50% Off Your Dream Wedding: 4 Ways to Save on Wedding Costs

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Contributor, Benzinga
March 10, 2023

Wedding planning with your partner is a bonding experience that prepares you for the big day and the rest of your life together. But as you plan the ceremony, your wedding expenses may add up quickly, leaving you struggling to balance your vision for the big day with your budget. 

With the right approach, you and your partner can plan a budget-friendly wedding that everyone will enjoy. These cost-saving tips, from getting creative with your venue to keeping your guest list small, can ensure you have your dream wedding without sacrificing your financial goals.

1. Choose a Nontraditional Venue

One of the biggest wedding expenses is the venue. Most couples spend between $3,000 and $11,000 on average. But choosing a nontraditional space for your ceremony and reception, like a park, beach, meadow, barn, lake, art studio, library or private residence, can help you save money on your wedding. 

Outdoor venues are often cheaper than traditional wedding venues and can offer breathtaking scenery and natural beauty. Many parks have designated wedding areas, which can be reserved for a fraction of the cost of a traditional venue. 

Private residences, such as a family home or backyard, offer a personal touch and a great way to save on venue rental fees. Check with family or friends who own scenic properties with a view of a lake or forest to see whether they’ll let you use the space for a beautiful, affordable wedding.

2. Limit the Guest List

When planning a dream wedding, it’s natural to want to invite everyone you know and love to participate in your big day. But an extensive guest list adds to expenses like catering, invitations and seating. 

ValuePenguin estimates that it costs around $307 per guest on average. Limiting the guest list is the best way to save money on your wedding budget without sacrificing the quality of the event.

To narrow your list, decide on the number of guests you can afford, then fill the spots with people you are closest to, such as your parents, siblings, grandparents and other family members. Include your close friends in the wedding party or people who you can’t imagine celebrating your big day without. 

If you have spaces left, decide whether to invite acquaintances, co-workers or your invitees’ plus ones based on availability and how far you can stretch your budget. 

Getting married outside of the traditional wedding season on a less popular date can help you plan a cheap wedding. The peak wedding season is typically from late spring to early fall; the most popular date for 2022 was Oct. 22, and it is predicted that the biggest date for 2023 will be Sept. 23. 

Venues and vendors often charge a premium for events during this time but provide discounts during the winter months to attract more business. Selecting an off-season date or day of the week can help you pay less for the same location so you can still have the wedding of your dreams. 

4. Rent Rather Than Buy

Increase your wedding savings by renting items instead of buying them. From wedding dresses to decorations, renting can be a cost-effective way to have everything you need for your special day without going over budget.

Renting a wedding dress is becoming a popular trend. You typically only wear your wedding dress once, and buying a wedding gown can be one of the most expensive elements of the big day, costing an average of $1,650. Companies like The Dress Outlet and Dare & Dazzle let you rent high-end designer gowns at affordable prices, saving you money while ensuring you look stunning on your wedding day.

 Bonus Tip: Save Big on Your Rings

Consider purchasing a lab-grown diamond engagement ring. Lab-grown diamonds are cheaper than natural diamonds, with an average cost of $4,383 — 30% less than natural diamonds. They also are increasingly fashionable, popularized by celebrities like Lady Gaga and Drake. Opting for a lab-grown diamond can provide a high-quality, beautiful engagement ring option for couples on a budget,

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Once you get the ring don’t forget to take out specialty jewelry insurance for your engagement and wedding rings.  Many times a ring has been lost in the chaos of a wedding. Thankfully you can find quick and affordable ring insurance online to keep not just your ring safe, but your wallet too.