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Say 'I do' to these 8 ways to cut wedding costs

Your wedding is a day for celebrating and creating lifelong memories with your loved ones. They’ll be focused on your special day— not how much you spent. So cut down on costs to avoid wedding debt , and be better prepared for your next financial milestone with your partner.

Here are eight ways to save on your wedding.  

Hire students or hobbyists

Every great photographer, DJ and designer got their start somewhere. Students or young professionals who are just starting out are likely looking for experience and may charge less for their services. Consider what connections you might have for services like:

  • Photography

  • Music and DJ

  • Graphic design (for invitations, menus and signage)

  • Flower arrangements

  • Hair and makeup

If you’re hiring a less-experienced vendor, be sure you’re appropriately compensating them for their time. You’ll likely still see significant savings compared to a more in-demand alternative. 

DIY décor

There are many aspects of a wedding that allow you to put your own personal spin on décor. Working together with friends and family can also add a sentimental touch. For example, have your wedding party assemble their own bouquets or ask your parents to help with thrifting table settings. These DIY details are a great way to save money and spend time with your loved ones. 

Thrift your wedding dress

The secondhand wedding dress market is full of incredible options, no matter what style you prefer. Considering these dresses are only worn for a day, they often end up being donated or resold. Dresses, veils, shoes and other accessories can be found locally and online – just be sure to start your shopping early, as patience and consistency are key to scoring big. Thrifting for your wedding might not only help you find a steal, but you’ll also have an incredible garment with a story to tell.

By avoiding wedding debt, you and your partner can focus on reaching your next milestones together.

Mind your seasons

Flowers are often the centerpiece of wedding décor. From bouquets to backdrops, the price of those blooms can add up fast. Shopping seasonally can help you save without scaling down. Talk with several florists before making a final decision, and get their advice on what your budget can reasonably afford.

Your flowers aren’t the only element affected by the seasons. An in-season venue — like a beachfront wedding in the summer or woodland ceremony in the fall — can be a budget buster, so try searching for off-season options. Shop around and don’t be afraid to ask sites upfront how they are priced throughout the year.

Choose a venue with included amenities

Certain wedding venues might offer restrooms, parking, Wi-Fi or even food and drinks in their booking fees. Confirm what’s included as you receive quotes. Also, consider a location with inherent beauty that requires minimal added effort (and cost). For an indoor wedding, that might mean vaulted ceilings, big windows and old-school charm. Or head outdoors to a garden or rooftop with plentiful flowers and foliage.

Trim your guest list

An invite list can quickly spiral to include hundreds of people — especially if you’re trying to avoid conflict among friends and family. But keeping your wedding intimate is one of the best ways to slash your spending. To celebrate with a larger group, consider a more affordable wedding celebration where everyone can be invited before or after your big day.

Keep your party small

Your wedding party probably consists of some of your closest friends, but it can be a financial relief for everyone if you opt for a more intimate wedding party . For rehearsal dinners or hair and makeup service that require the entire group to be present, costs can quickly multiply the more people that are included. 

Plan your honeymoon later

A back-to-back wedding and honeymoon can be two major blows to your savings. Instead of hopping on a plane right after your ceremony, consider giving your bank account some time to recover. By saving your honeymoon for a later date, you’re not only allowing yourself to rebuild your savings and de-stress after wedding planning, but also giving you and your new spouse something to look forward to. 

Enjoy your big day without a big check

Finding places to cut costs can help you walk down the aisle without breaking your wedding budget . With a financial plan and a creative spirit, you can host an upscale event without overspending.

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