In the weeks leading up to you saying, “I do,” you may be anxious about all the money that’s going to pay for the big day and you might be looking for ways to cut costs. While contracts may already have been signed and down payments may have already been made, there are ways to whittle away the total costs. Because deciding where to trim the budget can be overwhelming and can distract from what is meant to be one of the most monumental days in your life, the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) offers five quick suggestions to put more money back in your soon-to-be joint account.
- Be your own DJ. Musical entertainment is a big part of the wedding reception. According to Value Penguin, the average cost for a band is upwards of $3,500. While hiring a DJ can be far less expensive, it still comes in at a cost of $1,000, on average. Download the Djay app for around $10 and create your own playlist. Better than putting your list on random, you can schedule the order of songs and the app will crossfade for you. Put a friend or family member in charge of it and save some cash.
- Get volunteers for venue cleanup. Most places charge a deposit or build in charges for facility cleanup. In lieu of a wedding gift, ask a family member if he or she will be in charge of cleaning up the place. First find out if the venue will eliminate the cleanup cost or lower it. In the grand scheme of all the expenses, $250 may not seem to be that critical of a savings, but every little bit helps.
- Take advantage of the photo culture. You will want a professional photographer for the unforgettable wedding photos, including some before the ceremony and maybe some during, depending upon your preferences. The reception is where a photographer can gouge you on billing because the reception takes more time. Consider creating a wedding hashtag (#wegothitched) and encourage guests to become your personal (and free!) photographers. You’ll build a wedding brand and have tons of pictures for your collection.
- Get creative with transportation. Taking a limo from the wedding to the airport or hotel? These charges can be an additional $250–$700 with depending variables. Seek out a family friend who owns an old classic car or rent an Uber. It will take a little extra work on your part to make sure your bags make it to the trunk, but it will be more money to spend on the special honeymoon.
- Use technology to help your honeymoon. Tradition tells us that you get married and then take a vacation together to somewhere exotic. Prioritize where you want to go and, if it’s an once-in-a-lifetime trip, consider crowdfunding it. Visit a website like HoneyFund.com where you post trip information, share the link on social media and via email and then watch as people invest in your dream trip. This can be especially helpful to those who don’t know what to get you as a gift. To date, more than 500,000 couples have used it and donors have given more than $300 million. Even if you don’t get the entire trip funded, having a large portion of it paid for is worth the registration.
Your CPA Can Help
If you have any questions about making sound financial planning decisions about your wedding, be sure to consult your local CPA. He or she can provide the advice you need regarding all your financial concerns.