Do you know what the average cost of a wedding is in 2018? Depending on where you get your numbers, it’s somewhere in the $25,000 to $35,000 range – which is insane! And if you’re like most people, you can’t come anywhere close to affording this.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend an outrageous sum of money to throw an enjoyable wedding that you, your spouse-to-be, and your friends and family enjoy. You do, however, have to be strategic with how you spend your money if you want to slash expenses without looking cheap.

4 Practical Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

Most couples getting married for the first time are young – typically somewhere in the range of 25- to 30-years-old. This also means most married couples are still in the beginning stages of their careers and haven’t come close to reaching their peak income earning potential. To put it a little more bluntly, a lot of engaged couples are broke.

The last thing you want to do when you’re broke is to spend tens of thousands of dollars hosting a party. And even if you have the money, who wants to blow through it all and pare their savings down to nothing?

The start of your marriage is supposed to be a time of bliss, excitement, and discovery. If you’re starting it off with zero savings and lots of debt, a huge chunk of this ecstasy quickly dissipates and is replaced with regret, anxiety, and tension. (These aren’t words you want defining your first year of marriage.)

Thankfully, you have options. This isn’t a debate about whether to throw an elaborate wedding with all of the bells and whistles, or get married at the courthouse and invite everyone to go bowling afterward. There’s middle ground. You can host the wedding of your dreams without spending a ton – and – without looking like a cheapskate to all of your friends and family.

  1. Keep Your Guest List Tight

While it’s tempting to invite every single person you know – including old college roommates, childhood friends, coworkers, cousins, and people who have invited you to their weddings in the past – stop feeling the pressure to include everyone. Keep it reasonable, and everything else will be less expensive.

  1. Find Venue Packages

The biggest expense is typically going to be the venue. Finding ways to save here becomes paramount to hosting a cost-friendly wedding.

One piece of advice is to look for venues that offer packages. For example, Adams Pointe Conference Center in Blue Springs, Missouri offers packages that include the venue, accommodations, stemware and flatware, centerpieces, trained staff, and everything else you need to pull off your big day. If you can find a venue that offers deals like these, you’ll generally save a lot of money (and stressful planning).

  1. Save on Flowers

In case you don’t already know, wedding flowers can be quite expensive. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend $10,000 on flowers to have a tasteful wedding. The key is to repurpose where possible.

As wedding florist Kristen Tebbetts suggests, “Can you take the flowers off your arbor and turn them into a centerpiece for your head table? Can you put your bridesmaid bouquets in vases on a cocktail table after the ceremony (what are they really going to do with them, anyway)? Can your aisle flowers be reused as centerpieces?”

  1. Stock the Bar Yourself

If you’re hosting a wedding reception with alcohol, ask for permission from the venue to stock the bar yourself. Many require you to use their alcohol or buy from one of their vendors, but some have friendlier policies. Purchasing alcohol from a warehouse store like Costco can save you big bucks.

Don’t Overspend on Your Wedding

It’s okay to splurge on certain parts of your wedding. This is a huge day in your life and will be something you look back on with fond memories in the years to come. Having said that, don’t overspend because you think people are expecting something extravagant.

As this article shows, there are plenty of ways to plan a budget-friendly wedding without looking cheap. Try implementing some of the suggestions from this article and see just how much you can save!