Couples preparing to say "I Do" are also giving the big "I Don't" to super-sized wedding budgets.
According to figures from the The Wedding Report, an industry research company, the average cost of a wedding dipped 6% to $ 20,398 in the first months of 2009. Some regions are seeing cuts of more than 40%.
“Wedding budgets have dropped from $35,000 in the South Bay, last year, to $20,000 this year,” says Nicole Lisanne, a wedding consultant based in Campbell, Calif. “Now people are trying to do more with less.”
One popular way to keep the tab lower? Trimming the guest list. According to Lisanne, many clients are winnowing their invitees down to 100.
A smaller budget doesn’t necessarily mean the wedding will look or feel cheap. You just have to get creative. If you’re planning a special celebration on a limited budget, here are a few ways that you can cut back on the price without sacrificing (savings based on a 100-person wedding celebration):
1. Choose a dress for less. You don’t have to wear a $5,000 Vera Wang gown to be a princess on your wedding day.In fact, if you’re Sunny Sue Gold, a 29-year-old editor from New York, you can do it for a few hundred.
“I looked at a La Sposa floofy thing and ended up with a Pronovias mermaid-style strapless little number,” says Gold. “My dress sells for $2,200 in the Pronovias flagship store on 5th Avenue. But instead of spending the $1,500 the shop wanted, I searched for it online and found it for $900.”
While part of the fun is definitely in the search, there is one huge downside to buying online according to fashion writer Megan Nicolay: You can’t try it on to make sure that it fits, so be prepared to budget for a seamstress.
Potential Savings: $1,300 for a designer label