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Wednesday Welcome: Tips for Brides on a Budget

springheadshotIt’s wedding season—the time of year when most couples decide to tie the knot.  If you’ve gotten married recently or are in the midst of planning a wedding, you know how costly saying “I do” can be.  In fact, according to a recent survey, couples are spending record amounts on their big day—in many cases, upwards of $30,000 (not including the honeymoon!).

If you’re making plans to take the plunge, check out the tips below from Jessica Bishop; the founder of The Budget Savvy Bride, who specializes in helping couples find ways to cut costs:

With the average price of a wedding rising every year, I love to empower couples with tips and information to help them save money wherever they can. As a budget wedding expert and founder of the site The Budget Savvy Bride, I’ve learned some tried and true tips to help couples keep costs down on their big day. Today I’ll be sharing with you five of my very best suggestions for saving money on your wedding:

1.    Cut the guest list: To be perfectly honest, the number one way to keep costs down is to also keep your guest count down! Basically, for each person on your guest list, your costs add up exponentially. You’ll have to pay for an extra chair, extra meal, extra drinks, extra invitation and program… so it pays to keep your guest list intimate and only include the people who you truly want to share your day with. The fewer guests you have in attendance, the better you can treat your guests!

2.    Find a low cost or free venue: If you spend less on the location you’ll have more room in your budget to put towards things that affect the overall feel of the wedding. Think outside the box and consider venues like public libraries, schools, your church banquet hall, rotary clubs, etc. If you’re willing to do a little extra in the DIY department you can really transform a blank space without spending much money. Bonus points if that venue can accommodate both the ceremony and reception- as you’ll only have to decorate one space.

3.    Get married during the off-season: Venue prices tend to be more expensive during the times that are most in-demand, such as the spring and fall months. A wedding in June is going to cost more than a January wedding  – so if you can be flexible about the season you can save quite a bit. You’ll save even more if you choose a mid-week day to get married. These savings often apply to vendors as well so be sure to ask about off-season discounts.

4.    BYOB if possible: One of the biggest budget busters when it comes to weddings is the alcohol or bar situation. If you can find a venue that allows you to supply your own alcohol, you’ll save tons in the markup alone! Purchase your wine and beer in bulk from stores like Costco or Sam’s Club for extra savings! For my own wedding, we purchased our wine from Trader Joe’s and crafted custom labels for the bottles, so no one even knew how frugal we had been with our wine choice.

5.    Consider non-traditional catering options: For my wedding, we chose to use a local restaurant instead of a traditional wedding caterer. Not only were their prices much lower, but they also allowed for all sorts of extras that would’ve cost us an arm and a leg elsewhere. If you’re looking for a more laid-back and casual vibe, you can serve some really unique and delicious food by offering local fare from food trucks. Using food trucks at weddings has become increasingly popular for their fun-factor and affordability.

I hope these tips are helpful to you as you plan your big day! For more tips and inspiration, please visit The Budget Savvy Bride.

Jessica Bishop is the founder and editor of The Budget Savvy Bride, a daily wedding blog that aims to inspire brides to plan a beautiful wedding no matter their budget. On the site you’ll find real budget weddings, DIY projects, free printables and more to help you have a frugal and fabulous wedding!

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