5 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

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As editor of Today's Bride for 35 years, Bettie Bradley knows a thing or two about throwing a glamorous wedding — without breaking the bank! Remember: you've got to start with a budget and stick to it. Here are five areas where Bettie, whose new book is The Wedding Expert, says you can reduce the cost but still keep things fabulous.

The Invitations

Cheaper wedding invitations

The invitations set the tone for the whole wedding… but prices can range from $50 per guest (the red "book" at the back) to more affordable options like the black-and-white card on the right ($12 each) to the really pretty "seal-and-send" invitations on the left which fold up and don't need an envelope (about $1.50 each).

Bouquets

Cheaper wedding bouquets

Flowers can eat up as much as 10 per cent of a wedding budget. The beautiful bouquet on the left is made up of all kinds of different flowers, and costs upwards of $300 (remember: out-of-season blooms can really jack up the total price). The pretty bouquet on the right costs half as much, and uses much more reasonable, in-season flowers. Never be afraid to be direct about your budget with your florist.

Liquor

How to save money on liquor at a wedding

Cash bars are a no-no… but there are still other ways of cutting costs. Don't have an open bar during the cocktail hour. Instead, have servers pass around one drink, as well as a non-alcoholic option. Also, don't use wine glasses with huge bowls like the one at the back. At a party, people often tend to forget which glass was theirs… and then they go get a new one. So smaller glasses make for less wastage as the party goes on. Another way to prevent waste: don't put bottles at each table. Instead have servers come around filling glasses. That way, you don't end up with tons of half-finished bottles at the end of the night.

Centrepieces

How to save money on a centrepiece at a wedding

Nothing beats flowers, but be aware that the cost of the average centrepiece is about $75. Make sure your florist is comfortable working within your budget. Remember, it's the blooms that end up costing a lot, so more greens means a lower cost. And If you really need to save, three pillar candles is always a classy way to go.

Cake

How to save money on cake at a wedding

A three-tier classic wedding cake that serves 175 can easily cost $1,000 with with fondant icing. Cupcakes can cost half as much, and can look just lovely piled on a big three-tiered display.

 

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