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The other day, I was reading this article that a friend sent me on budgeting for a wedding. Given that the average price tag of weddings in the U.S. is inching towards $30,000 (and even more than that if you live in a major metro area like L.A.), the article provided some good information on how to save and plan financially for your big day.

Whether you have $30,000 to put towards your big day or not, here are 10 ways you can cut costs and save money:

1) Cut down the guest list – this is the number one way to cut costs on your wedding day. Typically you’re spending upwards of $100 for every guest that attends a dinner reception.

2) Off-day or off-season wedding - most venues offer reduced pricing for Friday night or Sunday weddings, and even bigger discounts if you have your wedding during the off-season months of November-April.

3) Morning or brunch reception - breakfast and brunch receptions are often less expensive than 3-course dinners. You’ll also save on alcohol cost because people are less likely to drink as much mid-day.

4) Signature cocktails - selecting a signature drink to serve guests during the cocktail hour can help cut down on bar fees since the caterer/venue will not have to set up a fully stocked bar. Whatever you do, never have a host bar where guests have to pay…it’s just tacky. Do it right, or not at all.

5) Use in season flowers - take advantage of in season flowers for your arrangements. They will cost much less than out of season flowers, that have to be flown in from international locations. Consult with your florist about which flowers are in season during your wedding month. Roses, orchids and gerbera daisies are great options that are always in season.

6) Use a dummy cake - since bakeries usually charge per serving, try ordering a small cake for the cake-cutting ritual, then serve your guests from frosted sheet cakes. They’re just as tasty, but don’t require the elaborate design and decorations that a full-size wedding cake would.

7) Wear the same dress the whole night - wearing one dress for the ceremony then a different dress for the reception is becoming more common, but it is definitely not necessary. Pick a dress you love and keep it on the whole night. It will give your guests a chance to admire it up-close at the reception and give your photographer more time to capture the dress you spent so much time and effort selecting.

8) Book vendors well in advance - reserving your vendors 6-12 months in advance will save you money, and stress in the end.

9) Standard invitation size - steer clear from oversized and square invitations, or invitations with many inserts. The increased size and weight will increase your postage costs.

10) Online RSVP - set up a wedding website that tracks RSVPs rather than including a traditional RSVP card. Note the link to your website at the end of your invitation which will help save money on stationary and postage cost. (You will also want to include a RSVP number for the few guests without internet access.)

Fabulously Ever After Weddings & Events

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