Your wedding is probably going to be the most expensive party you ever throw, and you undoubtedly have big expectations about how your big day will unfold. You might be confident that you can get the wedding of your dreams by DIYing it, or you might be great at working to a budget, but it’s your wedding day. There’s a good chance that, no matter how good you are at DIYing it or sticking to a set budget, your good intentions will fly out of the window. That’s why it’s always a good idea to save up for the big day.
Saving enough money to throw your dream wedding might seem like an impossible task, but it really isn’t. By being sensible, cutting back where you can and making a few choice compromises, it should be easy. Here are some tips to get you started:
Break Your Budget into Chunks
If you aim to save $20,000 – $30,000 to cover the cost of your wedding, it might seem like you’re wasting your time even trying, but if you divide your budget by the number of months you have to save up before getting married, it will look a whole lot easier, and you’ll be able to start thinking about the small changes you can make right now to pay for that stunning wedding gown or exotic venue in the future.
To ensure that you actually do this, you should open a special ’wedding account’ where all of the savings you make are immediately deposited, so you aren’t tempted to spend them in the moment.
Lower Your Monthly Expenses
Most of us have various things we pay for every month (gym memberships, cable, beauty boxes) which although they are nice to have, they aren’t exactly essential and you wouldn’t be doing yourself too much of a hardship to give them up for a year or so. It’ll be worth it when you walk down the aisle in your beautiful dress surrounded by loved ones and the most spectacular venue you’ve ever seen.
Negotiate Your Bills
If you have other bills that you can’t get rid of altogether, it’s never a bad idea to call up your providers and try to negotiate a better price. Cell phone and cable companies are particularly open to offering you a better deal, especially if you threaten to go elsewhere, so it’s always worth a try, and if they don’t give you anything you can go elsewhere to make savings, well do that instead.
Watch those Small Spending Habits
Most of us have multiple ‘small’ expenditures each week that we don’t even think about. We’ll pay $4 for a coffee at the local shop, pay $5+ every working day for our lunch and treat ourselves to drinks, candies and a whole host of other non-essentials without even thinking about it. Normally, this would be fine, but when you’re saving for something as big as a wedding, every penny really does count, and it’s important to try and minimize these purchases, by packing your own lunches, or having a coffee at home before you head out to work, as you can. Those $10 or so you’re spending on small stuff every day could add up to $70+ each week and $3640 in a year! That isn’t exactly small change.
Move in With Your Parents
This certainly isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t always possible, but if you have a great relationship with your parents, and you’re willing to stay with them for a year or so until you’ve saved enough cash for your wedding, it can give a dramatic boost to your wedding fun, especially if you both do this.
Sell Your Car
Selling your big ticket items, like your car is also a drastic measure, but one which can literally put thousands of dollars into your fund, not only because you’ll make money in the sale, but you won’t have to pay for gas, insurance, mechanic’s bills, etc., allowing you to save even more towards your dream wedding.
Start a Side Hustle
Starting a side hustle, whether it be creating crafts to sell on Etsy, walking neighbor dogs or freelance writing online is a great way to temporarily boost your income and help your wedding fund to grow. Sure, you’ll have to work more for a while, but it’ll all be worth it in the end.
Credit Cards and Loans
A lot of people say ‘I Do’ on the back of crippling levels of debt. They get themselves so far into trouble, enabled by political contributions to lenders, which make access to debt pretty simple for the average person, and they spend the first years of their married life, which should be blissful, worrying and arguing about money, trying to make ends meet.
You don’t want to start your marriage that way, but if after doing your damndest to scrimp and save for your wedding, making a few sacrifices along the way, and you’re still a little short, you shouldn’t worry about using a small loan or credit card to see you through, as along as you don’t borrow more than you can afford to pay and you use the same techniques above to clear the debt as quickly as possible. In fact, paying by credit card can help to prevent you being defrauded, and many vendors prefer to be paid that way.Just make sure you use credit sparingly and pay it off in a timely manner.
Look for Bargains
Once you know how you’re going to pay for your wedding, it’s also a good idea to start looking around at ‘premium wedding dates’ which are more in demand and therefore more expensive so you can avoid them. You should also check out all of the vendors in your area and identify the ones who offer value AND quality so you can minimize your expenditures without skimping on your wedding.
Saving for a wedding, providing you have some time to do it, doesn’t have to be difficult, as you can see. You might have to make some sacrifices, but since you’ll be so invested in planning your wedding, you’ll hardly miss that one cable show you love or that overly expensive coffee from Starbucks