As the father of three daughters, when you ask, “How much should a wedding cost?” my answer is simple.
Less. A lot less.
Fortunately, there are dozens of ideas that will slash the cost of even the most ambitious wedding. It goes without saying that you should take it easy on engagement ring prices. But after you take care of that, keep on the money-saving track. The following tactics will deliver a world-class experience you and your guests will never forget – and keep you out of the poorhouse at the same time.
Here are 8 top cost-saving tactics you should consider using:
The easiest way to realize significant cost savings is to erase some people from the invite list. Think about it. If you are paying $100 a plate, merely cutting out a dozen guests will save you $1,200. This step is cool because it doesn’t mean you have to change anything about the overall experience. If you’re paying for your kid’s wedding, the last thing you want is to spend down all your savings and then go looking for jobs in retirement. I’ve seen this happen more than once. Cut the list.
2. Shuffle Your Big Day
Most people wed on Saturday night. Mistake. It’s the most expensive day to tie the note. Don’t do it. Think outside the box and get married on any other day. This alone will save you 10%. (If you strategically make it inconvenient, fewer people show up, and that reduces your expense too.) So if your wedding is going to be a $35,000, you can put $3,500 back in the kitty.
3. Beat the Clock
Again, by having your ceremony in the morning or afternoon, you’ll save a ton more. The food, venue and entertainment will be much less expensive. Also, most people tend to booze it up a little less during daylight. One caterer I spoke with told me that he charges 40% less because during the day, people normally don’t have appetizers. So, if you figure 150 people are coming at $100 a plate, that’s a cool $6,000 you save.
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Photo courtesy of Flickr.com; Username: Greencolander