Your wedding day is supposed to be the most special and memorable day of your life. But planning for it can be daunting if you aren’t prepared with a budget and financing plan. The average wedding cost in the United States is around $33,900 – and that doesn’t include honeymoon costs or other post-wedding expenses.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the decisions that need to be made, but with the right financial plan in place, you can make sure your big day stays within budget.
What is the average cost of a wedding?
When it comes to wedding budgeting, there are a lot of variables to consider. The average cost of a wedding in the United States is $33,391, according to The Knot 2018 Real Weddings Study.
But, of course, your own wedding budget will vary depending on a number of factors, including the number of guests you invite, the location of your ceremony and reception, the time of year you get married, and more.
To get a better sense of what couples like you are spending on their weddings in 2018, check out this breakdown of average wedding costs from The Knot:
- Guest count: 105 guests
- Wedding party size: 6 bridesmaids and 6 groomsmen
- Ceremony and reception venue: Hotel ballroom
- Catering: Plated dinner with alcohol
- Photography and videography: 12 hours of coverage with an engagement shoot
- Entertainment: Live band
- Transportation: Limo for bride and groom plus shuttle buses for guests
- Flowers and décor: Ceremony flowers plus floral centerpieces for tables
- Wedding attire: Wedding dress plus bridesmaid dresses
- Rings: Engagement ring plus wedding bands
- Invitations and save the dates: Custom suite with response cards
- Miscellaneous items: Wedding cake, favors, officiant fee
As you can see from this breakdown, there are a lot of different moving parts and this wedding might be significantly different from your own. Regardless, you have plenty to budget when you’re planning your own wedding.
How to save money on your wedding
When you’re planning your wedding, it’s important to keep an eye on your budget. With so many factors to consider and prices constantly changing, it can be easy to overspend. Here are a few tips to help you save money on your wedding:
1. Shop around for vendors. Get quotes from multiple vendors before making any decisions. This will help you compare prices and find the best deals.
2. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you find a vendor you like but their price is out of your budget, try negotiating with them. Many vendors are willing to work with you if it means getting your business. Pro Tip: If the prices are listed on their website, then typically those prices are firm. If they are not listed, then it’s more likely the prices are negotiable.
3. Avoid peak wedding seasons. Getting married during the off-season can save you a lot of money. Venues and vendors are typically less busy and may offer discounts for weddings during these times.
4. Have a smaller guest list. The more people you invite, the more expensive your wedding will be. If possible, try to limit your guest list to close family and friends only.
5. DIY where you can. Doing things yourself or enlisting the help of friends and family can save you a lot of money on things like decorations, invitations, and favors.
Ways to pay for or finance your wedding
When it comes to financing your wedding, there are a few different options to consider. You can use savings, take out a loan, or finance your wedding with credit cards.
If you have the savings available, using cash is often the best way to go. This way you won’t have to pay any interest on a loan, and you’ll have the money upfront. However, if you don’t have the savings available, taking out a loan may be a good option. There are many personal loans available specifically for weddings.
Another option is to finance your wedding with credit cards. This can be a good option if you can find a card with a 0% intro APR period. This means you won’t have to pay any interest on your purchases for a certain amount of time. Just be sure that you can pay off the balance before the intro period ends, or you’ll be stuck paying interest on your wedding expenses.
Be careful if you’re financing your wedding that you don’t lose sight of what you can afford. Don’t use loans or a credit card to pay for things you can’t afford or you’ll end up paying exponentially more in interest when you’re trying to pay off the loan or credit cards.
If you have a generous relative, you could also request a loan from a family member or parent. Just make sure to have a set plan in place to replace the loan before asking.
Budgeting tips for your wedding
First, start by creating a budget template that you can use to track all of your expenses. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you’re not overspending in any one area.
Next, be sure to give yourself a realistic budget. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning a wedding and blow your budget out of the water. But by being realistic from the start, you can avoid any financial stress down the road.
Finally, don’t forget to factor in hidden costs when creating your budget. Things like tipping vendors, ordering custom made items, the cost of stamps, and unexpected fees can all add up quickly. By taking these factors into account from the beginning, you can avoid any surprises later on.
Wedding cost calculator
When it comes to wedding budgeting, one of the most important things you can do is calculate your costs. This will help you determine how much money you need to save, and how much you can reasonably spend on your big day.
There are a number of ways to calculate your wedding costs. One popular method is to use a wedding cost calculator. These calculators can be found online, and they allow you to input your specific wedding information (number of guests, location, type of ceremony, etc.) to get an estimate of what your wedding will cost.
Another way to calculate your costs is to contact local vendors and get pricing information from them. This can be a bit more time-consuming, but it’s a good way to get an idea of what specific items will cost in your area.
Once you’ve calculated your costs, it’s important to start saving early. Wedding expenses can add up quickly, so it’s best to start putting money away as soon as possible. Additionally, if you’re planning on financing part or all of your wedding, it’s important to start looking into options and compare interest rates before making any decisions.
With thoughtful planning and careful budgeting, your wedding day can be as special and meaningful as you’ve always imagined. Managing the finances of a wedding is no small task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful. By setting smart goals for yourself and keeping track of every penny that goes in and out along the way, you can make sure your wedding day will still feel magical without putting a strain on your wallet.
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