According to, the average cost of an American wedding is more than $35,000. This is a sizeable amount for those that are paying for their own wedding (or even for the parents that offer to help). However, if you plan carefully and strategically, you can soften the blow, while getting the most for your dollar. Follow the tips below to ensure that you plan an affordable wedding.

Determine Priorities
The first thing you are going to need to do is communicate with your partner and decide what your priorities are going to be. You will discover that what is important for you may not be important for your partner and vice versa. As you figure out the priorities, you will be able to calculate how much you are going to need to spend on specific aspects.

Guest List
The amount of people you decide to have at your party is going to be the most influential impact on price. More guests equates to more invitations, drinks and food, the need for a larger reception hall and larger cake.

Almost every reception hall charges on a per-person basis. Therefore, the difference between 100 and 150 is going to be significant. Invite people that are important to you in your life. Don't invite people that you are not close with or are you are just an acquaintance with. Think to yourself, 'would I expect to be invited to their wedding?' and/or 'would I want to go to their wedding?'. If the answer is 'no' to either, leave them off your guest list.

Decorations and Invitations
If you are a crafty person with some sort of computer skills, this is an area where a great deal of money can be saved by creating invitations yourself. There are many programs that offer wedding invitation templates. These programs are not cheap but they do offer some really nice ideas that do look as good as professional invites.

Similarly, consider decorating your church and/or reception hall. Take a trip to your local craft or hobby store. You may be surprised at what's available. Not only will you be saving significant money by doing the decorating yourself, you will have 100% control of the final product.

Lastly, determine the types of flowers you are going to use. Real flowers smell and look great but is it really necessary to spend that much money for decorating the entire banquet hall with fresh flowers? Consider using fresh flowers for the centerpieces and silk flowers as accent decorations elsewhere. If you are set on fresh flowers, consider purchasing wedding flowers in bulk and constructing the arrangements yourself.

Food and Drink
What you select as food and drink is likely going to be one of the largest expenses of your party. Consider a buffet style meal over a formal sit-down. A formal meal is going to require more staff for servicing and therefore is going to cost significantly more. 

The food you choose for before and after dinner is also going to impact pricing. Are you going to have caviar as appetizers or fruits and vegetables. Are you going to have a desert buffet with your cake or just the cake.

An additional sizeable cost is going to be from the bar service you offer. Alcohol is not cheap so consider selecting the 'house' alcohol package over the 'premium'. Also consider the length of bar service you offer since you are also going to be paying for bartenders and servers. You can also save money by stopping alcohol service for an hour or two during dinner.

Music and Photography
Music is a very important aspect of your party. Not only will you need music playing during your ceremony, you need entertainment for the reception. A band is going to cost significantly more than a DJ. No matter who you choose, make sure you do your research and check references so that you know exactly what you are getting.

Lastly, you will need to choose a photographer. The photos from your wedding are going to be your most accurate reminders of your special day. The cost of hiring a photographer can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Plan on interviewing several photographers. Make sure they provide references and examples of their work. They should also be able to offer different packages that will get you the most for your dollar. You may also want to consider buying a bunch of disposable cameras and leaving them on the tables for your guests to shoot photographs for you. You may not get many formal pictures, but you surely will get images that are going to be memorable.

Things to Keep In Mind
It is very easy to let your wedding spending spiral out of control. Don't lose grasp of your priorities during the planning of your special day. It is important to be able to throw a wedding party that all of your guests are going to enjoy and remember forever...without damaging your financial future. We offer a variety of wedding loans for people of all credit types. We will get you the cash you need to make your special as memorable as possible. A good idea would not use a loan for the entire cost of your wedding. Learn more.





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