According to CostofWedding.com, couples in the United States spend an average of $26,542 for their weddings, and that doesn’t include the cost of an engagement ring or wedding bands. How to economize and still make the wedding extraordinary? Plan a backyard, do-it-yourself event.
A DIY wedding takes more work than simply hiring vendors and leaving the details to them. But the money saved with sweat equity can be substantial. A well-planned wedding is the best start.
Grab a notebook and start making lists of all you’ll need:
- Tables and chairs
- Silverware and glassware
- Centerpieces and other décor
- Cake or dessert
Many items necessary for a wedding can be bought in advance. Some couples find that buying items at discount stores is less expensive than renting. For example, inexpensive glasses and silverware can be bought at dollar stores or chains such as Ikea. These items can be kept, sold or donated to shelters.
Tablecloths needn’t be traditional. Purchase fabric from a fabric store and dress up your tables yourself. Candles can be stockpiled easily and provide an affordable and enchanting ambient light. Centerpiece components can be bought, stored and assembled at leisure.
Readying the venue
Since you’ll be doing the work yourself, start several days in advance. Be sure the grounds are well groomed and landscaped, free of tripping hazards. Your venue should provide a sturdy surface for placing tables or creating a dance floor.
Ask a professional electrician or someone familiar with electrical work to help string lights to better illuminate the area, especially for your evening celebration.
Other tips and tricks
Here are some other ways to save money on DIY weddings:
Fruit is less expensive than flowers for table centerpieces, and favors can double as centerpieces.
Include postcard response cards in wedding invitations. The postage is less, and no extra envelope is necessary.
In the event of a backyard wedding, check with your city about the need for a permit or variance for all those cars parked by the house. Don’t tack a fine onto your wedding expenses.
Instead of hiring a catering service, cook some of your food in advance and a freeze it.
Bouquets can easily be made with store-bought flowers, floral tape and decorative ribbon.
Restrict the bar to wine and beer, and you’ll save money on expensive liquors.
– Courtesy of Family Features