Tara Crooks's avatarTara CrooksMoney Matters Blog | ‎08-02-2013 12:34 PM

I Thee Wed

IMG0001-S.jpgThis past May my husband and I celebrated our sixteenth wedding anniversary. It got me thinking about weddings and vow renewal. I was playing around on the internet looking at wedding prices. Did you know that Prince William married Kate Middleton to the tune of about $34 million dollars? Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries tied the knot at around $10 million dollars. This all just seems a bit insane to me. What on Earth could you possibly spend $34 million, even $10 million, dollars on? And all of this money makes your marriage stronger? I don't think so.

 

I was curious what "real" everyday couples were spending on their weddings, so I headed over to Costofwedding.com to do a search. Here, on their site, you can input your zip code and answer a few questions and viola you get an average cost of what people are spending on weddings in your area.

 

Ok, so I input the area I'm currently in and it tells me the couples in my county spend between $17,126 and $28,543 on average for their wedding. Ouch. This total is based on number of guests estimated between 135 and 155. A single guest could add between $142 and $173 to the overall cost of your wedding.

 

Maybe all brides should give that figure to their future groom (or anyone else financing their nuptials) before they start to create the guest list. I can hear it now, "Do you need her in attendance enough to fork out $173? No? Ok." Silly as it seems that would be my first thought when it comes to frugal wedding tips — whittle down your guest list.

 

Chances are that most military families don't have a fat $25,000 or more to fork out for a grand wedding — especially if they're just starting out. Here are a few frugal (not cheap) tips to get you started on your plan:

 

  • Ask for help from friends and family. Do you know a great photographer? Someone who bakes?
  • Have the ceremony in a home or outdoors.
  • Make your own invitations.
  • Buy dresses together.
  • Rent tuxedos as a group.
  • Go simple on flowers.
  • Provide your own decorations.

 

INTERACT

 

Have you had a formal wedding? Do you have any money saving tips to share?

 

What wedding item do you believe should get the biggest allocation of the budget?

 

What wedding item have you spent money on that you realized later you didn't really need?