At your first wedding, you might have paid for some of the festivities — like your dress or your suit — but it’s likely that your family or your partner’s family assumed some of the costs. For example, it is traditional that the bride’s family bear the brunt of the wedding-related expenses, with the groom’s family hosting any showers and the rehearsal dinner. Other close friends and relatives might chip in as well, paying for items like bachelor and bachelorette parties, tablecloth linens, wedding gifts or the newlywed suite. Because first-time weddings are meant for young couples just starting out in life, the financial help is usually a much-appreciated gift.
Yet, that all changes the second go-around. While you absolutely do deserve the wedding of your dreams, you shouldn’t expect your friends and relatives to pay up, especially if they allayed expenses at your last wedding. As an older and more mature bride or groom, you need to think critically about what you can afford for this celebration of love — and you should take advantage of some of these cost-saving tips that hardly change how your wedding looks and feels.
Limit Pre/post-wedding Activities
Some weddings have as many as six functions before and after the wedding:
⦁ Engagement shower
⦁ Bridal shower
⦁ Bachelor and bachelorette parties
⦁ Welcome party
⦁ Rehearsal dinner
⦁ Day-after Party
Each fete requires you to pay for an event space, food, decorations, invitations, entertainment and a new outfit — all of which can easily reach over $1,000 per function. While these events can be fun, they will siphon funds away from the main event, so you should strive to limit the extra-wedding activities as much as possible.
It might be best to constrain yourself to three events: the engagement shower, the bachelor/bachelorette parties and the rehearsal dinner, all of which are the most traditional and most important festivities. Then, you can focus more on choosing the best rehearsal dinner invitations and the most exciting bachelorette destination as opposed to settling in every wedding decision you make.
Keep the Guest List Intimate
It’s a simple equation: the more guests at your wedding, the higher your costs will be. Each guest requires a seat, a table space, a meal and a variety of drinks, so by limiting the number of people who come to your event, you are reducing your overall costs. One way to ensure you keep your guest number low is to book a venue with a small capacity — 100 heads or fewer.
Then, you should prioritize people who will be definitely be part of your future. This doesn’t have to be your family; if you are estranged from certain parts of your family, you shouldn’t feel compelled to save them a space at your wedding. You should also avoid allowing your family (specifically your parents) from inviting their friends. By eliminating plus-ones and asking people to leave children at home, you should be able to create an intimate and affordable event.
Make It a Destination Affair
It might seem counter-intuitive — if you are trying to save money, why would you plan a wedding in a luxurious vacation destination? The truth is that destination weddings can offer many opportunities to cut costs while improving on the experience of a traditional, hometown affair. These opportunities include:
⦁ Fewer guests will attend. Not many people want to take time off work and pay for airfare and a hotel in a far-flung place for a wedding; they want to save that time and money for their own vacation.
⦁ Resorts have all-inclusive packages. Wedding packages can be extremely cost-effective, giving you a simple price for food, drinks, seating, entertainment and more. However, you do have to compromise on options because you have to make do with what the resort offers.
⦁ The destination is beautiful. Usually, destination weddings do not need as much décor because the natural setting is breathtaking enough.
⦁ You can bundle your wedding and your honeymoon. If you are putting all your savings into your wedding, you won’t have anything left for your honeymoon. However, if your wedding takes place in a stunning and thrilling place, you can spend a few more days there to relax and begin your marriage.
Generally, second weddings are smaller and less extravagant because you want to save money for your future, not because you don’t want to celebrate your love. If your friends and family offer to help pay for some elements of your wedding, you can graciously accept — but you should expect to assume most of the costs yourself. By choosing to invest in only the most important elements of the event, you can have the wedding of your dreams and keep enough cash to begin a comfortable married life.