Profitt Report: Save vs. splurge, how to prioritize your wedding budget

The key to keeping your wedding budget on track but still getting everything you want on the big day: prioritize what's most important. Photo credit: MGN

The average wedding costs more than $35,000 according to The Knot, but there are creative ways to make your big day special and save money.

If you head online and search “wedding ideas,” you’ll find endless pictures of ornate decorations, creative cakes that cost hundreds of dollars. However, that doesn’t mean you need to fit into the conventional wedding day mold.

“I don't really like cake,” said Courtney DeFord, a bride-to-be in Frankenmuth, “so I actually ended up going with cheesecakes which is saving us a ton of money.”

That’s one area where DeFord is saving money in order to splurge in areas that are more important to her. She’s also saving on her save-the-dates. She found a deal on Groupon and spent $60.

“The postage was probably the most expensive part of that,” she said.

Because she saved money in these areas, DeFord is splurging on other vendors.

“We’re definitely spending more on the videographer and photographer just because we want to make sure we can save those memories,” she said.

If you look at a cost breakdown of where couples usually spend their money, here are the most expensive pieces of the puzzle according to The Knot:

  • Venue: $16,107
  • Engagement rings: $6,163
  • Photographer: $2,783
  • Florist/D├ęcor: $2,534

“I think good food and a nice decor is something that people will remember most and I think that's where they should spend their money,” said Susan MacKellar, owner of Paper Moon Wedding and Event Specialists in Midland.

She suggests saving on alcohol by offering beer, wine and a signature cocktail instead of an open bar. You can also save on your accessories by purchasing affordable shoes and borrowing jewelry. If you need to save a little more, you can cut back on how long your photographer sticks around.

“It’s really trendy now to cut the cake and have the first dance right away and then your photographer can leave, they don't need a lot of candid shots, you can get those from your guests,” MacKellar said.

However, here’s the thing: prioritize what’s important to you. Do you want professional pictures of Aunt Betty shaking it on the dance floor? Is a three tiered cake something you’ve always dreamed of? Then by all means, pay for those things and save in other areas. The idea isn’t to follow a magic formula, but to identify what is most important to you as a couple, and where you can save.

A few other ideas: skip the champagne toast and have guests raise whatever they’re drinking, skip the wedding favors or find something affordable or even skip dinner altogether and do appetizers and cocktails.

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For more money-saving wedding tips, please click here.

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