend to drink less, too. The site also says that another popular wedding trend is to have an early afternoon wedding, ending with cake and a champagne reception—skipping a meal entirely.
Tip #5: Crowdfund Your Honeymoon
According to the wedding site Honeyfund, a growing number of newlyweds won’t take a honeymoon in large part because they lack the funds. Honeyfund’s cofounder and CEO, Sara Margulis, found herself in a similar situation several years back when she was planning her own wedding and she decided to turn to crowdfunding, raising more than $5,100 for her honeymoon to Fiji.
“Our wedding day went by so fast – it was our honeymoon that created lasting memories of that magical time,” said Margulis.
Sarah Cain is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.