The average bride spends $30,000 on a moderately sized wedding – let that soak in.
$30,000 dollars. On average.
Although eloping may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it might be the best and cheapest solution for the stressed out couple who detest tulle, all thing planning, or have little to no money to spare.
There’s certainly no shame in it. A recent study has found that 30% of American couples elope. Even if that statistic wasn’t true, the best part about your wedding is that it’s your wedding. No one else gets to decide how your marriage should begin but you and your partner!
If you are considering eloping, know that there are different types of elopement, such as a destination wedding, a spur-of-the-moment town hall ceremony, or just an intimate local ceremony with minimal planning involved. This last type is a good compromise for many frugal couples – but there are some costs to keep in mind even with this type of ceremony. Here are a few ideas for how to save money eloping!
For your little wedding party, look for a little venue! Naturally, you’ll want to accommodate for the size of your party. City hall or small, intimate chapels certainly come to mind, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Local parks or conservatories may allow you have the ceremony for free or very cheap. Keep in mind though that some public venues like this may discourage decorating, flowers, ect. If that’s the case, the bright side is that this means more savings for you!
Personal preference and religion will certainly play a part in the ceremony you choose. For instance, if you’re Catholic, you may want a full-blown mass and a wedding ceremony, which can be pricier than just a wedding ceremony. Different belief systems will certainly allow for different types of ceremonies. Make sure you check with your partner so you can agree on the ceremony you want. Remind them – the shorter and more simple it is, the less expensive!
Search for photographers and videographers with elopement in mind. Meaning, let them know that you won’t necessarily need day-of pictures; the bridesmaids getting ready, a million shots of the entire wedding party after the ceremony. You’re having a non-traditional wedding, so your photo/video package will be non-traditional, too!
If you REALLY want to save money, enlist a friend who’s good with a camera to take some video or shots of the ceremony. There’s their wedding gift to you! Make sure you post the videos and photos online (if you’re comfortable with that) so the people who were not invited can see your special day, too. Consider checking out something like texteventpics.com – an inventive new way to crowd-source your wedding pictures!
Elopement receptions can differ. A popular route is having a party post-elopement. You can rent a banquet hall (which can/will be expensive) or throw a party at your abode – again, get creative with where you host it. Because you’ve spent little money on decorations and a ceremony, you may have more money to host a big BBQ for your friends and family.
A little party after the ceremony with your wedding party is also a fun alternate reception idea. Renting out a little restaurant, or getting a big table for everyone invited, is a great way to celebrate your intimate wedding – well, intimately! Since you’ve saved so much, you can splurge on a nice dinner for the people you love.
Getting married on a weekday is always a much cheaper option. Not only will venues be cheaper to book, but vendors are often willing to work for a little less because you’re not catching them on their crazy booked weekends. If your heart is set on a weekend, you can often get a reduced price at venues in particular if you go for a morning wedding instead of a traditional evening wedding. Think brunch – who doesn’t like brunch?