The Costco Connection
Wedding and engagement rings, food, beverages
and other reception supplies, including cakes and
desserts, flower arrangements and invitations
and announcements, are available at Costco
warehouses. Many items are also available on
Costco.com. Members can book wedding and
honeymoon travel through Costco Travel.
WHEN COSTCO members
Rick Albrecht, 62, and Jackie
Dishner, 51, of Phoenix got
married in October 2014, they
knew that food and location
would be the biggest budget
busters, so they found a
creative way to handle both.
Though they wanted an
outdoor wedding ceremony and
reception, they found botanical
gardens too pricey—thousands
of dollars for the day. Instead,
they booked a county park for
As for feeding the 100 or
so guests, caterers were quoting as much as $5,000 for food,
tables, linens and more. Instead,
the couple hired a food truck
they knew through the Phoenix
Street Food Coalition that
offered three main-course
options of Southwest fare for
just $10 per person, which
included plates and flatware.
For just a fraction of the
caterer’s quotes, they rented
tables and linens themselves
and had family and friends help
with setup. A keg from a local
brewery rounded out the menu
for this casual affair.—LI
Profile of a Costco
© TOP: FOTO INFO T; RIGH T: ALENA KAZLOUSKAYA / SHU TTERS TOCK
By Leah Ingram
THESE DAYS THE average American wedding
costs a little over $31,000, says The Knot Real
Weddings Study. Getting married in a big city?
Expect to pay even more—that same survey said getting married in Manhattan costs $76,000. With more
than half of all couples contributing to the wedding,
if not paying for the whole a;air themselves, ;nding
ways to save is imperative.
If you’re newly engaged, you’ll likely hear a lot of
cost-cutting advice, including spinning your own
tunes using your smartphone for free reception
music or hiring a college shutterbug to cover your
wedding on the cheap. But if amazing music and
memorable pictures are a priority, you should probably look to save in other ways. Here are a few.
When searching locations, choose one
venue for both your wedding and reception.
Send electronic wedding invitations instead
of paper ones.
Find tasteful and delicious ways to cut costs
on your wedding cake. For instance, you can take a
slice out of the typical cost of a wedding cake ($555)
by having a pretty, yet smaller and less pricey, traditional cake made for the cake cutting, then serving
your guests from a tasty and inexpensive sheet cake.
Save even more by sending guests home with a slice
of cake as their favor.
Do what Costco member Shayna ;ompson
of Lake Arrowhead, California, did with her
September 2015 wedding. “I had a vintage carnival-
themed wedding. We wanted a variety of glass soda
bottles so there would be something for everyone to
drink,” says ;ompson, who served her 200 guests
glass bottles of classic sodas. By supplying her own
drinks, extras of which doubled as take-home
favors, she avoided hiring a bartender and saved
$1,200 on her wedding tab.
You don’t have to say yes to an expensive
wedding gown. You can buy one o; the rack (versus
having it custom-made) at a bridal salon. Another
way to is to buy a di;erent kind of special-occasion
dress, such as a bridesmaid dress.
“One of our best-kept secrets is bridesmaid
dresses,” says Pam Anderson of Azazie ( azazie.com),
an online retailer of special-occasion dresses.
“Bridesmaid dresses also come in white and tend
to be less expensive than bridal gowns.”
You could also rent your dress. Companies
like Rent the Runway ( renttherunway.com) have
fashion-forward ivory gowns for less than $200.
Renting also saves you the expense of cleaning and
storing your gown a;erwards.
Time of day, day of the week and time of
year all a;ect how much your wedding will cost.
Peak months for weddings are June, August,
September and October. Conversely, getting married
in an “o;-season” month could save you big bucks.
Costco member Emily Sullivan, owner of Get
Polished Events ( getpolishedevents.com) in New
Orleans, says, “More o;en than not, wedding venues
and vendors are willing to negotiate prices and discounts for non-peak times.”
At the Clifton Inn, a historic property in
Charlottesville, Virginia, for example, a weekend
wedding for 60 guests in October, with appetizers,
dinner, full bar, cake, linens, tables, chairs, gratuity
and hotel rooms for all of the guests, would cost a
little more than $36,000. ;e price for that same
wedding on a February weeknight: just over $18,000.
Saving 50 percent on the cost of your wedding?
Who wouldn’t say “I do” to that? C
Wedding book author and Costco member Leah
Ingram writes about money-saving topics.
TOP 10 WEDDING COSTS
ACCORDING TO The Knot
Real Wedding Study, the top
10 expenses for the average
wedding (excluding the en-
gagement ring, which comes
in at just under $6,000) are:
♦ Reception venue (including
food and drink): $14,006
♦ Reception band: $3,587
♦ Photographer: $2,556
♦ Florist: $2,141
♦ Wedding planner: $1,973
♦ Ceremony site: $1,901
♦ Videographer: $1,794
♦ Wedding dress: $1,357
♦ Rehearsal dinner: $1,206
♦ Reception DJ: $1,124
Say “I do”
Tying the knot
on a budget