Weddings are beautiful celebrations of love, but they can cost a pretty penny. In 2021, the average wedding cost was $34,000, leaving some couples to wonder if it is possible to have their dream wedding without compromising their financial future.

Fortunately, there are endless ways couples can get creative while planning their wedding to uncover big savings. With wedding season right around the corner, check out these savvy tips to create your perfect day without breaking the bank. 

Consider a winter (or off-season) wedding

While spring and summer weddings are traditionally popular, recent wedding trends reveal 73% of all weddings take place between May and October, the most popular months being September, June and October. Consider scheduling your wedding away from these popular months for optimal venue savings.

Pick a beautiful, one-stop venue

If you’re not careful, flowers and decorations are easy areas to go over budget during wedding planning. To avoid this common mistake, consider a venue that is beautiful on its own and versatile enough to accommodate the ceremony and reception. From outdoor overlooks to venues that feature simple architecture or views, unique backdrops don’t require excess flowers and decorations, and keeping the wedding at one venue keeps costs down.

Don’t overlook Thursday

Another way to save on venue costs is the day of the week of your wedding. While Friday and Saturday are the most popular days to get married, they are also the most expensive. Consider a Thursday evening wedding so your guests can celebrate to the fullest and have the option to take off Friday and enjoy a long weekend ahead. 

Explore dessert options

The average wedding cake comes in at more than $500, but there are a variety of creative, lower-cost options to consider. From cupcakes and pies to donuts and macaroons, alternative desserts can be arranged in exquisite tiers to act as both decor and dessert.

If you’re set on a traditional cake, consider a single-layer cake. The work of layering a cake can add additional cost to an already expensive treat. Another cost-saving option involves dressing up a store-bought cake. Simply head to your local grocer and buy one of their cakes along with decorations. You can still come out with an impressive dessert without the high price tag.

Lastly, have family or friends bake a cake or provide dessert. Consider serving a special dessert you both enjoy as an affordable, sentimental treat.

Repurpose flowers

Let your florals do double-duty by using your ceremony arrangements at the reception. The flowery lushness that flanked your ceremony will look just gorgeous on the guest book table. The bridesmaids’ bouquets can also be transformed by putting them in simple vases on the head table, at the end of the buffet, or in any high-traffic area.

Forgo wedding favors

Depending on the size of your wedding, favors can become a tedious and costly endeavor. They also tend to get tossed immediately or thrown into a miscellaneous drawer. Do yourself a favor and skip favors altogether. Put your money where you and your guests will most enjoy it — the food and entertainment!

Speaking of entertainment, you can get a lot for your money if you think creatively. For example, instead of a photo booth (all the rage with wedding guests), purchase an instant camera and a fun background, and you’ve got a photo booth for less than $100.

Hiring a DJ as opposed to a band can also save you money, as they typically charge less. Some venues will even provide a DJ, which is something to consider while touring and evaluating venues.

The perfect wedding doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little creativity and thoughtful planning, you can have your dream wedding and host an event your guests will never forget — while staying on budget.

Looking for more ways to plan your financial future?

Check out seven ways to have a champagne wedding on a beer budget.

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