5 Ways to Save on Wedding Costs

If you’re currently planning a wedding, you may be experiencing sticker shock at how much it costs to say “I do.” According to a recent study conducted by online wedding planner The Knot, the average wedding cost was $35,329 in 2016. And that cost doesn’t even include the cost of a honeymoon, which could add several thousand dollars to that total.

According to a recent article by Buzzfeed, here are 5 smart ways to save on the cost of a wedding:

1. Don’t get married on a Saturday. Most venues charge much less for weddings on Friday night or Sunday, and even less for mid-week ceremonies.

2. Rent a home for the wedding and lodging. A fun new trend includes couples renting a huge vacation home for a few days and throwing a wedding house party. Bring in a caterer for a festive touch, so nobody is stuck on dish duty.

3. Get hitched on campus. Even if you and your fiancé didn’t attend the same alma mater, many universities have beautiful facilities you can rent for a fraction of the price of private venues. They also make excellent settings for photos!

4. Don’t serve a sit-down dinner. Hors d’oeuvres and/or cake and champagne are plenty, especially if you have a night wedding. And honestly, probably no one will miss the chicken or the fish.

5. Get married in December. Most places are beautifully decorated for the holidays, which means you will save on flowers and other decor. *This is true! First Financial’s VP of Marketing got married in December and the couple only needed to provide minimal decorations at the reception, being that it was already beautifully decorated for the season with Christmas trees, wreaths, poinsettias, and the like.

Article Source: Heather Anderson for Financialfeed

5 Ways to Budget Being a Wedding Guest

Wedding season is upon us! When it feels like everyone you know is getting married, it can be overwhelming on your budget. Whether you are invited to weddings of friends, family members, or co-workers, here’s how to stay on budget.

Make a Yearly Budget.

How much can you afford to spend on weddings, parties, and gifts this year? Set a budget and stick to it. If your entire budget for the whole year is $600, then realistically, you may only be able to attend one or two weddings for the year, while still having money left over for other events and birthdays.

It is wise to divide your yearly budget by 12 and save up a little each month. This way you will have money set aside for a future wedding and the expense won’t be an unpleasant surprise to your budget.

It’s Okay to Say No.

It is important to prioritize events in your life, especially if you are on a tight budget or schedule. As much as you might like your co-workers, you don’t need to attend every event they invite you to. This goes for friends you have grown apart from.

There is no need to explain that money is an issue. Instead, graciously decline, saying that you have another commitment that day but that you hope their day is an amazing one. It’s important to tell the couple no right away if you know you won’t be attending, so that they can plan accordingly.

Remember to Count All the Costs.

As a wedding guest, your costs aren’t just the gift you give to the couple. You also have to calculate associated costs like attire, travel expenses, babysitter costs, etc. You might spend $100 on a gift, but a wedding can end up costing you more than double the gift amount after you calculate all of the other costs.

If you are part of the wedding, your costs are multiplied, considering the costs of wedding party attire, alterations, make up, hair, and all of the wedding events you are required to attend, such as showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties. Only assume the financial responsibility for close friends and family members if money is a concern.

Contribute to Group Gifts.

Try to contribute to a group gift if you can’t afford to give a large gift by yourself. Not only will you save money, but you will help fund a gift the couple really wants. This is an especially good idea for co-workers, since many people will feel obliged to give a gift but will want to save money.

DIY Gifts – Please Don’t.

While DIY projects save a lot of money in other areas of your life, it is probably best to give even a small amount of money or gift card – rather than risking a handmade gift. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, like if you are extremely talented or the couple requests a handmade gift.

If you plan ahead and save a little at a time, sticking to your wedding guest budget will be a no brainer!

Article Source: Ashley Eneriz for MoneyNing.com