by Trevor Odom, Elks Performing Arts Center
While it’s true the cost of the average wedding has more than doubled in the past 10 years, it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to have an elegant and memorable wedding.
In 2015, The Knot magazine published a report that indicated a general decline in the number of weddings each year. When the participants in the survey were asked why they weren’t getting married, one of the top responses was that it cost too much. Follow these tips to ensure you have the wedding of your dreams with plenty of extra cash for the honeymoon.
1 – Ditch Paper Invitations
Traditional paper invitations can set you back hundreds of dollars, and most people throw these in the trash right after reading them. Ouch. Cut this cost out completely by sending invites via email, text or personally calling and inviting guests to your wedding. If you must have traditional invitations, print and mail them yourself and still realize massive savings.
2 – Simplify Your Menu
One of the biggest pitfalls that couples fall into with menu planning is being too broad. Instead of planning special menus for guests on dietary restrictions, try having an all-inclusive buffet. Your vegan friend can munch on salad and bruschetta, meat eaters can work their way through the chicken breast, and you can be content with a slightly fatter pocketbook.
3 – Carefully Schedule Your Photography
Many photographers charge by the hour, and with the average 2015 wedding photography cost at $2,200 some of these photographers are outearning Manhattan lawyers. You can save on this cost by containing pictures to one or two hours around the ceremony only.
For reception pictures, encourage your guests to take as many pictures as possible and post them to a special Instagram hashtag unique to your event. That way you will have dozens or possibly hundreds of great shots to look through the next day.
4 – Consider a Wedding Planner
A wedding planner can be your best tool in saving the most money. Wedding planners are professionals who work with all manner of vendors to plan your wedding. They are also your advocate when it comes to making sure you get the best bang for your buck. Many times wedding vendors can get volume discounts from vendors that would simply be unavailable to the average person. This means that an investment of a few hundred dollars can possibly save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
5 – Pick a No-Strings-Attached Venue
Weddings are a $60-billion industry in the U.S. With all that cash on the line, many venues are trying to ensure they capture every penny they can. This is often done by pressuring couples to buy expensive all-inclusive wedding packages and prohibiting the use of outside vendors. If possible, try to pick a venue that allows you to pick your own vendors. By increasing your options you leave room to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
The Bottom Line
While this is in no way a complete list, hopefully it gives you an idea of where to start. The bottom line: The wedding of your dreams doesn’t have to break the bank if you are willing to do a little bit of homework.
If you would like information about the perfect venue for your wedding, call me, Trevor Odom, at 928-756-2844.