In the United States, weddings are a multi-billion dollar industry. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have changed many plans, weddings are making a comeback in 2021 and beyond. If you’re looking to be married soon, you’re likely looking at your finances and budgeting. The reality is you don’t need to go into debt in order to have a dream wedding! Here are proven ways to save money and have a memorable wedding.
Create a Wedding Budget
The first thing you will need to do is create a wedding budget. First, establish how much money you’re able to spend without breaking the bank. After this, the money should be divided between several categories.
We’re certainly not expert wedding planners here at Florida Credit Union (our skills lie elsewhere!), but we found a good starting point from Brides.com. As with any budgeting style or breakdown, you can customize it to your heart’s content. For example, while they suggest 15% of your budget be dedicated towards photography and videography, you might have a friend who can do a great job at a friendly discount, allowing you to divert some extra money to another expense.
Avoid the Peak Season
A good way to save money on a wedding is to opt for an off-season wedding. Wedding season varies depending on where you live. For Florida, anything outside of June to September is considered wedding season since those months tend to be the hottest and rainiest, though we’ve heard rain means good luck! Opting for an off-season wedding may you some money. Remember that the season doesn’t determine the success of the wedding. No matter the timing, it’s up to you to make the most of what you have.
Trim Any Guest List Fat
Wedding guest lists can be a challenge! You have to think about family, friends and possibly co-workers or bosses when creating a list. The reality is that each person you add to your wedding guest list adds extra costs. More people equals a bigger venue, more tables, more chairs, more food, more drinks… more everything. There’s no way around it: being conservative with your guest list will save you time and money.
There are many ways to address this, but know that cutting your second and third cousins from the list is probably for the best. You can also leverage other wedding trends like having an adults-only wedding to cut down on the guest list. Whether it’s creating a max guest count and then creating your list, or making it then trimming, have clear goals in mind before you start.
Buffets Are Enduring and Beer and Wine Get the Job Done
Buffets are an option that can save you money. Guests getting their own food means saving on extra serving staff. It also opens up food options that aren’t possible if you’re creating individually served meals. Drinks are another area where there’s money to be saved, albeit with some caveats.
Having a beer and wine only wedding and excluding liquors keeps things simple and cheaper than opting for a wide selection at the bar. This also helps if you have an open bar at your wedding, as limiting the amount of choices cuts down on costs. In any case, your guests will be happy with whatever you serve! They’re there supporting you, after all.
Leave Out the Wedding Planner
We will admit that this can be a dangerous option, and we here at FCU take no responsibility for the wedding shenanigans than may ensue if you don’t have a wedding planner! As with employing the services of any expert, a wedding planner can be a valuable asset for planning a wedding.
If you have time and friends or family who can pitch in, planning your own wedding can save you thousands of dollars. At the same time, it also adds a whole lot of stress. That said, organization matters, and there are many (free) services meant to keep you on track with your planning.
Our final advice is this: have fun! You only get married (hopefully) once, so remember to take your time, savor the little moments and make it a day to remember for the rest of your life.
Need a bit of financial help? Florida Credit Union is here to help with a variety of loan options, from Home Equity to personal loans, that can provide the funds you need for your special day.
Florida Credit Union is a full-service financial institution. Founded in 1954 as the Alachua County Teachers’ Credit Union, FCU now services nearly 130,000 members in 48 counties throughout North and Central Florida. For more information on the services we provide, visit FLCU.org or call us at 1-800-284-1144.
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