This could save $$$$. Clip coupons and buy all your refreshments when your local grocery store is having great deals.
2. Choose flowers that are in season and affordabley priced.
You may love peonies, but they're expensive and only available during late Winter and Spring. An affordable alternative that is available all year long are garden roses! When bunched together, they can look very similar. Your florist will know these little tricks of the trade to save you!
3. Avoid pricey stationery.
Letterpress and beveled edges on your invitation suites can really add up. I've seen some couples spend $2k on stationery alone. This is all well and good if you can afford it, and it can really set the tone for a black tie affair. Chances are though, if you're on #3 on ways to save money, you're like most people that are on a budget. Craft stores even offer invitations you can print up on your computer and assemble yourself(you can even bribe your bridesmaids to help out)! There are also tons of fun websites you can download FREE invitations from!
www.weddingchicks.com www.marthastewartweddings.com 100layercake.com
4. Have a stage cake.
Those intricate designs made of fondant and gum paste can look amazing, but they can really break the bank. A lot of couples have their baker design their cake on Styrofoam and the caterer actually serves cake from a sheet cake. Your guests are none the wiser!
5. Table cakes!
Again, cakes are pricey, as are flowers. You can serve table cakes at each table. They double as centerpieces and dessert. Everyone helps themselves and it's a nice way for guests to interact.
6. Food stations
Rather than the traditional plated dinner, have a mashed potato bar or macaroni n cheese bar. The possibilities are endless. You have to keep in mind two things ; the type of food served needs to be inexpensive (pastas, potatoes, etc.) and the less servers, the less expensive. The most costly thing for food and beverage is labor!
7. Have a backyard potluck.
If your venue allows it, potlucks can save you thousands. The most popular types of venues that this idea is feasible are backyards, barns, and ranches. A lot of venues require that every vendor brought in, must be licenced and insured (including caterer). Then there are the larger, more grand venues that don't even allow outside caterers.
8. Used recycled objects as decor.
This requires some creativity. I'll post more on DIY vases later, but think of those empty wine bottles, salsa jars, etc. Don't go out and buy a bunch of decor if you can help it. A lot of florists charge to rent out their vases for centerpieces.
9. Cut the guest list!!
Just ask yourself, "Is it more important to have 200 guests that I don't hardly keep in touch with or to have more of what I want in my wedding, with less people?" If you are particular on what you want to have at your wedding, and don't want to compromise the quality of your big day, I suggest cutting the list. Trust me, people understand! Most people have been in your shoes.
10. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Is Grandma famous for her chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? Ask if she'd be willing to prepare them as favors for guests. If your Maid of Honour is great with computers, ask if she could print up the menus & programs. I don't suggest barking orders at your friends and family, but you'd be surprised how much they'd love to help you if asked in the correct manner.
Good luck & happy planning!!! :)