There's no doubt that weddings are a pricey event. It is not uncommon for couples to spend a fortune on their wedding and then be left pinching pennies for the foreseeable future trying to stabilize finances.
Ladies– we've dreamt about this day since we were 5 years old, from the dress to the getaway car. This is OUR day and we want it OUR way no matter the cost. BUT, for the sake of the person or people carrying the wallet(s) that pay for this day, we might want to consider cutting the costs in a few areas.
BAND vs. DJ
In my opinion, this is the easiest way to potentially save thousands. WeddingWire estimates that most couples spend between $2,500 and $6,000 on a live band for their wedding. Some people just can't put a price on the value of a live band and if thats where you want to spend the big bucks– don't let me convince you otherwise. However, if a live band isn't something you have your heart set on, the national average spent on a DJ in the U.S. is $1000. You'd be pressed to find a local folk group or a mariachi band willing to perform on your big day for that price. Not only are they so much more affordable, but if your wedding is going to feature guests of all ages and music tastes, a DJ can offer something for everyone while many bands have a certain style of music they tend to stick to.
Two words: Grocery. Store.
Publix, Whole Foods, Costco, and even Walmart offer gorgeous specialty cakes for your big day... and they're delicious.
THE GUEST LIST
BIGGER is not always better. Mom, Dad, grandparents, best friend-- all a must. But when finalizing the guest list, look through it 2-3 times and ask yourself: do your freshman year college roommate and your brothers best friend from high school need an invitation? Each additional guest adds on a cost for dinner, drinks, and extra stress so don't feel obligated to invite everyone on your Facebook friends list.
HAIR & MAKEUP
I am NOT skilled in the hair/makeup department so a stylist will definitely be the way to go-- however, if you pick up beauty tricks easily and feel confident doing your own hair and makeup, or having a friend do it, this is a great way to cut costs. If you decide to do this-- I can not emphasize enough...
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
Your wedding day CAN NOT be the first, second or even third time you've tested the hair and makeup combo you want. Go to makeup stores and try different products, watch countless YouTube videos and perfect the look you'd like to see on your wedding day. Additionally, don't forget that what looks good in the mirror, might not look great in front of the camera. Have a friend take pictures of you to see if your makeup looks good behind the lens and do some research on the best tricks to put your best face forward when it comes to photographs. While this cost-cutting method can save a lot of money, it will require a lot of time and trial to make sure you're still confident walking down the isle when your big day rolls around.
If you're crafty and have an eye for design, do your own invitations! Whether you order them from Vistaprint, or print them at home on cardstock, getting a designer to make custom invitations is pretty pricey. There are some great ways to DIY invites and still make them look expensive. One of my favorites is to buy thin ribbon and glue little bows in a corner or on the top.
Lastly, make Pinterest your best friend. There are lots of fun DIY ideas on Pinterest and the more you're able to purchase at the dollar store and work some magic to make it look nice, the more money you're going to save.