Where People Waste Money on Weddings

To have an inexpensive wedding, one must understand how and where people waste the most money on their weddings. Wasteful wedding expenses can be avoided pretty easily. Despite most of us having been ingrained to think otherwise, most wedding expenses are entirely optional. Here are the areas where people waste the most money on their weddings:

Reception

At most weddings, the reception is usually the biggest drain on the wallet. At almost any wedding reception, there are literally thousands of dollars in expenditures around the room that could be cut out without anyone having any less of a good time. Let’s break them down:

Band/Music Entertainment

There’s no denying that you need music at a wedding reception. How you get this music can either be incredibly cheap or incredibly expensive. Renting out a band will usually cost several thousand dollars at a minimum. DJs can be cheaper but not always. Some well-established wedding DJs charge an eye-popping amount of money to click buttons on their computer at your wedding. Shop around for DJs trying to break into your local wedding entertainment market and see if they’re willing to work for less in exchange for a nice opportunity. If you want to be really creative, ask your tech-savvy cousin or nephew (we all have one) if he’d be willing to play music at your wedding for a few hundred dollars. Suggest to him to Google search for wedding music playlists. From there, it’s just a matter of renting the right equipment which usually isn’t too much since you only need it for one day.

One more way to save money on this end: ask a local high school music director if he or any trustworthy students would be interested in using the school equipment to play music at your wedding in exchange for a handsome donation to the school’s music department.

Food

Tens of thousands of dollars can be spent on food at some weddings, but there are ways to reduce this cost greatly. Look for value-oriented catering options and consider serving your guests buffet style rather than restaurant style. This saves a lot of money since the food is cheaper and less staff is needed to accommodate your guests.

Alcohol

A wedding without alcohol probably won’t be much fun for your guests. You can spring for an open-bar to keep everyone happy, but that will cost you an arm and a leg. One way to dodge alcohol expenses altogether is to ask your guests who wish to drink to bring their own beverages. The drinkers at the wedding can create their own makeshift bar amongst themselves.

Venue

Renting out a venue for your wedding reception can be an unbelievably large expense. It depends on two things: the venue itself and the date. If you insist on renting out a highly coveted wedding reception venue, consider having your wedding on a Sunday or Friday evening when prices are cheaper. Otherwise, look for cheaper alternative options. Sometimes renting out a lodge or veterans building is substantially cheaper than a state-of-the-art hotel ballroom. If you want to make things really affordable, have your reception in someone’s house and backyard. Unfortunately, that requires gambling with the weather.

The Other Stuff

A few more wasteful wedding practices include:

Bride’s Dress

You’ll only wear it once. There’s nothing wrong with renting or buying a value option. Believe me, most people will never know the difference.

Invitations

You can either spend a small fortune on invitations or just a few hundred dollars. Why not go for the latter option? Most of your guests will spend approximately two seconds looking at the invitation before discarding it. There’s no reason to spend a bunch of money on fancy invites.

Party Favors

It’s nice to give your guests a party favor, and the great thing about wedding party favors is that some of the best ideas are also some of the cheapest. Give your guests disposable cameras and tell them you’d like them to take lots of pictures and that they’ll be receiving a copy in the mail. Print duplicates of the photos – one set to keep for yourself and another set for your guest. Along with their thank you card, send them the photos they took. This is a fun and inexpensive way to help make your wedding a lasting memory for everyone.

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Filed under: Inexpensive Weddings — vicky at 12:19 pm on Monday, October 25, 2010