tips for affordable dream weddingFrom getting hitched in the mountains to enjoying an oceanside affair on the coast, we all have a vision of what the perfect wedding would look like. While most couples want to make this moment a once-in-a-lifetime experience, most don’t have an unlimited budget to make all their fantasies come true. That said, there are some things you can do to better afford the wedding of your dreams.

Come Up With A Savings Plan

Weddings aren’t cheap. According to The Knot, the average wedding costs approximately $35,329, although the total cost does depend heavily on where you live and what size wedding you are planning. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to have a gorgeous wedding with a much smaller budget, but you will need to get an accurate sense of costs in your area and start a savings plan to get the most bang for your buck, especially if you have less than stellar credit and can’t afford to pay high interest rate credit cards or get approved for loans to cover costs.

Even if you are able to use credit or take out loans, some vendors will give discounts to clients who are willing to pay in cash, so it’s worth asking if tapping into that wedding piggy bank could help you stretch a dollar.

Search Around Online

If you’re going to cut down the price of your wedding, you need to be on the lookout for the best deals. In many cases, those deals live on the internet. Online shopping is bigger than ever and only continues to grow, which means you can get just about everything you need for the wedding through online vendors who can offer better prices than their brick-and-mortar retail competitors.

Even the most unexpected wedding necessities are going digital. Take online dress retailer Azazie — they offer custom bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses shipped directly to your home, where you can try on several pieces and even request alterations. There’s no need to ever set foot in one of those fluorescent-lit, hall-of-mirrors bridal boutique fun houses, and you can get away with spending far less than the average $1,500 or more most women spend on a gorgeous white gown they’ll only ever wear once.

search online wedding alternative budgetWith the rise of ecommerce, more and more vendors are finding ways to bring the full shopping experience online, with many offering to send samples of products for brides to try before they buy. If you’re worried about your personalized wedding favors matching that special shade of teal you picked as an accent color, most online retailers are more than happy to send a swatch or a trial size so you don’t waste your money.

Pick Up Some Side Gigs

Another great way to afford your dream wedding is by putting in a little bit of extra work on the side. According to CNN Money, approximately 34 percent of the US workforce is currently working some sort of gig economy job, which typically means you can work on a flexible schedule to earn a little extra cash.  If you’ve been wondering where you can come up with a few hundred bucks to upgrade your flowers or want to order a fancy flower girl dress for your niece, picking up a side hustle could be a quick way to access some extra funding.

Whether it’s driving for Uber on the weekends or working to answer questions for money to help college students with their homework, there is something for everyone in the gig economy. These jobs tend to be low-commitment, work-on-your-own-terms kind of gigs, which is perfect for when you’re in the middle of planning a huge event on top of your everyday life.

Keep It Small

keep it small weddingAccording to Bustle, the average number of wedding guests is around 120, which isn’t an enormous amount of guests. More and more couples are choosing to keep things intimate on the big day, which is a smart choice if you’re trying to bride on a budget. The most expensive part of any wedding is the cost of food and drink per head, so the fewer guests you invite, the more you’ll be able to save overall.

Chances are good your dream wedding involved being surrounded by the people closest to you, not everyone you’ve ever known and their neighbor, and you probably had some fantasy details that have nothing to do with the number of people who attend — like a stunning gown with a long, bedazzled train, fancy uplighting, or breathtaking floral arrangements across the wedding arch. You can probably afford to go big on some of those fantasy details if you choose to keep the guest list under control.

What are some helpful strategies you’ve implemented to afford the wedding of your dreams? Comment with your insights below.

Photos courtesy of gettyimages

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