By Jessica Oaks
The U.S. wedding industry generated 72 billion dollars in revenue in 2016 alone, according to IBISWorld report. That colossal number may come as a surprise to some, but anyone who has ever attended a wedding knows it’s not a cheap endeavor, both on the guest side and for the stars of the party.
If you and your spouse-to-be are planning a wedding and adding to this 72-billion-dollar industry, you may be feeling the financial burden from trying to pay for your big day. Luckily, there are a few ways to save for your wedding and make it just as special as you had ever imagined.
1. Set Your Priorities
In the mist of planning a wedding, you can get lost in the extravagant details and forget about the core reason to why you are having the wedding in the first place. Sit down with your significant other to set both your priorities for what you want at the wedding.
Anything that may detract or cause unneeded stress and expense can be cut out and should be. Think about what you’ll actually remember about the wedding. It’s usually not where the champagne came from but it is about a celebration of your love.
2. Pare Down the Guest List
Before you even book a venue, you’ll want to work on your guest list so you can get an idea of how many heads you’ll need to pay for. Start by jotting down who must be there, like your family and best friends. Then think about all the chapters in your life and the people that have come along the way.
Determine who has contributed to making you the person you are today—they’ll likely fall towards the top of the guest list. If you haven’t talk to a friend in years and wouldn’t feel comfortable picking up the phone to call him or her in a heartbeat, you may want to leave them out.
Trimming down the guest list is tough but paying for every single person you know is ultimately a tougher situation.
3. Scale Back on Going Out
Going out all the time, wining, dining and enjoying a night out is all well and good, but when you’re trying to pay for a wedding, it’s not exactly a great way to save money. Cut back on the boozing and eating out. It can save you a significant amount of cash that can be better put towards your wedding.
And let’s face it, you’re probably trying to stay trim anyways so avoiding extra gluttonous activities may work to your benefit.
4. Capitalize on Credit Card Rewards
Putting money down becomes a non-stop routine as the you begin to book hotels, venues and caterers and pay for wedding services. With the added spending, you may as well get rewarded for it.
Using a travel friendly card like Chase Sapphire Preferred can help you accumulate points for whatever flights and hotel you may need to book for a destination wedding.
You could also use points to book instead of money—an even better way to save.
5. Book a Strategic Time for the Wedding
Often times, the most popular days for weddings are the most expensive. If you are flexible and don’t need to have a Saturday night wedding, consider a daytime slot or even Sunday.
Or if you’re having a destination wedding where your guests are already making a trip out of it, book a weekday since it doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of taking time off work. These days and times are ideal for anyone trying to save a little extra on venue cost.
6. Make Extra Cash
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and make some extra cash leading up to the wedding. There are so many different part-time jobs with flexible hours that you could do to work up you wedding budget. If you commute to work and are usually stuck in rush-hour traffic, why not drive around locally for a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft to make extra cash picking up passengers?
Not only are you getting paid but you also avoid sitting in stand-still traffic and can leave after the jam. Another role that provides great flexibility is direct-selling nutrition, health and beauty products for Amway. The platform gives you the tools and training you need to build a network of customers on your own time and from home.
You collect a margin of profit from every sale you make.
7. Do DIY Flower Arrangements
Wedding flower arrangement services can become a huge expense. You can create your own center pieces with a little creativity and help from your friends. Before the rehearsal dinner, why not gather your wedding party and have them work on flower arrangements instead of paying for professional services.
You can save a lot and the flower pieces come straight from the heart.
8. Have an Adult-Only Wedding
If you’re up for it, you can cut some costs by having an adult-only wedding. This means no kids and no additional costs per head of said kids. It can be a great night off for the parents and can make for a less stressful night overall.
You wedding doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you take these strategic money-saving actions.
By cutting down excessive costs, being open-minded and flexible, and making small adjustments, your special day can be completely affordable and what you’ve always dreamed of.