For committed partners across the country, the thrill that accompanies an accepted proposal quickly turns into a frenzy — a joyous frenzy, but still a frenzy — of planning. Weddings and the receptions that follow are wonderful occasions and lots of fun. What’s less fun about getting married? Paying for the big day itself.
One of the ways in which newly engaged couples economize on weddings is by timing the reception carefully. A Floridian’s dream wedding, for example, probably looks a bit different than a Vermonter’s, if only in terms of timing. That means money-savvy couples can find (relative) bargains if they’re willing to be flexible about dates and times.
How to Choose the Cheapest Time to Get Married
If you’re getting married, congratulations! Planning carefully can set the stage for a lifetime of smart financial decisions. However, just because you want to save money on your wedding doesn’t mean you can’t throw a great party.
Give careful thought to what you want your day to be like and how much you’re willing to sacrifice to get there. If you have a specific place of worship or reception hall in mind and you want to save money, you’re best off choosing times when both are in low demand. Empty calendars can translate to bigger savings on venue fees, which can take up a big chunk of your budget.
Another way to save, especially if you want to get married during peak season in your area, is to hold your ceremony and reception during off-hours. For example, a Saturday morning ceremony followed by a brunch will typically set you back less than an event held on a Saturday night.
If brunch doesn’t work and you’d prefer an evening event, consider a midweek celebration if most of your guests are local. Some venues even have discounts for Sunday weddings, as well. When travel isn’t a consideration, you may find that people are more excited to attend!
The Three Cheapest Months to Get Married
If you’re not set on having your wedding during a specific time of year, you may have the opportunity for even more savings, as some months are typically cheaper than others to host a wedding reception. Here’s what to know about the cheapest months to get married and how to navigate the challenges that might accompany your timing:
- January: If you’re used to the cold and not afraid of snow, rain, or ice — and the travel headaches that often accompany winter weather — put January at the top of your list. Many venues have availability because of the cold, but also because the hubbub of the holidays has passed. You may also find that flight prices to cold destinations cost less, which can help your out-of-town bridesmaids and groomsmen. Keep in mind, however, that destination weddings in places like the Caribbean won’t be bargain-priced during this time of year. A rule of thumb: If weather conditions are typically rough, it probably means better availability and a cheaper price.
- November: November is an unpopular wedding month and therefore typically more affordable for a variety of reasons. First, the weather in many parts of the country has started to take a colder, wetter turn. Peak foliage has passed, and people are becoming distracted by the upcoming holidays. But it’s also near the end of hurricane season and the snow hasn’t started yet in most places, which means you may find favorable rates and easier travel.
- March: Here, again, changeable weather can be your savings friend. From Pennsylvania to Colorado to Georgia and beyond, anything can happen in March. It might be rainy, snowy, icy, stormy, or hot. If you can be ready for any forecast, then March may be a sensible option for you.
How to Prepare for a Bad-weather Wedding
The savings you’ll receive from planning an off-season wedding can be considerable, but you should expect some tradeoffs. Canceled flights, closed roads, and stranded guests are a few of the challenges you should consider before booking a wedding in a bad-weather location.
Ways you can prepare include:
- Talking to your venues in advance. Ask your venue to recommend a weather contingency plan and how they typically handle plowing parking lots and clearing sidewalks during inclement weather. If the worst happens, you may not be happy, but you will probably worry less.
- Holding the ceremony and reception in the same location. If weather is a challenge, your guests will appreciate not having to travel twice as much.
- Considering hiring transportation for out-of-town guests. If you’ve blocked rooms at a local hotel, consider booking a shuttle to the ceremony. This may put any guests not used to driving in winter weather more at ease – just make sure you know, and are comfortable with, the transportation agency’s policy and safety plans for bad weather.
- Knowing the indoor climate. Visit your venue in the month you want to marry and assess its comfort. Is it cold, drafty, or unbearably hot? Amenities such as blankets or fans can make an incredible difference.
Plan to Pay for the Big Day
No matter when you plan to marry, your wedding and reception can be a big expense. We can help you plan for the future and pay for your big day with an affordable personal loan.
For more information about personal loans, learn about your options at PSECU.