By Wendy Mihm | Thursday January 13, 2011
According to a recent survey conducted by wedding website guru theknot.com, the cost of the average American wedding is currently hovering around $27,800. That’s almost twenty eight thousand dollars, people! You could buy a really nice BMW or other such fancy car for that kind of cash, people! Yet, rather than finding ways to save money on their wedding, couples all across the country allow their wedding spending to snowball out of control into a pile of debt this large, or larger!
We at FinancialRx are not advocating for you to scrimp to the point of having a bland wedding with four guests and a pot of beans and franks served in paper bowls. (Or is it franks and beans? I can never remember. Anyway.) What we’re talking about is to actively save money by being creative and applying little style to every decision you make about your wedding.
To do this, you must put some thought into who you are as a couple and what you want your wedding to be about. Think in terms of theme, tone, look and feel of the day and/or night. What do you want it to feel like for your guests to be there? What colors? What smells? What feelings to you want to evoke for your guests, your spouse-to-be, you? Then decide what you really need to accomplish this, and—just as importantly—what you don’t need. For example, do you really need match books and little napkins with your names on them? But I digress, so let me get back off my soap box…
Ok, now, once you come up with the look, feel and tone of your wedding, you will have a better idea of your overall color scheme and a sense of the flavors of your food and drinks. This is where our idea comes in: how to save money with a signature wedding drink.
First let’s do the math on how much money you can save with a signature drink versus an open bar. According to a site called Costhelper.com, serving an open bar will typically cost an average of $52.50 per guest (taken from their range of $15 - $90). So if you have 170 guests, an open bar would cost you roughly $8,925. Now, if you limited your bar selection to non-alcoholic drinks and one “signature drink” that fit into the overall feel of your wedding, you might reasonably expect to reduce the cost of the bar to about $30 per guest. This is because you no longer must stock every type of alcohol, just the one or two types necessary to make your signature drink, plus the non-alcoholic drinks like sodas and waters. Now your total bar tab looks more like $5,100. Still expensive, but not quite as crazy.
Plus the look and feel of your wedding is supported by festive and fun drinks that reflect your special day. You can even dial up the fun factor by giving your signature drink a wedding-themed name. My husband and I were married in a villa in Mexico called Casa Cosmos, so we took the easy way out and named our signature wedding drink the Casa Cosmopolitan. I know, duh, right? But they were really, really good.
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