According to Wedding Stats, the average cost of a U.S. wedding in 2023 is between $29K-$31K (honeymoon not included). This number of course varies by location, season and style but the number accurately portrays what most weddings I have covered in recent times cost.

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Now not everyone has $30k to spend on their wedding and would like to shave off some of that budget. If that is you, then you have come to the right place for tips on how to accomplish this.

1. Identify Your Must Haves: So obviously you NEED a wedding photographer but can you do without videography? If yes, then that is one cost down. And maybe instead of the photographer covering all 8 hours of the wedding, maybe you identify the most important parts of the wedding and work with your photographer to have them cover just a few hours. The same reasoning applies for wedding venues, catering etc. Maybe alcohol is not as important as having everyone hydrated so you stock up on water and soft drinks versus wine. Or maybe instead of an elaborate buffet, you have just finger foods. Identify what is most important to you and build your budget around that.

2. Book your wedding vendors early: I always advise that couples book as early as possible. Why Because last minute bookings tend to cost more and desperation is always more expensive for couples so start as early as possible to hire your wedding photographer.

3. Size: The size of your wedding will be a huge determinant of how much you spend. For photography for instance, a wedding with 100 guests wilL cost more to cover than one with 30 guests. The first will most likely  requires a second photographer or shooter while the second can be easily and efficiently covered by one photographer. Same thing applies to catering, venue etc.

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4. Season: Summer is well accepted as wedding season across the world therefore weddings are more expensive during this season. If you are willing to be flexible on the season of the year you hold your wedding, you are likely to get some discounted opportunities.

5. Day of the week:  The day of the week you get married also plays a lot into the cost. A saturday wedding is going to cost more than a weekday wedding. I got married on a Thursday and this shaved off thousands off my wedding budget. We didn’t even plan it. The wedding venue we chose only had availability on a Thursday for the week we wanted to get hitched and we were flexible and that saved us so much. I have covered multiple weekday weddings and they have been as much fun for guests as the couple.

6. Wedding Style: Your wedding style will also determine your wedding budget. If you are looking for an intimate no-frills wedding, then you can definitely shave off some thousands of the typical wedding budget. A courthouse ceremony for instance is easy and might cost you nothing more than the license and the price of a photographer for an hour or so.

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Your wedding is the most beautiful day of your life and while costs and savings are important, the most important thing is being surrounded with love. As a wedding photographer, I promise you this is what shines through the most in the images I capture of my couples. More than any elaborate wedding decor or flowers or venues…your love and happiness is what matters the most.

Newly engaged and in the Charlotte area? Need a photographer that is willing to work with your style and budget to get you the wedding photos of your dreams? Send me an email by using the contact us link and let’s get to planning the happiest day of your life.

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