A wedding can be the event of a lifetime, but it shouldn't haunt a newly married couple for years to come. Today's young people are already saddled with large student loans, making the average $30,000 cost of a wedding seem rather daunting, as noted by the Better Business Bureau.
It doesn't have to be this way. We've compiled three ways to help you start your marriage out on a stronger financial foot. Whether you're the natural saver or the natural spender in the (brand-new) family, you'll appreciate these money-saving wedding ideas.
Steer clear of June and Saturday
If you're shocked by the thought of avoiding the most popular wedding days and season, keep in mind your goal of saving a ton. Planning your wedding for a Saturday night in June is a sure-fire way to spend top dollar – and also to ensure that other friends will likely be getting married on the same day. While it may seem difficult to imagine a wedding on a Thursday evening in February, the money saved by this method alone should make it much more enticing.
Serve only beer and wine
Let's just be honest here. An open bar is the quickest way to drive your wedding budget through the stratosphere. For some, the concept of beer and wine only is cringe-worthy. No apple martinis for Aunt Susie? How will you ever live down the embarrassment? Well, consider for a moment the cost of offering endless liquor to all 200 of your wedding guests. Supplying a limited beer and wine selection is an excellent way to save big on your big day. And if you step into your guests' shoes, you can see it's not that scandalous; you may even come to admire the host couple's resourcefulness.
Employ friends and family
When you are first preparing to get hitched, the different vendors you'll need may come as a shock. From the cake, to the music, to the flowers -- and that's just the start. It can be wise to consider your network of friends and family when starting to book your vendors. Does your cousin sing like Adele? Does your mom's best friend love putting together flower arrangements? Not only can this save you money, it will make your loved ones feel like integral parts of your wedding day. If you're consumed by the desire to compensate them, just remember: everyone will need you for something or another in the future. Just keep an eye out for ways to "pay it forward."
Are you hoping to save even more? These three money-saving wedding ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to use this helpful wedding budget worksheet from the University of Georgia to start keeping track of your wedding expenses and find more ways to save.
Do you have friends planning to get hitched? Share the love – and share this article with them, too.