Q. What are some ways to trim the budget without sacrificing the things I want?
A. There are so many ways to cut costs without affecting your overall vision for your wedding. Of course, the fastest way to slash prices is to cut your guest list. This will reduce your catering costs, invitations and even the number of centerpieces and amount of decor you'll need. You can also save a big chunk of change by booking an off-peak season wedding date or by having your wedding on any day of the week but Saturday. Some other sneaky ways to save? Hold your ceremony and reception in one spot -- it will cut travel time for vendors you pay by the hour, along with transportation costs. Choose flowers that are in-season and swap out costly flowers, like peonies, for look-alikes, like garden roses. Offer beer, wine and a signature cocktail instead of a full bar. Serve comfort foods like barbecued chicken, mac and cheese, and corn -- it's trendy and often cheaper. Order a small or two-tiered cake for the cutting and then supplement it with a larger sheet cake (hidden back in the kitchen). And wherever possible, reuse ceremony decor at your reception.
Photo: Jen Huang Photography