Weddings are beautiful things. The binding of two people in holy matrimony is just wonderful… and bankruptingly expensive. According to data released by The Knot, the average cost of a wedding is $34K.
When you look at venues, food, and music, it’s not hard to imagine the dollars piling up. But, like with most everything else, if you do it yourself, it is way cheaper. Take a look at these steps.
First, consider holding the reception at your house, a friend’s house, or a park. Value Penguin estimates that on average, the reception venue costs the most at $13K. This includes the cost of music, food, bartending, and catering.
Once you find a DIY-friendly venue, you’ll need to consider these things:
- As long as you have a decent stereo system (which can be borrowed if you don’t), you can get away with a friend just working the songs. If you decide on a professional DJ, start by checking consumer review sites like Yelp.
- While it takes more time and planning, making your own food will always be better. On average, wedding food will cost $4,200. When you make your own, all you have to think about is the cost of supplies, which won’t be more than a few hundred dollars.
- Bar service is a big deal. Don’t be surprised if you end up spending anywhere between $1,800 and $3,000. The best suggestion is to just make sure you have a friend who will take care of drink distribution. It’s easy and they will quickly become everyone’s favorite person. Even a paid bartender won’t cost that much.
If you do this, you could get away with spending just over $1,000. That’s nothing when we consider the alternative. Weddings are worth every penny, but that doesn’t mean the bank (or credit union) needs to be broken.