Here's some advice on how to cut costs for your wedding!
1. Cut the guest list: You could be spending up to $100 a person including food, decor, favors etc. so make sure everyone you invite is special to you or your significant other somehow. Each set of parents will have a list of people they will want to invite, but how well do you really know their college roommate or church friends?
2. Off-season: "Wedding season" is normally from May-October, so how about planning your wedding for November-April? Wedding venues/vendors may have off season prices and more availability.
3. Skip Saturday, avoid holidays: Many venues (though not all) have cheaper prices for a Friday or Sunday wedding. If this is an option for you, be sure to ask the venue when you visit if they have flexible pricing. Also, be careful of holidays, many venues will charge more for a holiday weekend.
4. Shop off-season decor: Need black or pink decor? Check after Halloween or Valentine's day. Buying your own lights to string? Catch the after Christmas sales. Think about your color scheme or the type of decorations you want and see what sales will work for you.
5. Mix in greenery: Flowers are expensive, but adding some touches of greenery in place of flowers can look just as beautiful and save you tons. Use it for centerpieces, arch decorations or mixed in to your bridal bouquet. Ask your florist for suggestions!
6. Stick to one or two flowers: Another way to save money on flowers is to pick your one or two favorite kinds (roses, hydrangeas, lily's etc) and stick with those. Florist can save money if they can buy in bulk which can also save you money. Ask your florist what is in season around your date and go from there. Also, reuse your ceremony decorations, either on the cake table or bar or cocktail area. It will save you money from having to decorate two different places.
7. Use non-floral decor: Cut out flowers all together by using non-floral centerpieces and decorations. There are a ton of fun ideas for centerpieces that can show off your personalities or highlight the season your getting married in that have nothing to do with flowers.
8. Cut down on the booze: Serve only beer and wine instead of a full bar. You can serve a signature cocktail also if you choose and have champagne to toast, though many people are skipping this and just having guests toast with whatever they are drinking at the time. This is a good way to not only save on alcohol costs but cut down on the "sloppy drunk" that tends to occur with a full bar.
9. No wedding cake: Wedding cakes are becoming a thing of the past. You will always have a ton leftover cake you won't know what to do with. Try a fun dessert bar instead like donuts, make your own sundae station or a candy bar. Something fun and easy for the guests to eat while their on the dance floor or mingling during the reception. Don't want a ton of leftovers? Provide to-go boxes for your guests to take some treats home!
10. Favors: Instead of having one per person, make it per couple. Make it something they can use at the wedding, like a food item or drink or something they can make or grow at home. People have enough wine glasses and candles, be creative and have fun with the favors. Another great way to save on favors? Don't have them, people won't miss them.