Weddings are big business. We've all heard that the word "wedding" in front of photographer or caterer will automatically double the price you're quoted. But did you know that the average U.S. couple spends $26,542 on their big day? With the majority spending between about $19,000 and $33,000.
So how can you stop your fairytale day from turning into a financial nightmare? It's worth remembering the financial impact of your wedding day. One of the biggest causes of divorce is debt and financial worries - so don't start married life with financially crippling debts.

Here are some tips for holding your wedding on a budget.

Set a Budget to Begin With
This might seem an obvious point, but so many couples fail to start at the very beginning: work out what your maximum spend can be. Before you book anywhere or buy a single thing for your big day, figure out how much money is in your wedding fund. This will ensure that you don't have a mountain of debt to come home to from your honeymoon.

If you can possibly avoid it, don't borrow money for the wedding. Credit cards or loans will start married life with unwanted debt. If you absolutely must take credit for your wedding, it should be well planned and controlled. A good rule is to never borrow more money than you can afford to pay back within one year.

Once you know exactly how much money you have to spend - whether in cash or planned borrowing - you can start to plan your big day. Do not forget this important step.

Cut the Venue Costs
The venue is usually the biggest expense of any wedding. If you can make savings here then you will be on your way to a wedding on a budget.

If you can bag a free venue, this would be a huge help. Perhaps you know someone with a large yard you can use, or an empty barn. Or how about using a public park for your reception and holding a large picnic for friends and family?

If you can't get a free venue, then perhaps you could pick an unusual date for your wedding. Having your wedding on a Friday or a Sunday could save you a large percentage on the venue costs. Equally, how about a winter wedding? Although winter weddings are becoming more popular, there tend to be fewer bookings leaving you more space to negotiate on price.

The Dress
When it comes to buying your dress, don't be shy - visit bridal departments and salons and inquire about upcoming sales and designer trunk shows. Smaller boutiques may also be willing to bargain.

If you really want to make savings, consider buying your dress from overseas. For example, China has a roaring dressmaking industry that you can access via eBay. Quality and reliability will vary between sellers, so do your research, ask questions and request samples before buying โ€“ but you could buy a made to measure dress for around $200.

Wedding Gifts
Many couples only consider gifts at the last moment, but this can help you with your wedding and related costs. Nowadays, many people already live together when they get married, and thus do not need the toasters, silverware and other home items that were historically given.

Therefore, don't be afraid to ask for cash on your wedding day. There are many ways you can do this. Envelopes on the day, money into a special bank account, even a 'honeymoon' fund.

You could also ask friends to offer their skills to you as their wedding gift. This will make your wedding day all the more personal and memorable, and will seriously cut costs.

Do you have a friend who could make your wedding cake? Someone who is handy with a camera who could take your wedding photographs? A friend who can craft the wedding favors or place-settings? Do you have a friend who is a DJ? Could a beautician friend do the hair and make up?

All of these things will avoid the price trebling effects of getting married, and your nearest and dearest will be delighted they can help you on your special day.

Aim Low on the Guest List
Last, but by no means least, it's very easy to over invite people, so think very carefully about the guest list. The numbers will soon add up, and if you are having a sit down meal, this will send the price up and up. Stick to close friends and family, and do not feel obliged to invite plus-ones or distant relatives. Consider whether you would happily buy them a meal and drinks on any other day of the year. If the answer is no, perhaps they don't need an invitation!

The Bottom Line
Don't ever forget the purpose of your wedding day: to get married. If you spend $5,000, you will be just as married as the couple who have spent $30,000.

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in Sears Stock

    Learn about the factors that have led to Sears Holdings' underperformance the past several years and where the ailing retailer could be heading in the future.
  2. Stock Analysis

    4 Key Indicators That Move The Markets

    Educated investors need to keep their finger on the pulse of the economy, and watching certain indicators is a good way to do that.
  3. Savings

    Craft Beer Clubs โ€“ Bargain or Not?

    If you're an aficionado of artisanal brews (or would like to be), a beer club can be a palate-pleasing, albeit pricey, way to expand your hops horizon.
  4. Stock Analysis

    When Will Dick's Sporting Goods Bounce Back? (DKS)

    Is DKS a bargain here?
  5. Savings

    These 10 Habits Will Help You Reach Financial Freedom

    Learn 10 key habits for achieving financial freedom, including smart budgeting, staying abreast of new tax deductions and the importance of proper maintenance.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Has Urban Outfitters Lost its Way? (URBN)

    Urban Outfitters just made a bold move. Will it pay off?
  7. Savings

    Your Flex Spending Dollars: How to Use Them All

    Your flexible spending account is about to expire. Don't throw money away; here's how you can spend every cent (or roll it over).
  8. Savings

    Are Wine Clubs Worth It?

    Some points to consider, before committing to a membership for yourself โ€“ or as a gift. The right club can also help you save money over the holidays.
  9. Budgeting

    How Much Will it Cost to Become President In 2016?

    The 2016 race to the White House will largely be determined by who can spend the most money. Here is a look at how much it will cost to win the presidency.
  10. Stock Analysis

    Kohl's: Should You Stock Up or Sell? (KSS)

    Many traders are bearish on Kohl's, but long-term investors might want to take a closer look for this simple reason.
  1. Marginal propensity to Consume (MPC) Vs. Save (MPS)

    Historically, because people in the United States have shown a higher propensity to consume, this is likely the more important ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is Japan an emerging market economy?

    Japan is not an emerging market economy. Emerging market economies are characterized by low per capita incomes, poor infrastructure ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are Social Security payments included in the US GDP calculation?

    Social Security payments are not included in the U.S. definition of the gross domestic product (GDP). Transfer Payments For ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does a bank determine what my discretionary income is when making a loan decision?

    Discretionary income is the money left over from your gross income each month after taking out taxes and paying for necessities. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What economic indicators are important to consider when investing in the retail sector?

    The unemployment rate and Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rank as two of the most important economic indicators to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do changes in interest rates affect the spending habits in the economy?

    Changes in interest rates can have different effects on consumer spending habits depending on a number of factors, including ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center