10 tips for the bride on a budget.

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First things first couples, we need to be realistic about our budget and  prioritize what to splurge on and where to save. The trick is to spend on the things that really matter to you, and find a way to save on the things that don’t.

Now that we have prioritized, let's get to our money saving list!

1. Cut the cake in half.

By cutting your cake in half,  for example, from a four tier to a two and adding a sheet cake to be served , can cut cost by hundreds of dollars. Or order several standard size cakes from your favorite local bakery, this way your guest has several options! No one will notice the difference!

2.Choose an unusual venue.

Consider locations such as an aquarium, a gallery,  historical site or even a zoo. Great savings in site fees and some with extended hours overt banquet halls. Not to mention you will save in decor with the venues supplying their own ambience.

3. Save on your shoes.

Please forgive me for this one because I know it’s tempting ladies, but you don’t need to break the bank on designer shoes that no one is going to see anyway. “Don’t splurge on expensive wedding shoes if your gown will cover them completely. Save that money for your dress and accessories.

4. Combine your escort cards and favors.

Look for ways that items can be used for more than one purpose. For example, seating cards that can double as favors. Perfect example: Winter wedding favors hot chocolate, cinnamon stick and mini marshmallows in a mason jar, labeled with escort card. Plus it's a super cute DIY.

5. Forget the bar.

Instead serve beer and wine (red and white) with one or two signature cocktails the you’ve personalized with a cute name and your wedding colors. Don’t forget to have some inexpensive (non-alcoholic) drinks on hand.

6. Choose flowers in season.

Although you may have your heart set on your favorite flower, picking seasonal blooms is extremely cost effective since it means that they won’t have to be flown in from far away. Be sure to use pillar candles, taper candles and votives between floral arrangements and create a stylish look on budget.

7. Skip the Champagne toast

Set on doing a toast at the beginning of the night? Consider asking your caterer for more budget friendly alternatives to traditional French Champagne. Or, just toast with whatever drink your guests have in hand at the time.

 9. Beware of the real cost 

Wedding professional Eliana Baucicault of ellyB Events Inc. says “calculate the real cost per person”

When you are crafting your wedding guest list,  you will need to figure out the price per person to attend.  It is much more than the price of an entree.  You have to figure that each guest is an additional invitation,  chair rental,  linen rental,  and floral arrangement.  Whatever the cost per person of food is,  multiply by 3 and you will see the true cost of what it will be.

10. Determine a budget and stick to it.

Spend on things you love wisely! Example: If you are a lover of custom paper products don't splurge on invitations,  instead beautiful menu & escort cards give you more value at your actual reception.

Great Tip:  Food, beverage and venue should come to half of your budget.

I really hope these tips helped! While it’s true that you only get married once,  and I believe that every girl deserves to have her dream wedding. Please keep in mind that you also don’t want to start off your marriage in the red, be smart about your investment and as I always tell my brides "don't major in minors".

Until next time...Live, Laugh, Love

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