The average cost of a wedding in the United States is $27,720. As a point of reference, the median salary is just over $50,000. The figure quoted above does not include the cost of a honeymoon which can be rather expensive on its own depending on where you plan to go. The breakdown of $27,720 is quite interesting: on average $11,908 will be spent on the venue, catering, and rentals. This is the biggest single expense, but it is closely followed by jewelry at $4,141 and photography at $2,789. Of course, every bride and groom wants to remember their wedding day and the document of it, whether it is photos or a video, is an invaluable piece of family history. But it is also not cheap at all.
The difficult thing about weddings is that they conform to a problem that the French philosopher Denis Diderot experienced and described. The Diderot Effect at its simplest is: ‘the introduction of a new possession into a consumer’s existence will often result in a process of spiraling consumption’. For example, Diderot himself was gifted a beautiful new dressing gown. He liked it, but the only problem was that it made his other possessions suddenly seem rather mediocre in comparison. This led him to buy a new chair and desk and replace his prints with unnecessarily expensive ones simply so that there would be a cohesion between all of his objects. This sort of thinking can affect brides too. You may decide that you want a large wedding where everyone is invited. If you are going to be hosting lots of people, you need to spend more on catering to make a good impression and you have to hire more bar staff too. There is then the issue of hiring a team of photographers rather than just one so that you can capture everyone’s happiness. The cycle of consumption increases to a point where you are spending more than you intended.
However, getting married does not necessarily need to be expensive. There are lots of way of saving money that do not diminish the best day of your life. Here are a few tips on how to organise a wedding without breaking the bank:
- Source local businesses. If you find local services or products, you are likely to save money simply because you are dealing with small business owners and you can negotiate. You can find people in your area on Wedding Portal. Besides, if you seek out bespoke, independent things for your wedding, you can make it more unique. It is a special day after all, and if it looks just like everyone else’s wedding, it will not be as fun. It is an opportunity to express your personality and avoiding cliches and big brands is a good way of doing that.
- Get your friends and family to help. For many people, they feel the need to get married because they want to share their happiness with the important people in their life. If you and your significant other love each other, it does not really matter who knows and whether it is legally recognised. However, a wedding is a celebration of your love for the purpose of sharing it with the people around you. They may enjoy the day itself, but if you get them involved, they can share part of your happiness. It can also save you money. If you get one of your friends to do your hair and makeup or another to arrange the flowers, you can save on hiring people to do those jobs. Besides, who doesn’t like being around their friends? It is a great way to make the day more personal as well as more economical.
- Only invite the people who you actually want to be there. It is easy, once you get started, to invite hundreds but when you think about the people who have to be there, you may realise that it is only a handful of the most special people in your life.
- Besides, if you do not invite everyone you know, you can revitalise and old tradition. Rather than the honeymoons that we know today where couples go to some luxurious tropical paradise, you can instead go around the country and visit all of the people that you did not manage to celebrate with on the big day itself.
- Lastly, if you are looking to hire people but do not want to spend too much, you should consider contacting your local university. The music department may have some students that are looking for your real life experience as well as a little money. Art schools are a great place to find photographers as well.