Weddings are expensive! With the average cost of a wedding at $26,645, I am very thankful to have 4 boys! My church recently
announced the upcoming wedding of a young couple. The event will take place after our morning service, followed by a potluck and wedding cake provided by the ladies in the church. How practical is that!
A simple, beautiful and memorable celebration is possible if you ignore what the world says you need. Here are is my advice for throwing an affordable wedding and tips from Trent Hamm at TheSimpleDollar.com:
1. Decide how much you can spend. A specific and intentional budget is a must for planning a wedding. There are a lot of helpful guides online that you can use as a reference to how much you need to budget. No matter how tempting, don't spend more than you have budgeted for!
2. Involve your family, friends, and church. Recruit those with abilities in music, photography, and baking to serve in lieu of a wedding gift. Renting a hip venue can be very expensive. So, depending on the size of your guest list, consider your church or someone’s home for the ceremony and reception.
3. Check with family-owned restaurants for catering. They tend to respect budget needs and will typically help make your wedding special.
4. DIY Flowers. Flowers can be elegant but simple with Trader Joes, Costco, or cuttings from flower gardens. When our oldest son married, his bride’s family bought the flowers and ladies in the church brought their own vases and arranged them for each table at the reception.
5. Make your own invitations and programs. There are many helpful programs online that will help you design and format invitations or programs quickly and cost-effectively. Buying your own paper and then printing them at Sam's Club or Costco can also be very inexpensive.
6. Create your own playlist and be your own DeeJay. If you are going to include dancing, use Spotify, Pandora, or even iTunes to make your own playlist and ask an articulate friend or family member to step in as a deejay. You could also seek out university student musicians for live music.
7. Buy the wedding dresse off the rack or borrow a family member’s. I know this may be more difficult or less popular for many people, but it's practical and will save you a lot of money. Do your research and decide what you are comfortable with. There are many women eager to sell their dresses for a great price and you can make it feel like your own with little adjustments.
8. Keep the honeymoon simple and stress free. There's no need to spend thousands of dollars on your honeymoon. Look up travel sales and consider including a road trip instead of flying to a domestic location. Airbnb is a great place to find affordable lodging in desirable areas!
Remember, don’t get anxious about it. This is a one-day event so keep an eternal perspective. The Bible says “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
Keep what really matters in the forefront of your mind and don't compare to what everyone else is doing! It will save you money, time, and stress.
Chuck Bentley is the CEO of Crown, the largest Christian financial ministry in the world, founded by the late Larry Burkett. He is an author, host of My MoneyLife - a daily radio feature, a columnist for the Christian Post, and a well-known speaker. Follow Crown @CrownUpdates. For interviews or speaking requests contact firstname.lastname@example.org.