With nicknames such as “your special day” or “your big day,” couples often feel like they have to have a go-big-or-go-home mentality when it comes to their wedding. However, just because it’s a milestone in your life, it doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank.
Here are the top five reasons why a cheaper wedding might be a better choice than you think:
1. Budget weddings are more personal
The easiest way to save money on weddings is to have a smaller one. The reason for this is simple: if you have fewer guests, you don't have to provide as much on the day. While this seems like you will have fewer people to celebrate with, a positive effect of a smaller wedding is that the wedding will feel more personal.
Reasons for this include:
- Picking and choosing who to invite results in guests who are closer to the couple.
- You can be more comfortable in front of your guests.
- You’ll have a chance to interact with everyone.
Savings aside, what’s better than having your closest friends and family sending you off into the next big stage of your life?
2. Budget wedding are easier on everyone
Getting hitched at some exotic locale is the ultimate romantic dream for some couples. However, for those on a budget, destination weddings can be wildly impractical both for themselves, family, and friends.
Here are some reasons why local weddings are easier for everyone involved:
- Your wedding will be less expensive for you.
- When a couple holds a destination wedding, there are inevitable extraneous costs associated with it. Not only is the couple expected to pay for more events (ie. a welcome party and a morning-after brunch, in addition to the usual wedding reception and rehearsal dinner), but they may have to pay for the bridal party’s accommodations and arrange for other activities to keep guests occupied during their stay.
- Moreover, if you’re feeling especially charitable, you may also offer to pay for the travel expenses and accommodations for guests who normally would be unable to attend, which only adds to your wedding budget.
- Your wedding will be less of a burden on your guests.
- When a couple decides to hold their wedding in faraway location, guests are forced to weigh their options. While this is a surefire way to narrow your guest list, it does so at the expense of making your would-be guests to consider if they have the time and funds to attend.
- Destination weddings usually last a few days, so for your guests to actually make it, they would have to figure out if they can take time away from work (and possibly their kids) in order to go. Furthermore, since it is not customary to pay for the travel expenses and accommodations of guests who are not part of the bridal party, these guests must also have the means to pay for everything to even consider going.
These are all factors that you should keep in mind when deciding whether or not to go for a destination wedding. By keeping your wedding local and sticking to a budget, you create a win-win situation for all!
3. Budget weddings are predictive of long-term happiness
Influenced by pressure from the media, vendors, and your social circle, some believe that spending more and achieving their fairytale wedding symbolizes eternal happiness. However, what some couples may not know is that if you are looking for a long-lasting, happy marriage, a budget wedding is the way to go.
According to this Emory University study, the more you spend on the wedding, the greater the chance of divorce. Although the study does not go into the reasons why this correlation exists, there are a few reasons that could explain why there is a correlation between having a budget wedding and an enduring marriage:
- It demonstrates mature thinking.
- Going ahead with a fairytale wedding that you can’t afford doesn’t show great judgment. In fact, if you save money on your wedding and use the funds for other purposes (like buying a house or investing in your future!), that shows your partner that you have great financial management skills, a welcome trait in any relationship.
- You’ll be less likely to fight over money.
In response to this Kansas University study, researchers theorized that couples who argued over money early on in their relationships often end up divorced because of deep-seated differences of opinion on how to govern their finances and other important values. Money often touches on many facets of your life, so it can be a major problem if you can’t reconcile your beliefs on what you should do with it. In order to have a budget wedding, you and your partner had to come together to make the decision to save, which is a great indicator of the couple going into marriage as a team.
So for those of you who getting flak for being frugal, your wedding is one arena where you might end up getting the last laugh.
4. Budget weddings are more practical
Although many couples want to have their dream wedding, they still have to pay attention to real world limitations. One of these may be the fact that they simply do not have the funds to hold an extravagant spectacle.
According to a study by the Federal Reserve, there are over 17 million student loan borrowers under 30 in the U.S. with a collective total of $376.3 billion in debt. Keeping in mind that they have to deal with all that student debt as well as plenty of other expenses, young people already have a lot of to deal with, without having to worry about how to scrape together $35,329 for a wedding.
Taking out wedding loans or finding some other means to pay for your big day would only exacerbate economic anxieties for the couple, especially since it’s much easier to be financially secure without having to worry about debts. Therefore, having a budget wedding would greatly lessen financial anxiety for newlyweds.
5. Budget weddings are more creative
When you are trying to plan a wedding on a budget, most couples think that that means lots and lots of limitations. And while constraints don’t seem conducive to creativity at first glance, there are plenty of real-world examples of how restrictions forced people to find innovative solutions.
The same can go for your wedding! When funds are limited, you are forced to try out some solutions that you wouldn’t think of at first. This could be anything ranging from a nontraditional venue choice to inventive cake alternatives. And while this might create some difficulty in the beginning, it could also result in some previously unexplored, unique options that make your wedding even better than you had initially imagined.
Although there is some stigma surrounding cheap weddings, you shouldn’t be afraid of having a budget wedding if that’s what you want. At the end of the day, your wedding is yours, and you should choose the option that is right for you!
Jessica Chen is a wedding enthusiast, writer, and editor at WeddingDresses.com. A romantic at heart, she enjoys binge-watching The Mindy Project when she’s not pouring over fun ideas that she can use for her own wedding someday.