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-Pick a unique wedding date: Stay away from big holidays, especially Valentine's Day, because flowers and services are much more expensive. Late summer and early autumn are good frugal times to be married!


-Skip the alcohol, Expensive dinner, and Live Bands: These things can be eliminated, or cut back. Serve non-alcoholic beverages, a buffet, and use a Dj, or even better, a stereo! These things all add up to a considerable savings.


-Keep the wedding party small; Coose only one or two attendants, not 10. Make other people parts of the wedding as ushers, greeters, or book attendants. Or let them help wit the planning and preparation. You can never have too much help behind the scenes!


-Get the family/friends involved: Many of your friends may have special talents: A florist, a seamstress, or even a baker! Sometimes people are just waiting for a chance to offer their services as their wedding gift to you! And when it comes to getting things done, why not get your loved ones involved. Setting up the reception the night before can save you hundreds of dollars in fees. Or get those moms, brothers and best friends involved in cooking up a storm! A nice brunch, dinner, or cold buffet can be assebled and lovingly cooked by those special people in your life. And everyone knows that mom makes the best potato salad ever!


-Consider your wedding time: Why not have a brunch or a lunch affair, instead of a dinner? Dinners are more expensive, last longer, and people eat and drink more. Have a simple lunchoen after a morning ceremony, and then you and your significant other will have the afternoon to get started on your honeymoon!


-Stay Simple! Instead of large expensive dresses, stay simple, and even look for two piece coordinate outfits. Gowns and tuxedos without the frills are much cheaper. Use loose bouquets of flowers- wired, and exotic bouquets and arrangements can be muh more expensive. Simple decorations are also much cheaper and can make more of an impact! You can buy yards of tulle for only a few dollars, and create an airy atmosphere by draping it everywhere. It can also be used to make bows, placed over plain tableclothes to dress them up, and much more. And the best part is that it comes in tons of great colors!


-Recycle it: Use the ceremony flowers at the reception. Use balloon bouquets to decorate, and then have the guests let them go instead of throwing rice when you leave! There are lots of great ways to make items do double duty! You can also find gowns, tuxes, and many other items that are like brand new-used only once or twice before by another couple. You'll save a pretty penny getting used items. (Example: shop at rummages for containers. Take them to your floist and have them filled for table arrangements, etc. You'll save the cost of buying new, and the flowers will be much less expensive)


-RSVP: When it comes to knowing how many people are coming- you can save some money. If you hire a caterer, they'll need a minimum head count. If you invite 300, and only have 150 RSVP, you can tell the caterer 150, not 300, and save some big bucks! You'll also know how many favors to buy, how much space you'll needs, and much more!


-Start Early!!! I cannot stress enough that this is the best way to go! If you know a year ahead of time, you can shop around, look for sales, and get tings much more easily- and for a lot less! If you have two months, you have to get it when you find it- sometimes at a great cost! Give yourselves time to plan, make choices, and find the best deals.


-Don't Ask, Don't Tell: I know, it sounds underhanded, but believe me, the price automatically doubles when they hear 'wedding'. Avoid talking about wedding things, just say 'party' or 'family get together'. And try buying things separately. Get your cake as 6", 8", 10", 12" rounds, and then go get the stands at a craft shop- put it together yourself. (I did this for a friend, and we paid $50 for a cake that the bakery told us would cost her $250 We draped some bricks in linen for the stands, and it was beautiful! No one ever suspected it wasn't a brofessional bakery set-up.)






Other tips:
-Shop the sales
-Do it yourself- the hair and makeup especially.
-Have a small ceremony and a larger reception
-Have the wedding/reception at home