Following a wedding budget

I was just writing an article about the average cost of weddings nowadays — a whopping $27,000. That’s not including the honeymoon! It seems impossible to set a budget much lower than that, because of the per-person cost of a reception around these parts. Sure, you can have a cash bar, or find a smaller venue, but if you want to invite more than 75 people, these things are hard to come by. Plus, I think most couples in our area think they’ll be seen as “cheap” if there isn’t an open bar.

I would have liked a smaller wedding, but future hubby’s Italian/Catholic family really wanted the “whole shebang” for their only child, so I capitulated. While I couldn’t save too much money on the reception without having it at a VFW hall (we have too many guests for a nice restaurant), I’ve tried to cut corners where I can — and want to.

The dress? Paying more than I intended, but if I ever have a daughter, it will be something I can pass down. Honeymoon? Couldn’t help that part, because it appears to be the most expensive week of the year to travel besides Christmastime. The reception we got a good deal on because our April date, before Easter, is considered off-season, when they are desperate for bookings.

But when it came to other vendors, I did my research and found cheaper alternatives that didn’t sacrifice on quality. The invitations, I found online and ordered with a coupon for 15% off. For the favors, I will have help from a friend, while promoting her new side business (you’ll see, I don’t want to spoil the surprise). I made my own card box, and I’ll be making my own purse and guestbook. I’m likely going to borrow a cake cutter and maybe toasting flutes.

All this saving is hard work! But if you do your research, it’s well worth it in the end. I’m a bit above my budget on the wedding, but that’s because of the honeymoon (which is only 6 days/5 nights). I’ll be keeping my eyes open for other ways to cut costs before April.

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