With wedding expenses like venue rentals, photographer fees and catering costs soaring, some couples are wondering if they’ll have to honeymoon on their five-year anniversary. The average cost of a wedding in the United States is now more than $35,000, according to a recent survey at The Knot. That price tag doesn’t even include the all-important bride-and-groom getaway. Of course, you can still get hitched elegantly for much less if you prioritize and if you eliminate hidden costs, and you can find unique, creative ways to have your honeymoon on a budget. Here’s how:
Tip: Book short-term rentals
Short-term rentals often cost less than luxury hotels, especially for longer stays. (Check out our guide.) Since they’re sometimes tucked into neighborhoods rather than touristy enclaves, you’ll get to check out the romantic bars and cafes you might otherwise miss.
Tip: Visit the market
Why rush out for breakfast when you can stay in over coffee, pastries and fresh fruit? Stroll hand in hand through the nearest outdoor market to gather ingredients. You’ll save money by preparing a few meals together in your cozy vacation pad.
Tip: Go local
You don’t have to go far to get away. The important thing is you’re together, right? Having your honeymoon nearby allows for a more affordable honeymoon destination. Look for a cabin in the mountains, a bungalow on the beach, a cottage on the lake or a similar hideaway, where you can have a staycation without spending money on airfare and lavish meals.
Tip: Go rustic
Thrill-seeking couples might find glamping in the great outdoors most romantic for celebrating their nuptials. Throw in some rock climbing, white-water rafting or hiking that will leave money in the bank for plenty of future fun.
Tip: Cancel a holiday
Likely you have obligatory travel built into your year. Save for your honeymoon by skipping Thanksgiving or Christmas. That might sound Grinch-y, but if you can opt out of the over-the-top gift giving and spending that often ensue, you’ll be surprised at the results.
Tip: Go in the shoulder or offseason
Once you pick your destination, research its peak season, shoulder season and offseason to see when you can get the best deal on airfare and a place in which to canoodle. The offseason might come with unpredictable weather, but a little rain pattering the roof can be just as romantic as a sunny boardwalk.
Tip: Skip the rental car
Ridesharing apps, free shuttles, taxis, public transportation and your own two feet will get you around just fine — depending on your destination.
Tip: Play a game to save
When you get engaged, you can simply set up a savings account with automatic transfers from checking every month, or you can make setting cash aside fun. Charge each other a small amount of honeymoon money (all going into the jar) for chore trades, dinners, etc.
Tip: Use points or miles
If you and your beloved are responsible with credit cards, consider charging some of the wedding expenses so you can get points that can be used for booking hotel rooms or flights.
Tip: Register for it
Some couples are registering for their honeymoons on sites like Honeyfund rather than registering for household items like fancy dinnerware or kitchen gadgets they already have or won’t use.
Finding ways to save now will prepare you for a happily ever after that’s financially sound. Talk to your Farm Bureau agent for all your insurance and investment needs once you’re coupled up.