Frugal is Beautiful:Tips for Weddings on a Budget

Your wedding is one of the most important events in your life – but it certainly doesn’t have to be the most expensive. These days, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $25,656. If that number induces more stress than the thought of holidays with your future in-laws, don’t fret: you don’t have to pay anywhere near that amount to have a beautiful ceremony and reception. If you budget wisely, you can make a frugal wedding a truly memorable event. Here are 7 tips for weddings on a budget.

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Start comparison shopping. Create a chart to make comparing features and prices offered by the various venues easier. For example, one company might not include the cake while another may skip the linens. Keep track of all the candidates and choose the one who offers your favorite amenities for a price that most closely matches your budget. (Of course, there’s something to be said for choosing a company or person who makes you comfortable and understands your needs – even if they’re not the least expensive option, they’ll save you stress and time in the long run!)

Most places will offer different levels of packages for your event,” explains Brandon Walker, the event manager at of Oklahoma event center Credit Union House. “The trick is to ask a representative to show you all of the available packages – then weigh those against other companies’ offerings.”

Travel to an inexpensive but scenic location. Weddings are generally less expensive in rural areas as compared to urban ones. And while you might think of a destination wedding as a huge economic burden, you’ll probably end up with a smaller guest list – so the overall cost will be lower than if you held the ceremony in your hometown. Go far enough away that only the most devoted loved ones (and your most well-off friends!) will attend. You may want to invite everyone from your co-workers to the mailman, but paying for a small wedding party is infinitely cheaper – even if you have to invest in travel arrangements.

Go public. Many beautiful parks and other public spaces allow weddings and other events for a small fee. Look into aquariums, zoos, galleries and historic sites, as these locations come already equipped with a distinctive ambiance and theme. Most will not include tables, chairs or other necessities, so you will need to make room in the budget for rentals. Contact your local school, church, or community organizations to find out if you can rent tables and chairs – or even borrow them free of charge.
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