wedding band

A wedding is one of the most important events in your life, but it doesn’t have to be the most expensive one. While the average wedding does cost around $30,000, it’s possible to leverage some planning and budgeting tips to bring down the cost of tying the knot. [1]

#1: Go buffet.

One of the largest wedding expenses is the caterer, which averages almost $13,000 per wedding. [2] A multiple-course meal served by waiters can add up, so consider some alternative options—like a catered buffet. The food will be just as good, and people can take as much (or as little) as they want, without you having to pay $85 per person.

#2: Shop around for different venues.

Thinking of a bridal canopy with an ocean sunset? Certain venues will be more expensive than others, so shop around and consider alternatives. A lower-cost venue might be found at the social hall of a recreation center or house of worship. Your guests won’t think any less of the big day if you can’t throw a party at the Ritz Carlton. 

#3: Consider the wardrobe.

If matching outfits are part of the event, try to get everyone to rent from the same place…and see if that place will give a discount. While you’re at it, consider saving on one of the largest expenses—the bride’s dress—by going with a more simple design, or seeing if any bridal shops are having a trunk show. 

#4: Trim the guestlist…and the cake.

You probably do want to invite everyone you’ve ever known, but you don’t have to. Your wedding can be a small venue; believe it or not, most people won’t be scarred or offended by your decision to keep the guest list limited to family and close friends. 

#5: Don’t super-size the band.

A good band is one of the best ways to liven up the party, but you don’t need a 20-piece ensemble to have a good time. In fact, many weddings passed expectations (with flying colors) boasting nothing more than a DJ. Check out websites and social media profiles to see what musical options are the most affordable in your area.

All of these suggestions will require a little research…but when you have some extra money for the honeymoon, or to start your life together, you won’t regret it. Check out some ways to save with a simple search.