The following is a post by Wayne at Young Family Finance. He writes to educate young families on the financial challenges of life, like paying your bills on time or choosing between daycare or stay at home parenting.
If you are thinking about getting married soon, chances are that you are trying to save money on your wedding. Weddings can be an expensive event to host, especially if you are getting married at a young age. If the bride's parents are not paying for the wedding (and even if they are), you probably want to try and save every penny that you can. But where should you compromise and where to splurge? You may want to save money, but I doubt very few people are comfortable with sacrificing quality.
My Wedding Experience
My wife and I got married 2 and a half years ago. We didn't go all out, but looking back now, we did overspend in a couple of areas. We were intentional about saving money on some of the more expensive areas of a wedding while not sacrificing the quality. For example, instead of buying a wedding cake, we purchased cheesecake from Costco. My wife and I love cheesecake and we were able to get more dessert for our money by going this route.
We also utilized some of the resources in the family. My wife's aunt and uncle had a very nice house and landscaped backyard. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for a venue, they agreed to let us get married in their backyard. We didn't have to sacrifice quality because their house had actually been featured in Better Homes and Gardens. While we were pretty intentional about not spending too much money on our wedding, we did make one mistake that we would change if we could do it all over again.
The Easiest Way to Save Money that I Missed Out On
The easiest way that you can save money on your wedding is by strategically scheduling the time of the wedding. I know you are probably asking yourself, “why would the time of the wedding could make such a big difference?” While it may not seem like the time of day that the wedding is scheduled at makes a difference, I can assure you it does for this simple reason: food. If you schedule your wedding for a late afternoon to be followed by a reception, as I did, the expectation is that you will have a meal for your guests.
Having a meal for your guests can place a huge financial stress on you or the bride's parents. This is never a good way to start out a marriage. Instead, think of scheduling your wedding at a time that would allow people to have lunch and then come to your wedding. Scheduling your wedding at 2pm, for example, would allow you to have a dessert reception following the ceremony.
Simply by being strategic with the time of day that you plan your wedding, you can save thousands of dollars. If you don't want to switch to an unconventional time, you do have other options. For example, you could have a potluck of sorts. Yet, for me I would rather keep it classy. To me, potluck doesn't scream classy, but the exact opposite. Ultimately, it's all about your preferences and what you want to happen on that very special day, but don't overlook this small change that could save you thousands of dollars (like I did).
[Note from Eric: Whenever I think of weddings, I think of this video. I just had to share.]
What are other ways you can save on a wedding?
Image by tinou bao