According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 2.1 million marriages will take place in the U.S. this year. Though this statistic has been on a decline, down 10.3% since 2000, the cost of the average wedding has been steadily increasing. In 2000, the average wedding cost $20,000. Today it costs an average of $30,000. This is an increase of 50%! Meanwhile, U.S. real wages have remained relatively flat over the past decade, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
So, here are 3 steps couples can consider to help celebrate their special day without breaking the bank.
- Elope. Do you really need a full scale wedding or will an elopement suffice? To really cut costs, consider an elopement. Through research you should be able to find a local bed and breakfast or boutique hotel that offers “elopement packages.” These packages can include a small bridal bouquet, a lovely locale for the wedding ceremony (pool or garden views), a wedding officiate and witness, small wedding cake for two, breakfast and drinks for a nominal fee of up to $1,000. This elopement can then be followed up with an extended family and close friends’ dinner at a later date to celebrate the nuptials.
- Think small not LARGE. Instead of having a wedding for 200 invited guests, consider paring down the head count to 150 or even 100. The dollar savings for catering meals for 100 guests versus 200 guests is over $6,000.00.
- Save. If your heart is set on a full scale wedding then saving is key. The average engagement lasts between 13 and 18 months. Socking away at least 20% of your total monthly income (per person) will help to reach your goal.