The average couple in the Chicago area spends $32,000 on the big day, according to the Wedding Report, which collects data on nuptials. That puts local couples in the top 7 percent nationally. But let’s face it, says stylist Marek Hartwig: A truly classic wedding could run you $50,000 or more, easy.
No one’s going to expect a poofy dress or staid ceremony. And by this point, you’ve got the chic party thing nailed—so kick back and have fun.
To keep costs down significantly, you’ll have to be more inventive than simply holding your nuptials on a Friday instead of a Saturday. Luckily, inspiring blogs, Pinterest boards, and Instagram feeds abound. There’s even a renegade bridal expo, Indie Wed (February 6, Ravenswood Event Center, indiewed.com), for quirky handmade wedding swag.
Hire a wedding planner to handle every last detail: making sure vendors are paid, keeping on schedule, spotting problems before they come up, and troubleshooting when they do. She’ll also choose and oversee a dresser, a photographer, and other pros. Find a good one by asking trusted friends, and expect to spend at least $10,000.