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How Milwaukee couples are cutting down wedding costs

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) –The cost of paying for a wedding is at an all-time high. Some couples are taking out loans and even going into debt to pay for their weddings.

For couples ready to tie the knot, paying for their wedding isn’t an easy task, which is why many people are getting creative. A local couple, Erin Treichel and Brian Eliszewski, have been together for eight years. The high school sweethearts met in the third grade and started dating in high school. Now as adults, they got engaged last fall, but quickly learned to pay for their wedding was not within their budget.

“We've seen a lot of our friends and family go through this so far, and the costs are unbelievable,” Treichel said.

The couple entered a contest on social media to win a $25,000 wedding at the Brookfield Conference Center that’s opening in 2020. The lucky couple won and are saving themselves thousands.

“We were just scrolling through the feed and all of a sudden came across the article and ended up being a great dream wedding that we ended up winning,” Eliszewski said.

WeddingWire found the average cost of a wedding is $38,700. Lenders say the amount of wedding loans issued in the last year has doubled, leaving some couples in debt.

“Going into debt to start your married life can be a really painful trade-off in the long run,” Financial Expert Stefanie O'Connell said.  

Some couples are cutting costs by having an intimate guest list, serving brunch instead of dinner and choosing an inexpensive venue.

Milwaukee County Parks offers its space for wedding venues, and for some parks, the cost is about $500.  You can see the locations for yourself here.

“I think it also allows couples to have a really unique venue as well," said Ian Everett with Milwaukee County Parks. “It creates great spots for photos, and yeah, it's a really affordable option when all you need is the special events permit.”

Experts say the best piece of advice for the happy couples is to plan ahead and stick to your budget.

“I feel like just being able to put money aside for other things that we're planning for the future,” Treichel said.

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