1) Choose Flowers That Are In Season
Many popular and beautiful flowers are available year round. However, there are some — peonies and lilies of the valley, for example – that have a limited bloom season, and quite expensive out of season. So choose flowers that are in season.
Also consider using flowers with a similar look. Cabbage roses resemble the pricier peonies and are available year round. Other year-round flowers include: Carnations, Baby’s Breath, Sunflowers, Asiatic Lilies, Dendrobium Orchids and Spray Roses.
2) Put a Limit on the Alcohol Choices
You can save money by serving just wine and beer, instead of having a full open bar. Your guests will be happy and so will your wallet.
If your reception site allows you to bring in your own alcohol, purchase wine by the case as many places offer a case discount. You’ll pay your caterer a corkage fee to pour it, but wine purchased through him can cost twice as much. Most merchants offer a 10 percent discount for buying wine by the case.
3) Let Mother Nature Do Your Decorating
Choose a naturally gorgeous site and save on decor – such as the well-manicured lawns of a country club, or beautiful gardens for outdoors, and an art gallery or historic home for indoors.
4) Have Your Flowers Do Double-Duty
Your ceremony floral arrangements can be re-used at your reception. Pew décor can dress up a seating card or favor table. Bridesmaids’ bouquets look pretty on the cake table. An altar arrangement is perfect sitting in front of the head table.
5) Offer Champagne for Just the Toasts
Only serve a glass to each guest for the toasts. Or just provide Champagne for the head table and parents only. The rest of your guests can toast with whatever they are drinking. Make sure you also offer some sparkling grape juice for the under-21 crowd.
6) Have Your Wedding Earlier in the Day
Breakfasts, brunches, and afternoon teas are delicious and fun, and they usually cost less than evening receptions. The menu usually consists of lighter fare which doesn’t cost as much as a typical reception dinner. Also, they don’t usually last as long as an evening event, so you may save some money on your venue; and people typically don’t drink as much alcohol earlier in the day, so the bar tab will be less.
7) Cake and Punch
A cake and punch reception can be quite inexpensive. This style of reception usually takes place in the late morning or afternoon, and is simple and elegant. You can change it up by serving several cake flavors and designs, and serve a festive punch. Here’s one of my favorites (which I found at Razzle Dazzle Recipes).
8) Avoid Costly Entree Choices
Instead of serving pricier entrees or cuts of meat for dinner, incorporate them into your hors d’oeuvres. You may love lobster, but it will be pricy to serve lobster tail to all of your guests. Instead, serve lobster puffs during your cocktail hour.
9) Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
Serve your wedding cake as dessert instead of ordering a wedding cake AND serving a separate dessert.
10) Simplify Your Wedding Cake
The biggest cost of a wedding cake is in the labor – so choose a less elaborate design. Use less costly embellishments such as ribbon or fresh flowers.
Tomorrow we’ll conclude with Tips 11-20.
Hearts, Joy, Love!
For more money saving tips and planning ideas, contact me at email@example.com or at 937-235-2586.
Photo Credit: Choose Flowers That Are In Season: Bridesmaids’ Bouquets Brian James Photography