Happy Memorial Day! I usually consider Memorial Day weekend the start of summer, even though it doesn’t officially begin until later in June. Of course, the summer season can also be referred to as wedding season!
Here we are, almost to June, which is the busiest month for weddings. If you are newly engaged, it’s time to check out my latest articles at Mint.
Simple and Elegant Wedding Budgeting
The average US wedding costs are now up to $29,000 and here’s how it’s breaking down by category for many of the couples:
- Ceremony 3%
- Reception 48%
- Attire 10%
- Rings 3%
- Flowers 8%
- Music 8%
- Photography 12%
- Transportation 2%
- Stationery 3%
- Gifts 3%
All dollar signs point to creating a manageable budget to avoid spending more than you planned on the big day.
Wedding Budgeting on a (Satin) Shoestring
Once you’ve decided to budget for your wedding, it’s time to get creative and find ways to cut costs. In addition to avoiding the month of June, here are more of my favorite tips:
- Donate your wedding dress and accessories as a tax deduction.
- Have your wedding on a Friday or off-season.
- When requesting quotes from vendors, avoid the “wedding upsell” by describing your event as a “family gathering” rather than as a “wedding”.
- Share the cost of decorations and rentals with the couples that are using the same facilities before and after your ceremony.
The last tip is my favorite. After watching vendors pack up almost identical white chairs for the wedding before us and unload another set for our wedding I was convinced I should have called the other bride to coordinate chairs and split the cost!
More Wedding Topics
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Great tips! I never would have thought to split decorations or share facilities (before and after of course).
I think most people just get caught up in the fact that this is probably the only time they will ever do this and don’t think out side the box.
Thanks for the mention. 🙂
My wife and I split the cost of the flowers at our wedding since we got married at 5pm. The other couple tied the know at 11 that morning.
I almost dropped my glass of tea when I read the $29,000 figure. I have two girls and they better learn some frugal tips…that’s all I have to say.!
My Fiance and I are currently at 27k with 4 months to go. Looks like we are right on target. Don’t know if that is a good or bad thing.
@ Patrick: I was one of those who was totally caught up in the whole thing. Of course, I can look back now and see how to save money!
@Ron: Glad to hear you split the flowers! So much better than two sets going to waste. And just think, by time your daughters get older the number will have gone up just due to inflation!
@MMA: I never added ours up… it’s probably better I didn’t as I’m sure we ended up somewhere in that range. Enjoy your day and your marriage!
I’m a wedding photographer in San Diego and want to thank you guys for the tips. I never thought my work represents 12% of a wedding. It makes me feel pretty good.
Feel free to visit my work at:
I disagree with your comment about not being upfront with your vendors about it being a wedding. Vendors prepare for the event depending on what type of an event it is. You don’t want your dj to prepare an inappropriate song list or your florist to bring flowers that don’t “speak wedding”. There are all kinds of ways to save, but dishonesty shouldn’t be one of them.