Most important points
Don’t be put off by stickers when you start looking at prices when planning the wedding. Renting a non-traditional venue, choosing to host your wedding on a less popular date, and making creative food and drink decisions will help you stay on budget.
When my husband and I started planning our wedding day, we wanted a memorable celebration, but we didn’t want to go into debt. While organizing our special day, we made some creative choices that allowed us to keep our total expenses under $10,000. Our wedding day was now almost 10 years ago, but some of our planning picks can inspire you as you plan your wedding.
Choosing a non-traditional location can save you money
There are some incredible wedding venues in the United States. But many wedding venues charge thousands of dollars in rental fees. According to a study by The Knot, the average wedding venue cost in 2022 was $11,200. Wow!
When we looked at location options, we were shocked at the prices. We felt uncomfortable paying thousands of dollars to rent a space for a few hours. Fortunately, we planned on some non-traditional choices, so it made sense to have our wedding at a local park. We paid less than $500 for a cabin rental with a liquor license.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box as you explore locations. Many county and state parks rent out cabins and other indoor structures at affordable rates. Another idea is to have a backyard wedding if you have a large yard or have a family member with a lot of property. Choosing one of these options can free up more room in your budget for other wedding day expenses.
The date of your event may affect the price
Another way we saved money was by choosing a less popular day and time for our party. Saturday night is one of the most popular times to get married, which is why many venues charge higher fees for couples going this route.
We knew we wanted to get married on a weekend as we had some guests traveling for a few hours by car, but we didn’t feel the need to go to a traditional Saturday night event. Instead, we hosted a Sunday brunch reception. We said our vows at noon and enjoyed brunch with our guests shortly after. We closed the event about three hours later.
This choice didn’t save us money on location costs, but it saved us money in other ways, which I’ll highlight below. Some couples can save money on venue costs with a non-traditional approach. Consider being flexible with the time and date of your event to save money.
Food and drink choices can help you reduce your spending
Our decision to host a brunch party helped with food and beverage costs. We had catered our brunch reception. We had a variety of breakfast and brunch themed food items as well as non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and a free-flowing bar.
We also saved money by reducing the alcohol choices available. We chose one type of beer, served red and white wine and had mimosas. I can’t remember the total expenditure, but it was affordable, especially compared to what we would have spent serving liquor in a traditional venue. Since we had a liquor license for the day, we hired a bartender friend to pour drinks.
There may be cheaper options for photography and music
We also saved money thanks to our photography and music choices. We didn’t need video footage. Instead, we hired a professional photographer to take pictures. We chose a photographer who was still growing her business and offering an affordable package. After reviewing her portfolio, we hired her. We spent less than $1,000 on professional photos.
We also went for a non-traditional choice of music. Instead of hiring an expensive DJ, which didn’t suit our Sunday afternoon brunch, we hired a local musician to play acoustic guitar. It was perfect for the occasion and the price did not deplete our checking account.
Find ways to save money on wedding expenses
Making creative choices can save you money as you plan your special day. There is not one way to organize a wedding and/or set of rules to follow. If you want to celebrate your commitment to each other while working toward crucial personal financial goals, don’t be afraid to think outside the box when making planning decisions.
Warning: The Highest Cash Back Card We’ve Seen Right Now Has 0% Intro APR Until 2024
Using the wrong credit or debit card can cost you a lot of money. Our experts love this top pick, with an intro APR of 0% through 2024, an insane cashback rate of up to 5%, and all somehow with no annual fee.
In fact, this card is so good that our experts even use it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
Read our free review