Wedding Budget Breakers and How to Deal With Them

wedding budget tips columbus ohio

The average wedding in the U.S. costs $33,391 (and that doesn’t include the honeymoon).

If that number has you in shock, take heart. Vue’s wedding team has facilitated weddings of all budgets, and we are sharing our top tips for staying on track!

Budget Breakers

No matter your budget, there are costs that regularly take couples by surprise.

  • Booze: We see bar costs starting at $6,000 at most traditional venues (that don’t offer BYOB)
  • Live Band: On average $4,000 for your reception jams
  • Flowers/Décor: Typically run about $2,400
  • Photography: On average $2,600 (we’ve seen even higher average costs in Columbus!)

These bigger-ticket items combined with all of the details – from the wedding dress to favors to cake and invitations – can add up quickly.  

But these average costs shouldn’t keep you from planning the wedding of your dreams.  Prioritize the most important elements to you and focus on cutting costs on the other details.

Stretching Your Budget

Streamline Décor

You can still make your Pinterest-wedding dreams come true without spending thousands on your flowers and décor.

  • Look for a venue that fits your wedding vibe so you won’t need to add too many decorations.
  • Repurpose ceremony décor for your reception.  Flowers in the aisle or at the altar can be moved to table centerpieces, and bridesmaids’ bouquets can be reused to decorate the head table.
  • Consider using faux flowers for less-focal areas like the bridesmaid bouquets.
  • Vue’s couples also gain exclusive access to a Facebook page for rentals and resale of wedding decor and other goods.  Current and former Vue brides and grooms connect on this page to save on decorations or recoup some costs by selling or renting their items!
Modern Wedding Venue

Simple elegance at Vue Columbus. Photo: Aimee Thomas Photography

Simplify Your Bar

Alcohol costs can add up quickly, so focusing on savings at the bar can keep your budget in check.

  • Look for a wedding venue that allows you to bring your own booze (BYOB).  Providing your own alcohol allows you to customize your bar and save big on reception costs.
  • Trim down your bar menu to reduce expenses.  You can choose just a couple beer and wine options, or limit liquor to specialty cocktails so you can buy in bulk.

Adjust Some Plans

Chalkboard signs are better for your budget and the environment! Photo: Emma Parker Photography

Chalkboard signs are better for your budget and the environment! Photo: Emma Parker Photography

You may find that tweaks to your plans will help you throw the wedding you envision within your budget.

  • Shrinking your guest list is the fastest way to reduce your budget.  While this can seem like a difficult task, you might find that removing plus ones, children and those you are no longer close with will provide cost savings.
  • Hosting your wedding on a Friday or Sunday can allow you to save money on venue and vendor costs without compromising on details!
  • A brunch or lunchtime wedding is also a great way to cut costs, both at your venue and for refreshments.

Other budget-stretching suggestions from our event team include:

  • Choosing a DJ instead of a live band;
  • Opting for chalkboard signs instead of printed programs and menus;
  • And skipping individual favors in lieu of a candy bar with take home bags.

We do recommend being careful with where you cut costs.  Having guests pull double duty as DJ, photographer or wedding coordinator often leads to stress.  Stick with vendors who can stay focused on their jobs exclusively, or hire people you know who won’t also be attending guests.

Talk to our wedding team today about how Vue can help you stretch your budget!

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