That number is VERY daunting! However, as a math teacher, I have to mention that averages include both the highest (that means outrageously high like Kardashean high) and absolutely low budgets (elopements). The total for those weddings are then evenly divided by all the examples included. When there are such variations, it’s usually better to use a median (the middle number) because the outliers (very high numbers, very low numbers), don’t effect the outcome as much. Ok…now I’m done being a nerd.
It’s absolutely possible to spend way less than 26K. Just think outside of the box.
1)You can get a used dress. (check the bee and see how many women sell their dresses). I’ve even had someone I know get a beautiful gown at the Goodwill!
2)The biggest expense of a wedding is the food. Technically, you don’t have to have alcohol. You could also do appetizers. The time of day you have a wedding typically dictates what guests are expecting in terms of food.
3)You could do diy projects.
4)Venues,caterers, photographers,etc are often cheaper during the week than the weekend.
5)Use vendors who aren’t specifically for weddings. Once wedding is in the name, prices go skyhigh. For example, restaurants cater and might get you a better deal on food than wedding caterers.
6)Do you really need the Boutin shoes or could you find knock-offs?
7) Research. There are sites that show how to keep a wedding budget below 20K, 15K, 10K, etc. (http://voices.yahoo.com/wedding-planning-budget-wedding-cost-under-69588.html)
8)Friends, friends friends….one of my hubby’s friends worked for a florist so she gifted our flowers. Our pastors wife does cakes on the side…so she offered to make our cake. My hubby’s uncle videos weddings on the side so he made our video as a gift.
I understand school tuition though. If you can pay that 1st and do a cheaper wedding. Do that. It would be better to be finacially secure post-wedding than to go in debt for 1 day. (They say the 1st fight a married couple has is over money. Something to think on)