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Wedding checklist: Here’s what you’ll pay for your special day

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Have you saved enough for your wedding? If so, you’re one of the lucky ones. According to, 45 percent of couples underestimate the cost of their wedding. In most states, a wedding will cost you an average of $20,000-$25,000. You can expect the cost to rise in larger metropolitan areas like Columbus or Cincinnati, but no matter where you live that’s a significant cost for most.

There are ways to save money on your special day without detracting from it. The first step, according to wedding experts, is to finalize a guest list and a budget. Next, think about the type of wedding you want to have. Whether it’s an elegant, quaint, romantic, personal or a party-atmosphere you have in mind, those decisions shape the next steps for location, food, bar and decorations.

Use your network. Consider working with people – friends, family, colleagues – that may be willing to give you a good deal or offer budget-friendly suggestions. Try hiring a vendor you’ve worked with before in a business setting and they may be more inclined to offer a discount.

With any wedding service, don’t be afraid to review offers from several vendors for each service to find the best price. Some may throw in extra services for free if you ask, while you can opt to bargain with certain vendors on a lower price.

You can reduce food costs by making tweaks to the menu, so make sure to compare food options as well.

Be willing to consider unique locations and different days. You can save a considerable amount of money on your big day by looking into different locations. Your seating preferences, as well as food and beverage choices, can make a substantial difference in your cost per guest.

Being flexible on the day can have significant savings, too. Weddings held on a Friday or another weekday can save you money, as most vendors increase prices for Saturday since it’s the most popular day.

A small intimate wedding can also save you money, and it can often be a more memorable event.

Bring a little do-it-yourself to the mix. A D-I-Y touch means your own personal, unique touch on your special occasion, and it can also save you significantly.

If you’re creative, you can also save a substantial amount of money designing your own centerpieces, or making your invitations.

Some bulk stores offer floral wedding packages you can buy and arrange yourself for wedding party bouquets and centerpieces. Consider things like making your own wedding party favors as well. If you need a source of inspiration, use online sites like Pinterest or The Knot to get your creativity flowing.

Other money-saving ideas to keep in mind:

      • Instead of doing a full bar, provide wine and beer and even a specialty cocktail to your guests.
      • When it comes to invitations, some people skip the additional accommodations and RSVP cards. They have guests get all their information and RSVP online.
      • Opt for a DJ instead of a band. And have the DJ play the ceremony instead of hiring an additional musician, such as a string quartet.
      • Hire a wedding planner. They can negotiate pricing with vendors and make sure you’re getting the most for your money. They also ensure you stay on budget. Sometimes the cost of a wedding planner can actually help you save money on everything else, depending on the style of wedding you choose.

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