Wedding may be the biggest day of your life, but it may also be the biggest waste of money, and it’s not an exaggeration. The truth is that the average cost of the American wedding is running about $35,000, and that does not even include honeymoon costs. Just think about it! $35,000 is many people’s annual rent. $35,000 is a brand new car you can buy outright for cash. $35,000 is a lot of money you can spend on much more important things than a one-day party. So the question is how to save money on wedding?

Before providing you with several useful tips on how not to waste money on your wedding, let me give you advice. The first thing you should do when planning your wedding is set the priorities. Honeymoon, wedding gown, shoes, venue, decorations, food, drinks, music, photo, video, guest gifts, etc. – choose two or three things you cannot refuse. These will be your starting point. What’s next?

1. How to save money on wedding decor?
Wedding decorations don’t have to be expensive. If you look at the latest decor trends for 2017, you will see that paper and wooden decorations are at the peak of their popularity this year. The good news is that the cost of such items is rather low. Moreover, most of them, including cake decor and romantic backdrop, you can even do yourself. Besides, you can consider buying used decorations and table centerpieces. Luckily, there are many of them available for sale on Craigslist and other similar sites.

2. How to save money on flowers for a wedding?
It is recommended to consult a florist several months before your X-day. Do not hesitate to set a budget straight from the beginning. Most likely, your florist has some ideas to choose from. For example, you can select only one or two kinds of flowers, include fruits and candies, or buy seasonal flowers that usually cost much less than expensive orchids and roses. Moreover, you can always make the bouquets yourself or use fake flowers. Believe me, no one will notice the difference!

3. How to save money on wedding attire?
Sophisticated wedding dresses by Vera Wang may be very desirable for most modern day brides, but their price tags can give you a heart attack. However, you still can save money on wedding attire without sacrificing the look you want. First of all, you do not have to buy your gown at an expensive wedding salon. Visit the nearest outlet for cost-conscious options, rent a gown, or consider buying the dress from another bride. One more thing to remember is that from January to March, most bridal shops offer huge discounts on last year’s designs.

4. How to save money on wedding catering?
Although food is usually one of the biggest expenses at a wedding, feeding your guests does not actually have to blow your budget. In fact, you can easily save money by hiring a small family-owned restaurant or doing the catering yourself with the help of your family. Another wise idea is to skip the overpriced sit-down multicourse meal in favor of the wedding buffets. In such a case, your guests will not only be able to decide how much they want to eat but also will have a wider range of foods to choose from.

5. How to save money on wedding bar?
Your guests should not pay for alcohol or anything else at your wedding. However, it does not mean that you should pay a fortune for a full open bar. What you really need to do is to edit the selection of beverages. For instance, you can serve wine and beer only. If you want something more interesting, look for a discount liquor store for some affordable options of whiskey, rum, gin, or vodka. After all, wedding is about being able to relax rather than getting drunk.

6. How to save money on wedding cake?
Are you sure you want to have a cake? The best way to save money on wedding is to sacrifice the cake. If it is not for you, then consider the following tips. First of all, opt for a small one- or two-tier display cake and keep it simple. You can always supplement it with a large sheet cake hidden from your guests. Second, skip cake stacks, sugar flowers, and unnecessary decor. Last but not least, look for a local bakery or even culinary school and ask them to make a wedding cake for you.

7. How to save money on wedding invitations?
Obviously, if you want to have gorgeous wedding invitations that won’t push the budget envelope, make them yourself. All you actually need is time, plus some creativity and a quality home printer. However, if you don’t want to make them on your own, you still can save a bundle. For example, such services as VistaPrint offer rather cheap wedding invitations you can order without leaving home. To save more money, choose a classic template without any pictures and put the ceremony and reception information on a single card.

8. How to save money on wedding photography and videography?
Although the most budget option is to ask your friend or a friend of your friend to capture the magic of your big day, the truth is that most couples prefer to leave this work to a pro. If you are one of them, start looking for a photo and video professional in your wedding and reception location – you need to find a local talent. Do not hesitate to ask about referral discounts. Another thing to consider is that you can also ask about a digital package instead of a traditional album and print your wedding photos yourself.

Hope these simple tips on how to save money on wedding will help you cut your costs. Start early and think carefully about what you really want to include in your wedding reception. With a little bit of planning, you are guaranteed to achieve your dream at half the cost. Good luck and congratulations!