Summer wedding season is getting close. Meaning, for the countless lucky couples preparing to tie the knot in the months to come, it’s prepare-to-spend-the-first-years-of-marriage-in-penury season.
No way around it — getting married is expensive. If you’re not fortunate enough to have a generous parental unit or relative or friend footing the bill, you have a fiduciary obligation to your future children (not to mention your apres-kids lifestyle) to keep your wedding bill under control. (Image Credit: Adam Kontor)
Easier said than done, right?
Think again. Any one of these six ideas will meaningfully reduce the cost of your summer wedding without compromising your memory of the special day — or your guests’ lovely experience. See how many you can cross off your planning list between now and altar time.
1. Ditch the Full-Service Catering and Opt for Self-Serve
With due respect to the hardworking caterers who pull off the impossible night after night, wedding catering costs are often excessive. No mass-produced plate is worth whatever your venue is charging — not even close.
Anyway, self-serve is fun. Elevated tacos really get the party going, just saying.
2. Go With a Tungsten Wedding Band (Just Don’t Call It Settling)
The engagement ring is the main event. The wedding band — let’s be honest, often plays second fiddle. That’s not to say it can’t be absolutely stunning, say jewelry experts at Larson Jewelers, who suggest durable and eye-catching options like tungsten wedding bands. Plus, the wedding ring symbol is the choice of economical knot-tiers the world over, with good reason.
3. Trim Your Guest List (Then Trim It Again)
Your summer wedding isn’t an excuse to see high school friends you haven’t seen in 10 years and won’t ever see again. If you’re not related by blood and wouldn’t sit through a happy hour or game night with them, cross ‘em off the list.
4. Consider the Backyard
Yours might not cut it. But, between the two of you, chances are good you know someone with a sizable, beautifully landscaped backyard that will make for a picture-perfect ceremony and reception. Chances are even better they’ll offer up their property as an extra-special wedding gift or, perhaps, in exchange for something you can offer in return.
5. Settle on Theme Drinks
Only two — a full-strength and NA version. And make them good. The idea is to convince your guests you’re not cheating them out of the full, open bar they’ve come to expect at summer weddings. Throw in some beer, house wine, and seltzer for guests who absolutely won’t.
6. Make It Campy (If It’s Not Too Late)
More guests than you’d expect will swallow their pride and camp under the stars for a night. For those that won’t, there’s always a block of rooms at the nearest motel.
Start Married Life With Money in the Bank
That marital bliss you’ve heard so much about might last through your honeymoon, if you’re lucky. Sooner or later, we all return to the real world.
Your return, and your future spouse’s, will be a great deal easier if you’ve been faithful to your wedding budget, especially for the wedding dress.
Any one of the ideas on this list will help. All six could make a serious dent in the final accounting. But time’s a-wasting — you’ve got just weeks until the big day, which means precious little time to implement these cost-cutting nuptial strategies.