Traditionally, lavish weddings are associated with romance and commitment to marriage. However, a study by economics professors at Emory University shows that the opposite is true, and links longer, happier marriages with cheaper weddings. Of the couples studied, those who spent over $20,000 on their weddings divorced at a rate 1.6 times higher than those whose weddings cost between $5000 and $10,000, and couples who spent less than $1000 on their weddings had a lower than average rate of divorce.
When starting out your new life together, why burden yourselves with wedding-related debts you’ll be paying for years to come? The wedding industry exists to convince you that you simply must have this service or that extra. Instead of spending money on wedding vendors and furbelows, you can trim your costs, keep your budget down, and save that money for things that matter. Here are a few ideas how to do it:
1. Go nontraditional wherever possible.
This is the number one thing to keep in mind, because your costs go up the moment you deal with a traditional wedding vendor. Consider a nontraditional venue: a movie or college theatre, a friend’s backyard garden, a picnic area in a local park.
Pick out one or two meaningful things and splurge on those. Focus on what you and your guests will truly enjoy and remember.
3. Get married in the off-season.
You can save thousands by having your celebration at a time of year local vendors consider their wedding off-season. They’ll be glad for the business and more likely to cut you a better deal!
4. Skip the wedding favors.
These get left behind on the table, or thrown away a month later. After a wedding, nobody talks about how cute the favors were.
If you are craftsy, or have family or friends who are, the sky’s the limit. You can save on everything from hair and makeup to cake and bridal gown. Or, check out Etsy for great deals on unique and beautiful handmade items.
6. Consider herbs instead of flowers.
You can create a beautiful and symbolic bouquet with live herbs–a wedding tradition dating back to medieval times. Save the cuttings to start an herb garden that will last you for years to come.
7. Have your ceremony and reception in the same location.
You’ll save money on transportation and limo fees, and may be able to negotiate a lower price for using the venue for both purposes.
8. Timing is everything.
Saturday weddings are the most popular, and, accordingly, the most expensive. See if a Friday or Sunday will save you money.