When it comes to saving money on your wedding, there are plenty of ways to cut costs without compromising your sense of style.
Make your own invitations. Office supply stores have wedding invitation paper that will shoot through your computer’s printer and look fabulous for a fraction of the cost of engraved invites.
Buy simple dinner napkins in bulk at a wholesale club or party store. No one will care if the
napkins aren’t stamped with your names, the date and swirly hearts.
Pass on the trend of setting disposable cameras on each table at the reception. The cameras aren’t cheap and the development costs multiply quickly. A better bet is to ask your photographer to get candid shots of each table.
Instead of buying new ones and having them engraved, borrow toasting glasses and knives for your cake cutting ceremony from your parents or another relative. Plus it will add a touch of sentimentality to the day knowing you’re using the same set as Mum and Dad.
If a poufy wedding dress just isn’t your style, browse through the selection of bridesmaid gowns. Find a flattering style, order it in white or ivory, and you’ve just slashed several hundred pounds from the bill.
Get more duty out of your flowers. Order floral arrangements for the tables at the rehearsal dinner, and then place them on the tables at your reception site. After the ceremony, set the bridesmaids’ flowers along the front of the head table at the reception.
Instead of having a limo at your beck and call, skip it altogether. Or order the limo for the
minimum time allowed, which is usually two hours. With a little planning, you’ll have the limo and driver long enough to deliver the bride to the church, and get great photos as you leave the church and arrive at the reception.
Take things down a notch. Choose smaller and unique bouquets rather than elaborate ones. Bridesmaids might carry a few striking stems rather than a bouquet. The impact can be stunning.
One way to stay within your budget is to shut the bar down when dinner starts. Or eliminate the bar and have just enough champagne for everyone to toast when it’s time to cut the cake.
Many couples are choosing to forego alcohol altogether, for religious reasons, to keep costs down, or because they prefer to avoid any liability issues of guests drinking too much at the reception.
Another alternative, albeit a controversial one, is to open a cash bar, although many feel strongly about this option. Why would you invite friends and loved ones to an elegant wedding reception and then ask your guests to pay for their own drinks? You’re throwing a party. Either throw it or don’t.
A gorgeous wedding cake can make a great focal point. But large cakes are expensive, and you may not have enough guests to eat it all. Why not rent an artificial cake? Some bakeries offer elaborate faux cakes. Just imagine the feast for the eyes created by a four-and-a-half-foot tall cake. Your bakery can prepare enough layers of real cake to feed the crowd at the reception so that the couple can have the traditional cake-cutting ceremony after dinner. None of the guests will realise part of the cake isn’t real.
With a little creativity and shopping in the right places, you’ll be pleased with the results and stay within your budget.