According to the Real Weddings Study conducted by The Knot, America’s leading wedding resource and marketplace, the average amount spent on weddings in 2017 was $33,391. THAT IS THE PRICE OF A BRAND NEW CAR OR A DOWNPAYMENT ON A HOME!!!! Phew, I know the all caps is a little shocking but I just had to get that out. Rant over.
Roughly 30-35% of that $33,391 is spent on the rehearsal dinner, catering, and the wedding cake. That is $10,000-$12,000 just for food and beverages! It is no wonder that many engaged partners are opting for a DIY wedding to make their big day more affordable.
Have these statistics convinced you to DIY or made you run to the court house for a civil ceremony? For those still with us we assume you are looking for ways to cut costs. Or maybe, you watched a YouTube video on calligraphy and now you can DIY your invitations and then watched a TLC special on crafting your own centerpieces. But how do you DIY your food and beverages? I am so glad you asked.
- Beverages are one easy way to cut costs on your big day
- Have several self-serve stations instead of a bartender
(Bartenders require their own base, set-up, and gratuity fee)
- Pre-make your nonalcoholic beverages and cocktails then serve in beverage dispensers
- When choosing your beverages, use ingredients that are only in-season and weather appropriate
(For example, blueberry lemonade for summer and peppermint hot chocolate for winter)
- Make your own coffee
(Most catering companies charge a fee to pour coffee)
- Buy bottles of wine and liquor from a wholesaler that will let you return unopened bottles
- There is no reason to feel like you’re missing out on the craft beer, fancy wine, or delicious cider – make it yourself
(I suggest Wild Winemaking by Richard W. Bender)
- Please, do not forget the water
- No matter what your vision or theme is for your wedding, you can find drinkware at a thrift store
(Be sure to wash it first for the safety of you and your guests!)
- Limit it to beer and wine
(Pick one type of red and one type of white)
- If you feel really strongly about adding liquor to the beverage menu consult The One-Bottle Cocktail
- Limit it to your “signature drinks”
(These can be premade cocktails special for the happy couples tastebuds)
- Skip it
(Most catering companies will charge you an uncorking and pouring fee even if they allow you buy your own champagne)
- Open bar or cash bar or no bar!?!
(My vote is always open bar)
- Plant your own beverage ingredients
(Consult Amy Stewart’s New York Times Bestseller, The Drunken Botanist)
- Make your own wine, beer, or cider – it adds a personal touch and saves money
- Planning and executing your DIY dream wedding is not an easy task
- Saving money on your wedding is hard work for you and your significant other, but you can invest your money into something worthwhile later – like a honeymoon, a car payment or a buying a new home
- This post is a culmination of research and personal experience that I hope helps you plan for your wedding day
- However, you and your fiancé will make thousands of tiny decisions that will make your wedding unique, which is exactly what it should be
- Those decisions should be made with only you and your significant other in mind – do not let anyone else influence your choices or your day, including me
- AKA: you do you.
Future blog posts to check out: DIY Wedding: Dessert Edition, DIY Wedding Cake Edition, DIY Wedding: Food Edition, and DIY Wedding: Sewing.