The following post is by staff writer Melissa Batai
The average wedding in 2012 cost a whopping $28,427 according to the wedding website, The Knot. Nearly 20,000 brides were surveyed to reach that number, and keep in mind it doesn’t include the honeymoon!
On average, the brides spent $1,211 on their wedding dresses and $560 on cake. The engagement ring averaged $5,431.
As someone who got married a little over a decade ago and paid $5,500 for a wedding and reception for 175 guests, all I can say is WOW, that’s a lot of cash!
In many areas of the country nearly $30,000 would be a 10 to 20% down payment on a house!
If you have the cash to run through, it makes no difference to me if you pay that much for your wedding. The problem is that many couples are still saddled with student loan and credit card debt and can’t afford such a grand affair. Some even need to resort to draining their bank accounts and taking out loans to pay for their big day.
However, many retailers are jumping on board to offer frugal alternatives to some of the items that make weddings so expensive.
Would You Buy a Wedding Dress at Target?
If a bride has watched Say Yes to the Dress for years, my guess is that she would want to spend big bucks for her dream dress. But for others who think it’s a bit silly to spend thousands of dollars on a dress that will be worn for one day, there’s now another alternative.
Buy a wedding dress at Target.
That’s right. Target just launched a line of wedding dresses that range from casual dress that are knee length or tea length as well as longer, more formal dresses such as their rouched dress. The rouched dress is the most expensive item at $129.99, while some of the shorter length dresses are $69.99.
Target also offers bridesmaids’ dresses ranging from $17.99 to $49.99.
I got my dress at a bridal store for $130; after alterations, it was less than $200. Still, I only wore it for one day, and it’s been in the dry cleaning box since then. If a bride doesn’t have the money for a big wedding, cutting back on the expense of the wedding dress would make sense because it’s a dress that is usually only worn for a few hours.
Would You Buy Your Wedding Cake at the Grocery Store?
Let’s face it, often wedding cakes cost a lot of money, but their taste leaves a bit to be desired.
If a bride doesn’t want to spend a grand or more on a fancy (though often tasteless) wedding cake, buying one at the grocery store may be an alternative. Good Morning America states that “wedding cakes are a $74 billion industry. Now, supermarkets are actually hiring people who are inclined to decorating cakes.” One couple GMA interviewed bought their wedding cake from the grocery store Farm Fresh for $316.
Our cake was made for free; it was a gift from my aunt, an amateur cake decorator, and it tasted great. If I hadn’t had that option, I would have definitely bought the wedding cake at a grocery store.
My Questions for You
Would you buy a wedding dress at Target or a wedding cake at the local grocery store to cut costs?
What cost cutting measures did you take to keep your wedding expenses under control or did you just decide it was your big day and you were going to have it just the way you wanted it?