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Posted by Amanda
No matter what your budget is, you can still have an elegant wedding without sacrificing your style - it's all about planning and deciding which aspects of the affair are the most important to you. These basic strategies will help you save money and make the whole process a little less stressful.
Select a low-cost venue
You can save a lot on the location if you're flexible about where to host your reception. Instead of booking an expensive ballroom, look for something a little different - many locations can be free or low-cost. For example public gardens, vineyards, historic buildings, libraries, museums, church halls and hotel banquet rooms often offer very affordable solutions. There probably are restaurants in your area that specialize in low-budget wedding receptions. Keep in mind that some locations don't provide you with items like chairs, tables and linens, so you might have to rent those.
Keep the guest list short
It might be tempting to invite a lot of people but if you really want to save, you should be firm with your guest list. If you invite 100 guests instead of 150 and your wedding costs come to $100 per person for food and drinks, cutting 50 people off the list saves you $5,000! Stick to inviting the people that are really close to you - you don't have to invite anyone you haven’t spent time with in the last five years, even if you were invited to their wedding.
Have an off-season wedding
The majority of weddings take place between May and October. And if lots of people are competing for the same location, caterer, etc. prices go up. You have a much better chance of saving money if you plan your event during the off-season months. Just avoid December when reception halls are busy with holiday parties.
Save on the gown
If you have your heart set on a designer gown, you can save a lot of money by simply swapping out the fabric - a dress made with of poly satin instead of silk satin can cost you hundreds of dollars less. But it doesn't necessarily have to be a bridal gown – it can be a really elegant white dress from the women's evening wear section of a department store.
If you're like most couple, your biggest expenses will be for food and drinks at the reception. One way to cut those costs is to host a brunch instead of dinner; you can avoid spending a lot on alcohol too. But if you insist on having an evening reception, you can still save by reducing the number of courses and keeping your menu simple. Opt for regional specialties and ingredients in season.
Instead of spending a fortune on an elaborate wedding cake, order a small, elegant one and have several sheet cakes of the same flavor ready in the kitchen for your guests.
Select locally grown flowers that are in season -you'll be surprised at how much you can save. Instead of roses and orchids choose daisies, violets, carnations, chrysanthemums or baby's breath. Avoid flowers with white blossoms; they bruise easily and generally cost more.
Choose a location that doesn’t need a lot of extra decorations in order to look spectacular – like a garden in bloom, or the beach. If you're having an indoor reception, you can easily create a beautiful and romantic atmosphere with a little creativity (like candles and flowers).
Forgo a live band and go with a DJ for much less. Remember, your guests just want to dance and enjoy themselves so it's not that important where the music is coming from.
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