One of the great things about buying a preowned wedding dress – is that you can save (a lot of !) money – without looking like you cut corners. In keeping with that smart saving idea, here are our 20 favorite ways to reduce your wedding budget – without looking like you did.

Ceremony

1. Opt to use flowers only in key areas (like the altar or ceremony spot) which is where the majority of your photos will be taken.

2. Carry hand-tied bouquets which are less expensive than wired ones).

3. If you are using a church, check if they will provide the flowers (since they usually do them for Sunday services anyway).  Some churches will provide beautiful altar flowers for under $100 (with your choice of flowers).

Reception

Food and Beverage Costs
4. Save by using less popular dates/times: Jan-May are less popular wedding months, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays are less popular days, afternoons are less popular times.  Having your wedding on “off peak” times means the cost per person may be less and the required guest count will be lower.

5. Reduce the length of your cocktail hour by 15 or 30 minutes.  This will reduce f&b costs and no one will notice.

6. Serve a signature drink (made with non-premium alcohol) to save on bar costs.  Give the drink a name that matches your wedding theme to make it fun.

7. Skip the champagne toasts – no one drinks it. Or if you want to include it, try Prosecco, a sparkling Italian wine that tastes like champagne – but costs a lot less.

8. Butler passed hor d’oeuvres can actually be less expensive than buffet style, so check with your caterer.

Flowers

9. Use fewer, larger tables to reduce the number of centerpieces and linen rentals required.

10. Give your florist a long list of flowers you love and flowers your don’t. Then give him/her flexibility to use the most cost effective/ seasonal flowers from your list.

11. Buy your own vases from places like Pier One or Ikea.  They can be less expensive than what your florist carries.

12. Avoid weddings near holidays (like Valentine’s day) where floral costs are inflated due to demand.

13. Reuse your bridesmaid bouquets at the reception…they can make great centerpieces  or  a great frame for your cake table.

14. Consider carnations, which are generally 1/3 the cost of roses and look very dramatic when used in large, tight arrangements.

15. Use large bloom flowers which will fill out a centerpiece with fewer flowers and often cost less than two or three smaller flowers that equal its size.

16. Use non-floral items like like curly willow branch, kale, and even fruits and veggies (artichokes, plums, acorns, apples, and bright citrus fruits) which can enhance floral arrangements at a lower cost.

17. Non-floral centerpieces can be very impactful and can serve dual purposes (like also being your dessert or favors)

Cake

18. Order enough cake for only 75% of your guests (because so many people don’t actually eat the cake), or order enough cake for 50% of your guest and ask that half servings be plated and served. A third option is to order a smaller cake (one that would serve 30-50% of your guests) for the cutting, and have the rest of the servings cut from a kitchen sheet cake. Cakes that are taller (with smaller layers) can feel large without being as costly.

Other

19. Add impact with minimal/low cost

o    A walkway lit with luminaries can be done for under $75 and provides a welcoming entrance to a ceremony or reception
o    White holiday lights can be wrapped around trees or doorways to create a magical look
o    Waitstaff with trays of wine and hor d’oeuvres can line the entrance to your reception and have a dramatic effect

20. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with vendors.  Costs can usually be reduced or additional items/services included.

All images from PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com Real Wedding Features

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