Love on a Budget: How to Afford Your Perfect Wedding

According to TheKnot.com, the average wedding costs about $22,000. And that’s just the average, meaning some people spend much more. And the sentiment is understandable. This is one of the most important days of your life, and you want it to perfect. The thing you need to realize is that you can make your wedding amazing without breaking the bank.

First, decide how much you will need to spend for wedding all together, and where this money is going to come from. Planning to spend about $100 per guest is a good starting point. If you and your fiancee can cover the entire bill, then go for it. If you need help, however, you will want to talk to both parents as soon as possible. Decide who will pay for what, and exactly how much they are willing to spend. Once you have a set limit, you can start making your wedding budget.

Next, break down how much money you want to put towards each part. Be sure to budget for catering, music, venue, flowers, wedding dress, bridesmaid’s dresses, decorations, and invitations. Keep your budget fluid, because as you start planning, you are going to remember things you forgot to include the first time you wrote your budget up. Also, make sure to include at least a 10% buffer, because most couples do go over what they originally planned.

To make sure the most important things get taken care of, prioritize your list of expenses. Now, this may be different for everyone. You may want to hire the best photographer, but not care much about the decorations. Some one else may want expensive matching bridesmaid dresses, but not feel too strongly about what kind of cake they have. This is just about what it important to you.

When you start shopping, feel free to negotiate prices. Companies want your business, and you would be silly not to try and save money where you can. For example, when you buy your wedding gown, see if the shop will give you a discount on your bridesmaid’s dresses. Consider changing your wedding to a Sunday or a weekday to save money. Caterers and vendors may give you better rates, since these days are not as highly in demand.

Try shopping online. This is an easy way to compare prices and find great deals. Even sites like e-Bay can be a great place to find things like cake toppers, ring pillows, and even dresses. Be sure to allow for plenty of time for the auction to end and things to be shipped to you. You don’t want to be cutting it close.

Remember that not being able to throw a lavish wedding isn’t the end of the world. Your wedding isn’t about impressing your friends or getting to wear a pretty dress. It’s about making a commitment to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Don’t sweat the details. If the two of you are truly in love, your wedding will be beautiful, no matter how much you spend.