Every year, around 2.5 million wedding are held in the United States. That’s 5 million people exchanging their vows and making promises of a lifetime in front of the altar, friends, and family. Even though couples getting married have been steadily declining since the 1990s, the amount of money poured into these events is substantially increasing. Getting married is cheap, but a wedding with a lot of guests can be financially painful.

Saying your I dos does not have to break your bank. There are a lot more important things in the future that will probably need your resources (bun in the oven or a new house). Being frugal does not mean a forgettable wedding. Here are some tips on how to make a memorable wedding with a slim budget.

Artificial flowers will save thousands

In any wedding, may it be a church, garden or beach wedding ceremony it is a necessity to adorn the venue with flowers. The cost for flowers, including bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquet, reception flowers, flower girl petals, and altar flowers, can be between $700 to  $12,500 depending on the kind, number, and arrangement. You can save on this matter by going minimal.

Your bouquet can be sourced from someone you know who has a rose bush. Just trim the thorns and arrange it on whatever you like. Choosing the in-season flower may also help you lower the cost as hard-to-find, specific flowers can be very expensive. You can also ask your local flower shop for any ideas on how to trim down the cost, they are more than happy to assist you. The ultimate way to be frugal on flowers though is going with fake flowers. You can use them for backdrops or table decors. These are great because you don’t have to worry about them dying before the ceremony. You can take your time and arrange them months ahead.

Skip the Caterer

On whatever occasion it may be, food and drinks are considered major cost, more so on a wedding day. A catered wedding can set you back between spending $2,000 to $7,000, depending on the number of guest or tables to be served. One way to reduce this budget for this is by going local. Look for a family-owned restaurant that can cater for your day. Family-owned are more flexible than other establishments that normally have fixed amounts, menu and requirements. They are more willing to go the extra mile to make your day special and are likely to adjust to your own set budget.

Don’t be afraid to make your own food or have family and friends help. This is much easier if you just serve appetizers and desserts.

Have your wedding at a park or family home

Wedding venues and reception usually take the biggest take on your budget. On average, a wedding venue can cost you from $3,000 up to $14,000, depending on the area, the wedding date and if it’s outdoor or indoor. One way to lower its cost, or even make it free, is to ask friends or even your parents if you could use their garden or outdoor area for the ceremony or reception. Going for a public park is also a good idea to keep costs lower.

Reuse decorations

Wedding decorations don’t have to be extreme, but they add great value to the atmosphere and theme of your day. On average, decorations including photo booths, backdrops, table settings, ceremony decors can cost over $2,100. But you can surely make it less by doing some creative steps.

First, you need to decide on a solid theme. If you have a theme or motif to follow, everything else will easily fall into place without the unnecessary purchase that you might encounter while shopping. If you want to go rustic, you need to add decorations that add texture and countryside feel in your ceremony.

Another way is to go for used decorations. These items are more likely used only once and you will use them once as well. If all this fails, you might just want to wait for a wedding sale or an expo. Those are great ways to find everything you need for a wedding and get to talk to vendors at one time.

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