Since I have two daughters, it’s entirely possible that I will be shelling out some big bucks down the road if my daughter’s get married. The cost of weddings continues to skyrocket across the United States and the national average cost of a wedding day in 2016 shot up to $35,329, according to a survey by The Knot. That’s a $2,688 jump from the 2015 average of $32,641.
Increased focus on tailoring an unforgettable day for wedding guests is central to the rise in costs, says The Knot. While the number of people showing up may have decreased—from 149 in 2009 to 141 last year—amenities like photo booths, food trucks, and lawn games are driving up the average cost per guest to $245, compared to a meager $194 in 2009.
So, the big question is how can you save some money when planning a special wedding day. Here are my five tips on how to have a great day, but still stay within your budget.
Schedule An Off Peak Time
- Avoid Saturdays – Saturday tend to be the single most expensive day of the week, especially when you choose an evening event. See if you can stick to Friday night, or a Sunday afternoon to really trim down your budget.
- Avoid Peak Months Of The Year – While Spring and Fall are the most popular time to get married, choosing the winter months such as November, December, and January can really help your bottom line.
Prime Rib, Chicken, or Salmon?
- Consider Doing A Serve Yourself Buffet – You might have dreamed for that sit down meal where your guests choose between Prime Rib and Salmon, but consider doing a self-serve buffet. This is one of the most economical ways to save money especially if you choose something simple like barbeque and mac and cheese.
- You Can Also Go For Heavy Apps/Dessert – If you really need to be economical, you could go for a buffet that is appetizers driven and wow your guests with a really great dessert table.
Look For A Nontraditional Venue
- Consider A Family Member’s House – Look, the reality is that you’d love to have the option of doing an exclusive venue or your parent’s country club. However, if you really need to save money make it a great party, but do it at a family member’s backyard.
- Community Center & Historic Facilities – If you can’t get a family member to play ball, look at other options such as an old historic house on main street in your town or even a community center in your neighborhood.
What Flowers Are In Season
- Consider Using One Type Of Flower For Centerpieces – You may have always dreamed of peonies, but you might want to consider using one single type of flower that is in season. The flowers in season based upon the time of year you get married can really be a lot cheaper than the flowers that are scarce during your wedding season.
- Look At Wholesale Stores (Costco) – Who knew? Costco? Yes! Take a look at their flower selection to save big money on your wedding day.
Serve Signature Cocktails
- Offer several pre-made drinks – Full open bar can be one of the most expensive line items for your wedding. Consider coming up with one or two signature drinks and just giving your guests a choice of A or B instead of whatever they want to drink.
- Serve beer and wine – If you are really worried about spending a ton of money on alcohol, then just stick to wine and beer. Your guests are there to see you and make the music out of sight for your wedding. Your guests will still have a great time.