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Budgeting for the Wedding: 30 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

We get it: Weddings are expensive. But you can cut costs without anyone missing, well, what's missing.

Photo: Corbis Photography/Veer

Reception

1. Cut the guest list. This will slash your catering costs and save on invitations and even the number of centerpieces.

2. Think off-peak season and save thousands!

3. Hold your ceremony and reception in one spot -- it will cut travel time for vendors you pay by the hour.

4. Skip the Saturday wedding.

5. Have bigger tables so you need fewer centerpieces and tablecloths.

6. Shop the off-season for extra decor -- get modern black vases on sale after Halloween and pretty pink ones after Valentine's Day.


Flowers

7. Use more greenery than flowers.

8. Swap out costly flowers -- did you know peonies can be five times more expensive than roses?

9. Stick to just one or two kinds of flowers.

10. Buy flowers that are in season.

11. Include non-florals, like lanterns.

Food & Drink

12. Serve entree duets.

13. Skip the main course -- apps and drinks are fine too.

14. Offer beer, wine, and a signature cocktail instead of a full bar.

15. Serve comfort foods like barbecue chicken, mac and cheese, and corn. It's fun and often cheaper.

16. Skip the champagne toast.

Cakes

17. Order a small one or two-tiered cake and then supplement cake with a larger sheet cake (hidden back in the kitchen).

18. Keep the add-ons simple.

19. Use fresh flowers, not sugar ones.

20. Reuse ceremony flowers for the cake table.

21. Skip exotic fillings like guava and mango.


Stationery & Favors

22. Get single-page invites to save on postage.

23. Give out one favor per couple.

24. Make your cake the favors.

25. Have favors double as escort cards.

26. Email your save-the-dates.

27. Make your own menu cards, escort cards, and wedding favor packaging.


Photo, Video & Music

28. Have a photographer you love but can't afford the prices? Ask them if they have an associate shooter who will do your wedding for less.

29. Opt for a smaller band.

30. Hire a band or DJ who can do both the ceremony and the reception.

-- Meredith Bodgas

See More: Budget Wedding Ideas