The average wedding now costs over $30,000 but it is possible to have your dream wedding without breaking to bank. The key is to work out your priorities and then allocate most of your budget to them. On all other items try to save as much as possible. Here's how...
Plan and plan some more
The clearer your ideas are and the more organised you are, the more you will save. Each hour you spend planning exactly what you want before you visit a supplier the more likely you are to save cash and time.
Get the timing right
The time of day, time of week and the time of year you choose to get married will have a direct impact on your budget. The most expensive day to get married is a Saturday during peak wedding season, like Spring. You can save quite substantially by having a winter wedding on a Friday.
Cut the numbers
Fewer guests and a smaller bridal party will free up some cash to use on suppliers. Although try to keep suppliers to a minimum also to save even more. The same budget will allow you to organise an average wedding for a large number of people or an absolutely stunning wedding for a smaller number of people.
Often formal weddings are more expensive, so if you opt for a more casual affair you will find that there are savings to be made.
Be original and creative
You don't have to follow the age-old traditions and rules. The more original and creative you are the more opportunities there will be to save - you will also have a personal and different celebration that friends and family will talk about for years.
Tone down the biggies
The biggest expenses you will come across are the reception, engagement ring, wedding gown, photography and video and the honeymoon. These normally make up 75% of the wedding budget. If you keep these under wraps the rest should look after themselves.
Pay attention to reception details
Taking up around half of the budget, the reception is the biggest area you can save on. Take at least a third of your organising time choosing the reception location and which package is right for you.
Sweat the small stuff
The old adage that if you take care of your pennies the pounds will look after themselves has never been truer than when you're organising a wedding. Pay close attention to every cent of your budget. Each small saving you make in one area will help you achieve the bigger picture and the wedding of your dreams.
Now is not the time to be timid! Try to negotiate a discount where you can. You may not get what you want every time, but a beautiful bride is hard to resist. Also now is the time to cash in on all those lovely offers of help. Your friends and family will be flattered to help and be a part of your big day.
You may not be able to have all you've ever dreamed of at your wedding and still stay on budget. It will come down to priorities. Which three elements of the wedding matter to you most. With your top three you can then cut back on the other areas. Your own priorities are what makes your wedding unique and special to you and your groom.