Wedding costs can grow swiftly and develop a mind of their own. But there is no need to incur a lifetime of debt and headache in preparation for this one day.
Granted, it’s a major day for you and your future spouse, but its dollar value doesn’t have to bankrupt you or demolish your pocketbook in order to be truly beautiful and memorable. Here are a few expenses you’d do well to cut or avoid and entirely.
A Billion Guests
Assembling the guest list is akin to a Mensa exercise. Using the following two rules will help you keep it simple: Ask yourself, “Who are the closest and dearest souls to my future spouse and I, the people we couldn’t bear to not have present for our wedding?” Then ask yourself: “What is my total budget?” The second question may take a few days/weeks to answer.
Once you have shopped around and obtained a ballpark estimate, use this to adjust and refine your guest list. Remember who is absolutely essential. No need to invite the nice, chatty girls who work the front desk at the gym even if you’ve spent a night or two at the bar with them.
Lavish, custom invitations are still very popular, but mounting costs of stationery, printing and mailing have turned this expense into an unnecessary and extravagant one. The additional costs of mailing large and/or oddly shaped invitations can amount to $2 or more per piece of mail.
Keep it simple with small invitations. Or DIY your invitations and mail them yourself. Include a postcard reply as opposed to a whole other envelope and mini RSVP form. Or set up an RSVP voice mail.
A more minimalist and penny-pinching alternative is to do e-invitations via email or social media. Wedding invitation videos made by spouses-to-be are fast gaining in popularity and definitely have viral potential.
Hair, Makeup and Rings
We know brides would rather hand this off to a pro. Also, some wedding photography companies include hair and makeup in their packages, typically for steep extra fees. Skip the Hollywood treatment and have close friends/relatives get you beautified for your big day. Your guy will still think you look breathtaking, and you’ll still be stunning for your photos. If you take your time and research where to buy wedding bands, you’ll find that many jewelers offer discounts. Tungsten wedding bands are always a great option for both the bride and groom and they are currently offering $40 off any purchase of $125 or more. Sign me up for 33% off. If you’re interested in learning more, check out their FAQ page here.
Make Your Own Veil
If you or anyone you know has any cutting/design ability, try to make any components of your wedding gown and veil yourself. DIY weddings and DIY wedding aspects are totally in right now and make for more eclectic, dynamic wedding details. A basic veil is tulle, a comb and possibly a tiara. Experiment with different size netting and shades of white.
Gigantic Wedding Parties
Your enthusiasm and desire to share your special day with tons of sorority sisters and coworkers is understandable, but the cost of casting a large wedding party are staggering. $75 is average for a bridesmaid bouquet. Multiple by eight, add in the cost of dresses and the cost of Thank You gifts, and say hello to Mr. Pointless Debt, the invisible guest who’ll crash your wedding and your life for years to come.
Keep your wedding party small. It should consist of your closest friends and family. Be brutally honest and tailor the party to your financial needs/constraints.
The above are but a tiny portion of expenses you can do without. While large, over-the-top weddings are still fashionable among celebs, small and intimate, down-to-earth DIY weddings also have some very credible charm.
Begin planning your wedding with the intention of keeping it as inexpensive but special as possible. Don’t just assume lavish and expensive makes for a more profound wedding day. Sometimes quite the opposite is true.