Although it appears as though wedding season is just around the corner, I would argue that wedding season never truly ends. For some it might be the best day of their lives, while others view weddings as a way to toss your money out of a moving train. Even if a wedding is not in your foreseeable future, it doesn’t hurt to know that there are options available that won’t bash your budget! Whether you see yourself on a sandy island at sunset or a quickie courtroom date, one of these options is sure to fit your style and, most importantly, your wallet.
A new-to-me type of wedding, lots of couples are now opting to combine their wedding and, you guessed it, their honeymoon. While this can get elaborate quickly, opt for an all-inclusive deal (such as on a cruise ship) where you’re given a set price ahead of time and don’t have to worry about additional items adding up quickly. You get to enjoy a vacation-style wedding where the details are handled by the company so you can actually relax and indulge in marital bliss.
Although courthouses have a reputation for lacking the element of romance, there is so much you can do to make this an efficient and gorgeous celebration. Channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw and purchase fresh bouquets that morning and invite a small gathering of the people most important to you to blow bubbles afterward. This modest ceremony allows you to spend more on other parts, such as a photographer who knows how to highlight a simple setting. Instead of glitzy décor stealing the show, you’re sure to remember that most special part: the commitment to each other.
One of the biggest expenses for weddings can be the venue. Skip the fancy ballroom in exchange for a backyard ceremony. If your backyard barely fits a picnic table, consider renting out a pavilion at a local park. While it still may come at a small price, it is much cheaper than all the bells and whistles included at hotel locations.
Dinners can be a huge expense for both small and large gatherings. Skip the steak and mashed potatoes and go for a waffle bar and eggs to celebrate your new marriage. Simply changing the time to a ‘less desirable’ slot (think a Saturday night to a Sunday morning, or even the Monday of a holiday weekend!) can save hundreds.
Like above, food is a major cost when it comes to wedding. If you’re holding a celebration at home or at a park, have guests bring a dish to pass instead of a gift. The easiest way to do this is assign last names to a type of dish. A-F appetizers, G-M desserts, etc.
The rebellious wedding of all weddings. While eloping use to be associated with secretly escaping away to tie the knot, this isn’t the case anymore. Many hotels and resorts offer elopement packages that can even include a small number of guests. Consider spending your money on a neat location in exchange for the big party and finding a bed and breakfast that will fit your elopement needs. A small family-owned business is likely to cater to your wishes if you spread the word of your unique wedding plans!
What’s one thing you would have done different for your wedding? If you’re not married, what would your dream wedding look like? For me, it’s all TBD.
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