Home > Don't break the bank planning your wedding

Don't break the bank planning your wedding

Cheers on your engagement.

Wedding receptions can be costly. Try to keep your guest list to a minimum.Now all you have to do is plan the biggest party of your life - your wedding - involving both your friends and family without breaking the bank.

It's a trying task for many young Americans hoping to tie the knot, as the average millennial bears roughly $29,400 in student loan debt, according to a New American Foundation's Student Debt Review. That's just $1,047 more than the cost of the average wedding, according to a 2013 survey from The Knot and WeddingChannel.com.

One of the biggest costs for a couple is the venue for the reception. From country clubs to resorts or hotels, the reception venue is going to be one of the most expensive costs during a wedding. Abby Larson, of wedding blog Style Me Pretty, told CNN that you don't have to break the bank to find a good venue for your reception.

"Pick a venue that already has a chic ambience," Larson said. "Restaurants are usually the best option. They have gorgeous tables and chairs, and the decor is often easy to fall in love with. You'll save an absolute bundle."

When your venue is chosen, try to get as many large tables as possible. The fewer tables you have, the less you'll have to spend on linens and centerpieces. It should also make for a livelier room as each person at your wedding will be given the opportunity to interact with more people.

Don't print a program

Pamela Fishman Cianci, a San Francisco wedding planner and owner of Outlined Productions, told CNN that many engaged couples are foregoing print for digital copy.

"A lot of my clients are opting for no printed program," Fishman Cianci said. "It's an extra cost and extra stress, and it's unnecessary. The most important words are the vows, and those are never in there."


You can also save on print, paper and mailing supplies by sending out your wedding invitations over the Web. If your guest list is more than 200 people, you'll save a ton of money on postage and supplies.

Don't be afraid to cut heads

You don't literally want to cut anyone's head, but you shouldn't be fearful of omitting the co-worker you don't like or the great-aunt you never see from your wedding invitation list.

Many couples decide to not invite children and co-workers all together, as fewer guests means fewer costs.

Food is typically one of the largest costs for couples planning a wedding, and with catering costs calculated on a per-person basis, keeping your guest list as short as possible will save you some serious coin. The per-person cost for food typically ranges from $50 to $150 for most weddings.

Other ways to cut costs
Maxine Siu, of San Francisco-based Stem, told CNN that couples who stay seasonal when choosing floral arrangements can save a lot of money.

"My best tip is to stay seasonal and local," Siu said. "I made this bouquet for $50, using anemones, parrot tulips and ranunculus, all spring flowers."

You should also recruit your friends to help out. If you know someone who is a DJ, ask them to spin at your reception. Are you acquaintances with a baker? See if they can help cut costs on your wedding cake. People typically want to help, especially when it's your big day.

If you aren't sure where to start cutting costs, remember that St. Louis Bride and Groom magazine said 81 percent of guests report the entertainment is the most memorable part of the wedding.