Budgeting

How to Throw a Wedding for $5,000

There's no need to go broke when you get married.

A wedding can be an incredibly special event -- and incredibly expensive. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is more than $31,000, and that amount doesn’t even include the honeymoon.

You don’t have to get caught up in overspending just because other people you know had fancy events. With enough planning and a little bit of creativity, you can cover the cost of a dress, invitations, photographs and more for just a fraction of the average wedding cost.

Here are three areas where you can save big when planning a wedding:

Stick to a single venue

By holding your ceremony and reception at the same venue, you can eliminate the cost of transportation from one place to another and condense the amount of time a photographer is needed. Even better, going with a venue that can also provide food, tables, chairs, linens, plates and silverware eliminates the need to hire an outside caterer or rent those items separately. One couple we spoke with paid just $3,600 to host their wedding ceremony and dinner reception at a historic mansion that offered all those things.

Look beyond the bridal shop

The average amount spent on a wedding dress is $1,357, but if you shop smart you can score a bridal-worthy look for much less. Instead of buying your dress from a bridal shop, try finding a formal dress -- not an actual wedding gown -- online through a site such as Etsy.com. You can also try purchasing a previously worn wedding dress via an organization such as Brides Against Breast Cancer or renting one from RentTheRunway.com or BorrowingMagnolia.com.

Skip the florist

Flowers from a florist can turn out to be an unexpectedly large wedding expense. One bride we spoke with got a quote of $450 from a florist for just three bouquets and two boutonnieres. If you want flowers at your wedding, try buying them from a wholesaler and going the DIY route. That same bride we talked to decided to go to Costco, where she spent $96 on a bulk purchase of roses, bought floral supplies from a craft store and then spent about an hour assembling the bouquets and boutonnieres herself.

Want to save even more? Check out additional tips on throwing a $5,000 wedding.

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