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.
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.
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.