Is it just me or is there a wedding craze going on? I’ve been to five weddings and have had over ten of my friends get engaged this summer! I guess being 23 it’s normal for this age, but all I keep thinking is how are they going to afford this?! The average wedding cost in Bay County Michigan is $21,343.* The average yearly income for a single person in Bay County is $23,694. So you’re basically spending a years’ worth of income on one night?! Is that really necessary?
In order to learn some ways savvy brides cut back on costs I talked to CFCU’s very own recent bride Nicole L., one of our Member Service Representatives.
“Weddings are very expensive but there is always a place you can cut!" Nicole said. "One of the most important things a bride and groom should do while planning their wedding is sit down and make a list of what vendors, and details they want to include in their wedding day. After making that list they can choose what things may not be as necessary or important to them as others and cut in those areas to save money. Also, when shopping for vendors, don’t be afraid to “shop around.” Chances are if you talk to several different vendors and get competitive pricing they will try to match or beat another vendor’s price. It never hurts to negotiate."
Nicole went onto say, "You can also try to save money by keeping your invitations simple and avoid sending “save the dates.” While some people do save their invitations, many others just throw them in the trash after the wedding so why spend a ton of money on something going in the trash later. We communicated with our wedding guests about the location, date, and time of the wedding and reception and information about the hotel that had discounted rooms blocked off for out of town guests on a website that we created through “the knot” at no charge. This was a great alternative to sending out a save the dates. **The website used to create a free wedding website has other useful wedding planning tools you can use as well, including a wedding budget tool!”
I also found when asking wedding guests for RSVP cards to be sent back in the envelope we already placed stamps on, several people were calling our parents, messaging us on Facebook, or relaying the message word of mouth. I feel that I could have saved quite a bit of money on stamps by doing an electronic RSVP.”
Doing some of my own research, I found 8 seemingly simple ways to save:
* Have a Friday wedding – this will help lower the cost of the venue and entertainment immensely
* Keep dinner simple, or have heavy hors d'oeuvres
* Get your dress at a sample sale
* Save on drinks by just serving beer and wine. Or have a bride and groom signature drink.
* Stay in season when choosing flowers
* Look into DIY invitations – I’ve seen save the dates and wedding invitation FREE printables that look just as nice as professional ones. So if you have access to a nice printer this could be a great option.
* Be your own DJ - You and your spouse know what you like and what you want to hear at your wedding. Make a playlist on your iPod, you’ll never have to listen to a song you don’t want to hear, and you’ll save big bucks.
* Keep your guest list under control – your mom might insist that you invite your 4th cousin that you used to play with at family reunions 10 years ago…but remember, a single guest could add between $151 and $185 to the overall cost of your wedding. The best way to save money on your wedding is to control the number of guests.