Budget Your Wedding: 30 Ways To Cut Costs, Part II

{A continuation of our post last week, and the second half of 30 ways to cut costs, not corners}

16. Lose the disposable cameras. You'll end up with a giant film development bill, and only a few photos that you can (or will even want) to use.

17. Hit the after holiday sales. Plan to buy items like twinkle lights, discounted candies, candles, and even clearanced items like bowls and jars.

18. Choose flowers in season. You may love that exotic orchid, but if you'll need to get it from Timbuctu for your November wedding, you'll pay. Instead, arrive at your florist appointment armed with pictures of styles and arrangements you like, and let your florist suggest something similar or comparable.

19. Spend your money where your decorations will be seen the most and for the longest amount of time - your reception.

20. Choose a frosting other than fondant for your cake design. Instead, choose buttercream- you'll pay at least a few dollars less per slice. True, fondant works well for a pristine, smooth look, but most experienced pastry chefs can get a buttercream frosting thisclose to being as smooth. Bonus: it tastes better too!

21. Choose fresh flowers over sugar or gum paste flowers on your cake. You'll pay for the labor and time each hand-crafted flower will take.

22. Don't save the top tier- eat it! You'll get more slices out of your cake this way, saving you money in the long run. Besides, most pastry chefs will offer a great deal on a small cake for your 1 year anniversary.

23. Consider a smaller display cake, then sheet or undecorated (still frosted) cakes for slicing and eating. Keep the undecorated sweet fare in the back, and your guests will be none the wiser!

24. Skip the champagne toast. Weddings see more champagne wasted than any other event, and it can often be one of the main culprits for a sky-high bar bill. Instead, keep a chilled bottle of your favorite bubbly for the guests of honor, and let your guests "grab a drink" of their choice for toast time.

25. Offer only beer and wine. If you want some hard alcohol, consider offering just a signature drink- much cheaper than offering a full bar.

26. If you must have a full bar, consider having it open only for a period of time, such as the cocktail hour. Then host beer and wine only.

27. Don't assume hors d'oeuvres will always be cheaper than a plated meal. Your caterer will have to account for more pieces per person, plus about 10% overage for those "second timers", and will often equal more food than a plated meal will call for. Be sure to weigh out both options.

29. If you'll be having an hors d'oeuvres style meal, be sure to pick items that will give you the most bank for your buck. Choosing heavier items such as meat, finger sandwiches, and/or pasta salad will fill your guests up and stretch your dollar further than a green salad will.

30. Oftentimes if you purchase your gown at a particular bridal shop, you can get a 10-15% discount on any other orders you may have. This can apply to tux rentals, bridesmaid dresses, accessories for you, etc. Be sure to ask your consultant.

Happy Planning!

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