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Must-Know Wedding Budgeting Tips

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Saying “I do” is a big moment and it can come with a big price tag. According to, the average wedding in 2015 cost approximately $32,641. Whether you’re a couple who is planning on paying for the big day on your own, or you’re a parent who will be funding your child’s nuptials, planning a budget ahead of time is essential to keeping costs in check. Here are some tips for estimating expenses, and cutting costs, for the walk down the aisle.

The Reception

The reception venue is often one of the most expensive parts of a wedding. The average reception venue came in at $14,788 in 2015. If that’s more than you want to pay, here are some ways you can lower reception costs:

  • Real Simple recommends choosing a nontraditional venue, such as civic gardens, parks or zoos. These types of facilities will often cost less than a traditional reception hall or country club.
  • Many event halls charge the highest rates for Saturday evening events. To keep costs in check, suggests trying an afternoon wedding or scheduling it for Friday or Sunday evening.
  • Refinery 29 shares one of the best ways to save money on a reception is to keep it an intimate affair. It may be tempting to invite everyone in the family tree, however, the more guests you have, the more money it will cost.
The Threads
Many brides dream of a beautiful wedding gown, fit for a princess, and most men want to look their best for the big day. A couple can easily spend thousands of dollars on wedding day outfits; the average wedding dress costs $1,300 and a new tuxedo can run $300-$800. If that gives you sticker shock, here's how to look amazing for less:
  •’s tips for saving on a wedding dress includes attending trunk shows for special discounts or shopping for a white gown that isn’t designed specifically as a wedding dress. 
  • If the bride’s heart is set on a specific style or designer, consider browsing websites which offer pre-loved gowns, such as or
  • The groom doesn’t have to be in a tuxedo to look his best; suggests opting for a nicely tailored suit in lieu of the black tie. If a groom does choose to go with a tuxedo, renting an outfit is often cheaper than buying it.
The Photographs

A wedding is a special event your family will want to remember forever. That’s why photographers are a must for many couples tying the knot. The average cost of documenting the big day with professional photos runs $2,556. If that’s more than you want to spend, here are some ideas for cutting costs:

  • suggests limiting the photographer’s time at the wedding. By only having the photographer take photos during the ceremony, the price tag will be much less than if they are documenting the entire day.
  • Encourage guests to take photos during the big day and share them with a hashtag on social media or through a site such as so the couple can access the images. This can be a great way to get unique, candid shots from throughout the day.
  • Consider hiring a photography student from a local college or look for photographers who are new to the wedding market; these individuals will often charge a lower rate than an established, highly sought-after photographer.
The Honeymoon
After the “I dos” are over and the cake has been cut, many couples dream of jetting off to an exotic location for the honeymoon. If the average honeymoon price tag of $5,000 exceeds your budget, here are some tips for a memorable getaway while spending less:
  • suggests setting up a honeymoon registry. This gives guests the opportunity to contribute to the honeymoon in lieu of other gifts.
  • If the wedding occurs near a big travel holiday, recommends postponing the honeymoon for a couple months and booking the trip during your destination’s shoulder season.
  • You don’t have to go outside the country for a memorable honeymoon. Check out this list from U.S. News of the top affordable honeymoon destinations here in the United States.
Do you have tips you would like to share for saving money on a wedding? Share them here!

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Categories: Strategies for Saving , Smart Spending

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