10 Ways to Save Money on a Wedding With Costco, Sam's, or BJ's
A walk down the aisle is more expensive than ever for U.S. couples. According to The Knot's latest Real Weddings Study, brides and grooms spent an average $35,329 on their special days in 2016. But there are always ways for a thrifty, creative couple to save money, including -- although it may not seem glamorous -- shopping at the same place they get bulk paper towels and hulking jars of mayo. Here are 10 ways Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale Club can help save on a wedding compared with the cost of doing business as usual, according to figures from The Knot and other sources.
The national average cost for a wedding cake is $582, and that assumes buying outside an expensive metro area such as New York or San Francisco, where high-end cakes can cost $15 a slice or more. Even simpler cakes in less expensive areas can command about $2.50 a serving.
Costco and Sam's Club offer digitally printed wedding invitations for thrifty brides and grooms. Costco prices start at 69 cents for each coordinated save-the-date card, RSVP card, enclosure, announcement, shower invitation, wedding program, and thank-you card. Sam's offers packs of coordinating thank-you cards, RSVP cards, wedding programs, and invitation enclosures at 68 cents each. BJ's offerings, limited to save-the-dates, wedding announcements, and shower invitations, are the priciest at a minimum 76 cents each.
An engagement ring is one of the first expenses on the path to matrimony, and one of the priciest. Of course, tastes vary -- some brides are content with faux diamonds, smaller diamonds, or diamond alternatives -- but the average ring cost $6,163 in 2016. And don't forget wedding bands: In 2015, a bride's wedding band averaged $1,417; a groom's averaged $558.
One of the biggest costs of a wedding is feeding the guests, even with a less-expensive buffet-style meal. Wedding catering cost an average of $71 a person in 2016. Skipping dinner in favor of an hors d'oeuvres-only reception can still cost more than $30 a person.