Wedding Planning? Don't Let It Bankrupt You

May 31, 2018

Memorial Day Weekend is over (sad horn). The upside? We all know that the holiday, for all intents and purposes, signals the arrival of sweet, sweet summer—and we're definitely not crying about that. The beauty of summertime in Colorado is that there's no shortage of things to see and do; as a result, it can represent different things to different people. But what is one ever-present tradition that's pretty much synonymous with this time of year? Wedding season.

According to The Knot's 2017 Real Weddings Study, the average cost of a U.S. wedding comes in at $33,391 (not including the honeymoon). No matter how you dice it, that's a pretty significant cost to swallow. Luckily, in this day-and-age of Pinterest and Etsy, a couple that doesn't want to spend a year's worth of college tuition on their big day has a treasure trove of DIY inspo from which to draw from. One of our staffers here at The Dime is one such frugal warrior (love it, use it, spread it); read on for the cost-cutting measures she and her fiance used for their nuptials that allowed them to throw a bangin' celebration without breaking the bank. 

Chop the guest list. Then chop it again.
If you want to have a thrifty wedding, one of the first things you can do is shorten the guest list. Rather than inviting everyone you know, sit down and think about who you really want to be there, and who from out of town is most likely to be able to make it.

Recruit, recruit, recruit.
You want a wedding so the people you love can share in your special day, right? Well, have them join in the fun by delegating different tasks to different people. You can have friends and family help with the food, liquor, music, photography...the possibilities are endless. That being said, don’t overdo it. Be respectful and cognizant of not asking too much (they're also your guests, after all).

Get creative with the venue.
In our staffer's case, she and her fiance love art. Lucky for them, there are tons of art galleries in and around Denver. Although they found that the larger museums were perfectly willing to throw an amazing wedding, the prices quoted weren't exactly wallet-friendly. So, she and her hubby-to-be found a small art gallery in Denver's Santa Fe Art District that was open to pretty much anything they wanted to doincluding bringing in their own food (see below). The use of the space was very affordable, and the inclusions offered were more than any of the other options they found. 

What do you and your partner love? Get creative in finding your venue—you may be surprised at what's available. 

Homemade food is SO good.
Our staffer's father is an amazing cook who loves to host large parties. There were some family recipes she wanted to share with the world, so she and her dad sat down and sorted out the cost of preparing and storing/warming the food. Come to find out, it was all was going to come to well under $1,000 (which really can't be beat). But just because you don't have a chef as a family member, doesn't mean you can't personalize things. For example, consider asking your favorite restaurant if they cater events. You might have to sort out transportation and timing, but it'll likely save you major buckaroos in the food department.

How much do you really want to spend on flowers?
If you're not a flower person per se, how about going the "nontraditional" route and opting for origami flowers? Etsy has many custom-made arrangements for both the ceremony and the reception. Possibly a more cost efficient (yet time-consuming) option is to create them yourself. Pinterest has a ton of ideas and links to instructions if you want to give it a go on your own.

Go digital.
If you know your way around Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, awesome! But if not, chances are you know someone with the necessary skillz. One thing that's more and more common these days is a wedding website, which you can easily create using any number of templates and free services (our staffer opted for Weebly).  If you go the wedding website route, you can even have guests RSVP onlinetherein saving you big on printing and mailing.

While the cheapest option is eloping, if you want to go the wedding route, there are lots of ways you can create the day of your dreams without obliterating your budget in the process. In fact, some studies have shown that the less you spend, the longer and happier you'll be marriedWhy not give that a shot?

Have you managed to save big on your wedding? How did you do it?