Did you know that the average wedding in America costs around $25,000 dollars? It’s crazy to think that, in one day, one could spend such a massive amount of money on a single event. Realistically, for us, having an “average” wedding is an impossibility. Here are some of the ways we’re attempting to host a more sensibly priced wedding (without sacrificing class).
1. DIY Floral Arrangements
Why are wedding flowers expensive? I refuse to pay $100+ dollars on a bridal bouquet that I will hold for the 20 seconds it takes me to walk down the aisle, and that I’ll toss away to the single ladies at my wedding. You can find beautiful flowers at your local grocery stores, like Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Club, and Sendik’s. If your town has a farmer’s market, check there too! Not only do they supply “undone” bouquets, but many stores also sell flowers in bulk.
My plan is to purchase a few pieces from my local market and arrange them how I see fit. Then, with some floral tape, I’ll wrap the stems of the flowers together and cover the tape with ribbon or burlap. Add a decorative brooch or pin, and I’m good to go! Thankfully, due to tutorials from website like A Practical Wedding, this shouldn’t be too hard. They also have a tutorial on boutonnieres, which I also plan on trying! Yes, this is a time-consuming option, but I think it will be worth the money saved.
2. No DJ
Having a DJ is an expense that we are willing to rid ourselves of. While they do bring a certain vibe and flair to an event, they are also very costly. Instead, we are downloading the free trial of Spotify Premium. This way, we can compile a playlist of songs we want to have played at our reception while also tapping into our personal music library. Plus, our guests can easily add songs to the playlist throughout the night. We are going to have a member of our wedding party announce the special events throughout the night.
If you choose to go this route, be sure that your reception venue has the sound system required to play your own music. You’ll need speakers, a microphone, and an audio jack. Also, discuss what you’ll use to play the music: a phone, an iPod, a laptop, etc.
3. Sunday Ceremony and Reception
While most weddings are held on Saturdays, we have opted to have our wedding on a Sunday afternoon. Most reception venues offer extreme discounts for those who choose to have their reception on off-days (usually Monday-Thursday and Sunday) and off-season (typically November-March). For example, the venue we’re considering costs $4,000 less on a Sunday compared to a Saturday.
The biggest concern I’ve seen about having a Sunday wedding is the notion of travel and/or guests needing to take off of work. Since most of our guests are from out-of-state, they will be traveling and taking off of work regardless of when we have our wedding. So, instead of Friday being the travel day, it will be on Monday!
4. Casual Rehearsal Dinner
According to tradition, your wedding party and out-of-town guests are typically invited to the rehearsal dinner. Since about 70% of our guests are from out-of-town, this can easily become pricey, especially if we host our dinner at a restaurant.
We have decided that we’re going to have a casual backyard cookout for our rehearsal dinner. Not only is this more intimate than dinner at a large restaurant could be, but it’s quite frankly more our style. What better way to have a good time with guests than by doing the things we love most?