Weddings are infamously known for being one of the most egregiously expensive purchases you'll ever make. They will eat up all of your stashed away cash and even have you considering whether or not you should cash out your 401k early to be able to afford the fairy-tale wedding of your dreams.
But contrary to popular belief and celebrity instagrams, weddings don’t have to leave you broke! You don't have to say "I do" to pricey decorations and wedding traditions you don’t really want in the first place. Here’s a look at the 10 wedding money-suckers that you can easily avoid when planning your big day.
1. An Engagement Party
Getting engaged is a milestone worth celebrating. But you don’t have to throw yourself an engagement party that feels like a second wedding before your first. If you want to gather your troops of family and friends together, plan something low-key and local, so that you don’t blow your wedding budget before you’ve even begun planning your big day.
2. Paper Invites
Skip the paper invites, for your save the dates and wedding invites, and go paperless instead. Evites are a great way for you to manage your guest list, have people RSVP quickly, and even avoid those rash paper cuts.
3. A Wedding Band
The key to a successful wedding is delicious food and nightlong music. But you don’t have to hire an expensive 10-piece wedding band to make that happen. You can get a party-starting DJ instead and cut your overall music cost in half. Hand them over a playlist of your favorite tunes and let them keep the dance floor popping all night long.
4. Over-the-Top Flowers
Most brides think that flowers are a must-have for their wedding. But flowers will be true money suckers and something that your guests will hardly notice you have. Go easy on the flower arrangements and if you want to save some cash, skip the wedding florist and go to a local flower shop and make your bouquets yourself.
5. A Wedding Planner
Planning a wedding, yourself, can feel like a full-time job, so hiring a wedding planner seems like an obvious choice, right? The truth is, you don’t need to hire help with your wedding plans. You can grab lots of free resources online and as long as you set aside a set time each week to work on wedding stuff, you’ll have it all under control.
6. Party Favors
You can make them, bake them, package them together, but at the end of the wedding night, your guests will be too tired, too full, and even too drunk to remember to take these home with them.
7. A Three Tiered Cake
While the cake used to be a staple for all weddings to have, a lot of modern couples are doing away with the traditional 3-tiered dessert and instead, going for something less expensive and more delicious. Whether it’s donuts, cake pops, or even freshly baked cookies, pick a late night treat that you actually enjoy and you’ll be surprised how much money you’ll save.
8. A Blowout Rehearsal Dinner
Putting on a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding can often feel like you’re hosting a mini second wedding. You’ll find yourself spending a whole lot of cash on food, an open bar, and even entertainment for the night. Give your out of town guests the evening off and save the party planning for the wedding day.
9. A Glam Squad
There’s something fun about hiring a team of professional makeup artists and hair stylists to give you the perfect wedding do, but this can cost way more than you think. Ask a close friend or family member who is blessed in the beauty department to style you on the wedding day. If you’re looking to be brave and bold, spend some pre-wedding time learning how to do your own wedding look with the help of YouTube videos and makeup counter employees at department stores.
10. Designer Digs
Skip out on the pricey wedding dress made by a top-designer, whose name you can hardly pronounce. Nobody will know the difference and your budget will be thankful you said yes to a dress you can actually afford.