According to the Wedding Report, the national average cost of a wedding in 2008 is right around $29,000.  And the Michigan Business Directory states couples will spend $26,120 for their wedding in Michigan -which doesn’t even include costs for the honeymoon, engagement ring, bridal consultant or wedding planner!  Ouch! 

Traditionally, brides and grooms have relied on their parents to pay for their weddings.  But these days, most couples are paying for the big day themselves.  And, if you’re lucky (and fortunate), you get some financial help from the parents.  Kenny and I are the latter – our parents our thankfully chipping in. 

But still, how do you it?  Two key factors to not going into debt is 1) budget and 2) time.  One of the reasons we both like the idea of a 14-month engagement is it gives us time to pay for our wedding as we go.  One thing we both decided is that we do NOT want to go into debt for a wedding.  We’re not starting off our marriage in the RED. 

We’ve had a lot of people ask us about the total cost of our wedding.  And, yes, we’re on a budget and it’s below the industry average.  A budget was the FIRST thing we discussed.  Obviously, your vendor choices will ultimately determine the price of your wedding.  And, while we splurged in some areas, (I splurged on the photography and he on the ceremony site) we’re scaling back in other areas.  For us, it’s balancing priorities against the wants and knowing when to splurge and when to save. 

And, there a several ways to cut costs when it comes to the wedding:

  • No  wedding planner or consultant for us.  We’re researching and coordinating everything our selves.  (And it’s something we’re having fun doing together – especially scouting reception sites.)
  • Flowers – less is more.  And we’re going with seasonal blooms. And, Walmart does wedding arrangements now. Definitely worth checking out. 
  • The cake – it will look dazzling, but will it be edible?  The sheet cake’s in back!
  • Limo – it’s included with our reception contract!
  • Invites – Not ordering out, but making them myself.
  • Veil and bridal accessories – don’t mind if they’re used!
  • Dress – You can actually have a local seamstress make the designer dresses for significantly less.  Oh, and no strings attached!  I will be selling that bad boy on Craiglist. 
  • Making the guest gifts myself.
  • Take advantage of the bridal shows.  Tons of discounts!  But watch out for the spammers!

Check out some of some of these links on creative ways to save $$:
When to splurge and when to save on your wedding
10 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs 
Tough economy: Brides making choices about dream weddings
Getting Guests To Pay For Your Honeymoon
Downsizing Your Wedding
Paying For Your Wedding Day