The Venue

Consider choosing a nontraditional venue:

“Where you have the wedding often drives the cost,” says Fields. Rather than a dedicated wedding reception hall or country club, check out less expensive facilities, from city-run spaces like zoos and civic gardens to restaurants or more offbeat locations that have some meaning for you, from a beach to your parents’ yard. One caveat: If the space is not equipped to cater a party, calculate extra costs for bringing in tables, toilets, or even a kitchen.

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The Wedding Dress

Consider renting or borrowing a dress: “Or buy one secondhand,” Post says. Chances are, it’s only been worn once! Look on eBay or craigslist for postings. Oftentimes, if the bride changes her mind about her dress or has to postpone the wedding, you might be able to score a deal on a never-been-worn gown.

The Food 

Make it a daytime reception. “It’s always cheaper to serve lunch or brunch than dinner,” says Fields.

Try a combination plate. Eliminate a choice of entrée to save on your food bill. “Serve a couple of grilled shrimp with a couple of beef medallions,” Naylor says. “This cuts down on the cost, since the chef doesn’t need to buy enough of all the entrées to allow for people to change their minds.” Or serve an inexpensive dish like chicken and pasta and let the chef shine by creating great sauces

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The Flowers

Make your own centerpieces. This is definitely a time commitment, so consider making the centerpieces for the cocktail tables or the rehearsal dinner. “A lot of people are using and other websites to order wholesale flowers to make their own centerpieces


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Use one kind of flowers in your bouquets and arrangements. It’s a budget-friendly move because your florist will need to place only one bulk order. “This brings a chic monochromatic look to your event.


The Photographer and Videographer

Try a less-expensive package. “Photographers usually offer packages based on the hours they’ll work,” says Naylor. To buy a less expensive (shorter) package, she suggests, “do your at-home, getting-ready pictures as candids. Cut the cake early so you can release the on-the-clock shooters, and let your guests supplement your album with candids.”

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