Cut Wedding Costs With These 10 Clever Tips

1. Make A Playlist
Instead of a live band or DJ, create a playlist of your favorite songs and rent a sound system. Have a backup phone (or two!) and be sure to have songs segue into the next. Put someone in charge of your phone who has a good sense of timing and technology.

2. Ditch The Flowers
There are so many alternatives to flowers for décor. Think drift wood, fresh fruit or seashells that you can collect for free! These options can be both beautiful and major cost saving alternatives. (If you can't picture your wedding without a few blooms, place one large bloom in a small vessel for an elegant look.)

3. Create A Cocktail
Rather than a full bar, create three signature cocktails to cut cost. To offer diversity, consider adding one or two types of beer to satisfy all of your guests.

4. Wine and Dine Differently
A buffet or cocktail reception is significantly less expensive than a sit-down dinner, as less staff is required to serve guests. Both of these alternative options are completely fabulous when executed properly.

5. Practice Your Baking Skills
Forego a pricey wedding cake for a homemade cupcake tower, cookies or other treats. You may have to practice a few times to get your baked goods just the way you want them, but consider 100 dollars versus 2,000! Pinterest is a fabulous source for inspiration as well as this gorgeous dessert table gallery.

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6. Go Vintage
Why buy new when you can pay nearly nothing at vintage stores and markets? If you know you’ll be on a tight budget, start hunting for inexpensive finds ASAP. Consider using mismatched coffee pourers, ice buckets and creamers as floral vessels and pack them abundantly with blooms for a lavish, yet shabby chic look. One man's trash is another man's treasure!

7. Create Ambience
If lighting isn’t on your splurge list, ask to have dimmer switches installed. They cost about 20 dollars and will do wonders for your reception lighting. If dimmer switches aren’t an option, invest in tons of candles to create a romantic ambiance. String lights and Chinese lanterns are also gorgeous and economical options.

8. Start Networking
As soon as you have a diamond on your finger, your friends, family members, neighbors and distant cousins thrice removed will be asking about your wedding plans. Make this conversation a two way street and start seeking out calligraphers, singers, bakers, florists or seamstresses they may have connections with or young talent looking to make some extra cash.

9. Make Your Own Linens
Purchase a bolt of fabric and make your own linens or table runners. If you don't have access to a sewing machine, use iron-on tape that will create flawless edges. If you’re having a summer wedding, consider making your own burlap table runners and fraying the edges for a rustic-chic feel.

10. Design Your Own Invitations
This takes some time, but if you’re crafty and have an eye for details, it’s a synch and a huge cost saver! Check out our DIY wedding invitation and get creative with your own variations on the design.

--Keely-Shea Smith

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