Marry on a Thursday. Most couples get married in the spring, summer or early fall, on a Saturday. Booking your wedding on an “off season” or “off night” like a Monday, Thursday, or Sunday can save you big bucks. Reap even bigger savings by choosing a Sunday during a holiday. A lunch or brunch will be less pricey than a dinner and can be just as elegant. For example, a Saturday night catered wedding from Caperberry Events costs around $140 versus $100 on a Thursday night. A Saturday luncheon would cost $110.
It Pays to Be Picky. Invite only your Nears and Dears. If Chelsea Clinton can decide to invite only those people she knows, you can decide to invite only people you like. The same rule applies to the wedding party. Fewer people means fewer gifts to buy and fewer people to feed. Special friends can be included in other ways, such as speaking at the ceremony or helping with the guestbook.
This Is a Wedding, Not a Car Show. Who cares if it’s a Mercedes or a Honda that gets you to the church (on time)? It’s only a car (or limo or horse-drawn carriage). The wedding—not how you get to it—is the main attraction.
Cinderella Slippers (on the cheap). Your shoes will be covered by the dress, so don’t blow your budget on Blahniks. Have your heart set on Cinderella-style glass slippers? Pick them up at a stripper supply store—they’re really cheap there.
What Price Beauty? How about free (sort of)? Sephora will make you beautiful for free if you buy a $50 gift card.
Beyond the Veil. Instead of paying $200+ for a veil, go to Michael’s craft store (Port Chester, Hartsdale, Mohegan Lake, and Pelham Manor) and pick one up in its bridal aisle for just $25.
Make Beautiful Music (for less). Budget-savvy brides think iPod. Julia Sexton, Westchester Magazine‘s food writer, splurged on her catering budget (no surprise there), but cut back on entertainment costs by using her iPod play list. Not a single guest missed a beat.
Does Anyone Really Want Candied Almonds? Favors are nice, but not a must. Trust us—no one will notice their absence.
Let Them Eat Sheet Cake. Get a small, fancy cake for show (and the ceremonial cutting) and sheet cake for the guests: it’s cheaper and easier to serve. Or skip the cake altogether and serve platters of assorted desserts for each table.
A Rose By Any Florist Is Still a Rose. Check out wholesale flower companies (Main Wholesale Florists, main wholesaleflorist.com; East Coast Wholesale Flowers, eastcoast blooms.com). Ordering online is another frugal option. Or have your florist use large, inexpensive flowers, like sunflowers or Gebera daisies.
Light Some Fires. Lots of candles can make a $100 centerpiece look like a $300 one. And you don’t need to waste money by wrapping the candles with ribbons or adorning them with pearls—they create a nice glow all on their own. Pick them up by the dozens at Home Goods, TJ Maxx, or other discount stores.
The Printed Word. You can design your invitations and other wedding stationery online (or enlist an artistic friend’s help) and have them printed up at Kinko’s. Not only are they more personal than what you’ll find at a stationer, but cheaper, too.