Ten ways to save money on your wedding

Weddings are expensive!  The average cost of a wedding in the US today is $26,444.  Weddings are EXPENSIVE!  But there are some easy ways to help curb those costs and keep your dream day within your budget.

Cut the guest list ~ there is no need to invite everyone you and your mate have known since birth.  The key is to invite the friends and family who have made an impact on each of you individually, or as a couple.

Choose your date wisely ~ by choosing a date in the off-season you can usually save several thousand dollars on the venue.  Having your wedding on any day other than Saturday is another way to curb expenses.

Keep flowers and centerpieces simple ~ Choosing one or two seasonal or local flowers in your bouquets and arrangements and supplementing with greenery is a simple, beautiful way to stay within your budget.  Use candles, lanterns and other items to fill in centerpieces for a unique, more personal look.

Drinks! ~ Offer beer,wine and a signature cocktail rather than a full bar.  And forgo the champagne toast.  Most people will only drink a sip of the champagne.

Buffet vs Sit-down dinner ~ having a buffet dinner will cut down on the number of servers needed, there by shaving down your catering costs.  Choosing a duo plate (half and half) rather than two entire entree choices cuts down on waste and cost.

Let them eat cake ~ You don't have to have a four layer cake with tons of adornments plus a grooms cake to have a elegant table.  Order a small beautiful cake and supplement with a larger sheet cake in the back for serving.  Dessert bars and cupcakes are also fun, less costly choices.  Keep the decorations simple and use real flowers or ribbons instead of sugar.  Skip the multitude of fillings and flavors, you can't please everyone and it can cost you a fortune to try.

Join the tech era ~ Save the dates and invitations can be sent electronically, saving the trees and your pocketbook.  If you prefer to send paper invitations, using a one-page invite with all the information and having your guests email their RSVP is another option that gives you some tradition without breaking the bank.

Do yourself a favor ~ Have favors double as escort cards; give only one favor per couple or have your attendants help make candies and cookies to pass out instead of costly trinkets.

Our Song ~ Create a playlist of songs for your wedding in order from the prelude to the final dance, rather than hiring a costly band or DJ.

A picture is worth a thousand words (or dollars!) ~ Hire a photography student or the assistant of a well known photographer who can offer you a discount.

Always remember, the most important thing is that your wedding is a reflection of who you are as a couple.  No one can put a price tag on that.

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