101 Ways to Save Thousands on Your Wedding

Don't break the bank! Follow our guide to all things financially savvy.

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    Many public spaces, like parks or the local village green, may be available to rent at a low fee. However, if the space is not equipped to handle events, you’ll have to rent everything from napkins to tables and chairs. Check out our complete guide to wedding rentals, and make sure you come out ahead!

    Photo Credit: Tanja Lippert Photography

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    Choose an unusual venue, such as an aquarium, a zoo, a gallery or an historical site. Site fees are not high and you’ll save on décor because the venue already supplies ambience. But the same caveat goes as for public spaces: Figure in what you’ll have to spend on rentals.

    Photo Credit: Gabriel Boone Photography

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    Hold your ceremony and your reception in the same place. You’ll save yourselves multiple site fees as well as transportation from one location to the other. Learn other unexpected wedding costs to look out for 

    Photo Credit: Arte De Vie

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    If you belong to a community organization or to the military, you may have access, at low cost, to a venue belonging to them. Check out gorgeous photos from military weddings ►

    Photo Credit: Stephanie Brauer Photography

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    Don’t forget your alma mater — these usually rent for a few hundred dollars. Check out 5 ways to include your alma mater in your wedding ►

    Photo Credit: William Innes Photography

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    Depending on your venue, you may not need to decorate extensively. If you marry outdoors at a winery, for example, there’s not much you’ll need to add to the gorgeous vineyard backdrop.

    Photo Credit: Carol Irvine

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  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    Rent a vacation home. Even if the owners charge you a week’s worth of rent for the day, it may still be equal to or less than renting a traditional reception venue. Find your dream venue type ►

    Photo Credit: Sofia Negron Photography

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    If a family member has a scenic property, find out if you can hold your wedding there. One couple held their wedding on the Wyoming ranch where the groom had grown up. Unique and cost-conscious! How to plan a backyard wedding ►

    Photo Credit: Christian Oth Studio

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    If you’re a city-dweller, leave town for your wedding. One Boston bride saved more than $50 per person by holding her wedding in Burlington, Vermont.

    Photo Credit: Lina Jang

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    For a garden wedding, look into renting an historic mansion; many of these have gardens that are included in the deal. You may find, as did one couple, that the mansion they rented had no time limit, and the fee was less than half a hall rental. Stunning ceremony décor ideas ►

    Photo Credit: Alison Duke Photography / Wedding Planner: Colin Cowie

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    Determine early on what you can spend and stick to it. One rule of thumb: Food, beverage and venue should come to half of your budget. See the typical budget breakdown in your area ►

    Photo Credit: Ira Lippke Studios

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    What about a destination wedding? Because the guest list will be smaller, a wedding away may cost less than a traditional event held in your hometown.

    Photo Credit: Colin Miller Photography

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  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    Think small. Check into bed and breakfast venues in your area, and place firm limits on your guest list.

    Photo courtesy of Villa Poggio Bartoli

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    When you’re deciding between an indoor or outdoor space, figure in the cost of a tent rental — if it rains, a tent is worth every penny. 

    Photo Credit: Samuel Lippke Photography

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    Look for reception packages. Holding your event at a venue that provides catering and food-service items will save you quite a bit of money on rentals. 50 ways to cut catering costs ►

    Photo Credit: A Bryan Photo

  • Finding Your Venue

    Finding Your Venue

    Create a comparison chart to track what’s included in the price for each venue you’re considering. One company may not include linens and the cake, for example, while another company does. How to negotiate with vendors ►

    Photo Credit: iStock

  • Rehearsal Dinner

    Rehearsal Dinner

    Save on your rehearsal dinner site by throwing a backyard barbecue or a picnic in a local park — both of which will cost you less than a dinner in a restaurant. (These may be more fun too!)

    Photo Credit: Lovebird Photography on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly

  • Post-Wedding Brunch

    Post-Wedding Brunch

    Accept a post-wedding brunch at a relative’s home as a wedding gift. You may find that in lieu of a gift, a friend or relative will be thrilled to host this event in their home.

    Photo Credit: Shawna Yarbrough & Damion Hamilton

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  • Time it Right

    Time it Right

    Trim the length of your reception. Even doing three hours instead of four or five will save you money. Trust us, everyone will enjoy themselves just as much. Check out the traditional wedding reception timeline ►

    Photo Credit: Matt Andrews Photography

  • Time it Right

    Time it Right

    Consider the season — you’re likely to get a better price for a venue in January than you would for the same spot in June. 100 ideas for winter weddings ►

    Photo Credit: Sorensen Foto

  • Time it Right

    Time it Right

    Most venues charge a premium for Saturday night. Hold your reception on a Thursday, Friday or Sunday night. An afternoon wedding will cost less than an evening one, as will a Sunday brunch. How to plan a $5,000 wedding ►

    Photo Credit: Choco Studio

  • Reception Themes

    Reception Themes

    Have a lunch or an afternoon tea reception instead of a sit-down dinner. Guests tend to drink less during the day, so you’ll save on liquor costs.

    Photo courtesy of Davidson's Organics

  • Reception Themes

    Reception Themes

    If you prefer an evening reception, but still want to stick to a budget, consider a desserts-only reception. Specify on the invitation that you will be serving desserts, so that guests don’t expect a full meal. Offer a delicious array of sweets: pastries, pies, mousses and a dramatic flaming treat like Bananas Foster. To accompany, serve champagne or prosecco and specialty coffees and teas. Get more dessert ideas ►

    Photo Credit: Gemma Comas

  • Reception Themes

    Reception Themes

    Another increasingly popular choice is the cocktail party reception. Event planner Harriette Rose Katz notes that you’ll save thousands on food and decorations; after all, you can forgo big floral arrangements for your tables and adorn small cocktail tables with candles and modest bunches of blooms. Hand pass hors d’oeuvres like mini hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and mini quiches. On a multi-tiered table offer finger foods like Italian breads, olives, artichoke hearts and cheeses (at room temperature), finger fruits and salads.

    Photo courtesy of Canvas and Canopy Events

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  • Reception Themes

    Reception Themes

    Consider a chic wine-tasting reception. Guests can sample from an array of small dishes at food stations, each matched with a special wine. Printed cards can explain the pairing.

    Photo Credit: Suzy Clement Photographs via Lover.ly

  • Reception Themes

    Reception Themes

    For savings of up to 20 percent, consider family-style dishes: platters of pasta or sliced meat that guests can pass around.

    Photo Credit: Dominique Bader on Snippet and Ink via Lover.ly

  • Reception Themes

    Reception Themes

    Beware the buffet option. It won’t necessarily cost less than a sit-down dinner because you have to supply more food than you would for a plated meal. Do a cost comparison before you make a decision. Find out which is right for you ►

    Photo Credit: Avorio Photo via Lover.ly

  • Reception Themes

    Reception Themes

    Consider a modified DIY approach: One groom’s cousin baked enchiladas, and the couple ordered more food from local Mexican stores. Hint: Don’t make the wedding meal yourselves — that’s too DIY for your own sanity! DIY wedding cake ideas ►

    Photo Credit: ZA Designz

  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Have artistic friends pitch in on your wedding. A friend who’s got a penchant for flowers can handle your table arrangements and floral details. Another way to go: Hire a florist to do just one arrangement and then have your friends and family copy it for all the tables. How to make this centerpiece 

    Photo Credit: Jack Deutsch 

  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Potted plants make attractive table décor — and cost should be able to considerably less than floral season blooms arrangements do. Make the most of greenery in other ways; put plenty of it in your centerpieces to save money on flowers. Potted flowers are also a less expensive choice; check at your local nursery. Another option: Incorporate local flowers and grasses into your arrangements. Check out 75+ gorgeous tall centerpieces ►

    Photo Credit: Michael Norwood Photography

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  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Buy flowers wholesale in a local market or online, and pay a florist to do simple centerpieces. Want to keep things really easy? Do one look in abundance and make an impact. Place tons of branches, like curly willow or dogwood, in urns or tall glass vases from the dollar store; for a bit more flair, hang LED tealights from them with ribbons in your wedding colors.

    Photo courtesy of thenaturalweddingcompany.co.uk

  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Try groupings of the same flower in different hues for an affordably stylish look. Cluster vases of different sizes in interesting configurations on tables. Check out 125+ ideas for flowers by type ►

    Photo Credit: Lars Wanberg

  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Use fruits and vegetables to fill out arrangements; this way, you can create a sense of colorful abundance without excessive cost. As Melissa Paul, a wedding planner with Evantine Design in Philadelphia, points out: “It’s less expensive to buy an apple than an orchid!”

    Photo Credit: Captured Photography by Jenny

  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Sure, peonies may be your favorite flower, but if you’re tying the knot in winter, these springtime beauties will cost you a pretty penny. A good florist should be able to suggest in-season blooms that get the look and feel of your out-of-season favorites. Be sure to check out our guide on what will be in season at the time of your wedding.

    Photo Credit: Pickerill Creative

  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    If your wedding day happens to fall on Easter, Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, you may pay more for your blooms. On the other hand, scheduling a wedding around a holiday can work in your favor: Your reception spot may be decked out — saving you a fortune! See more from this wedding ►

    Photo Credit: Turner Creative

  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Less is more. The more elaborate the arrangements, the higher your bill. For simple elegance, consider a few roses, tulips or even orchids submerged in water. Rose petals floating in water in clear bowls are pleasing to look at, too. Check out 30+ impressive low centerpieces ►

    Photo Credit: Honey Heart Photography

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  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Be sure to use all kinds of candles to good advantage: Place votives, pillar candles or tapers between floral arrangements and create a stylish look on a shoestring.

    Photo Credit: Patricia Lyons Photography

  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Keep ceremony flowers simple by only placing arrangements near the spot where you’ll be exchanging vows, not on every aisle seat or pew. See stunning ceremony backdrops ►

    Photo Credit: Susan Jackson Photography

  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Must you place flowers on tables? Of course not. Pick one focal point — perhaps the entrance or the front corners of the room — and place just one gorgeous arrangement there.

    Photo Credit: Christian Oth Studio

  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Adorn plain white tablecloths by layering organza or tulle on top (which costs just a few dollars a yard). Or you may want to forgo the linens entirely and cover your tables with mirrors or frosted glass, suggests Randie Pellegrini, an event designer in Beverly Hills, California. The look is glitzy, the cost modest. Rent colored or textured chargers (bamboo or rattan) to add a simple but distinctive detail to each place setting. Check out 15 non-floral centerpieces we love ►

    Photo Credit: Regeti's Photography

  • Flowers & Décor

    Flowers & Décor

    Forgo expensive silver vases in favor of clear glass. Or shop local flea markets for vintage containers of different but complementary designs for your table — you’ll achieve a unique look at small cost.

    Photo Credit: Emindee Images

  • Trim Your Bar Tab

    Trim Your Bar Tab

    Cut out the bubbly; guests can toast with whatever they’re drinking.

    Photo Credit: Wings of Glory Photography on Every Last Detail via Lover.ly

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  • Trim Your Bar Tab

    Trim Your Bar Tab

    Forget the full bar. Instead, serve beer and wine (both red and white) with one or two signature cocktails that you’ve personalized with a cute name and your wedding colors. 

    Photo Credit: Lover.ly

  • Trim Your Bar Tab

    Trim Your Bar Tab

    If you happen to be holding your event near a vineyard or microbrewery, buy your wines and beers from them. Keeping to local products gives a special touch (and it’s cheaper).

    Photo Credit: Nick Brown Photography

  • Trim Your Bar Tab

    Trim Your Bar Tab

    Don’t forget to have some inexpensive (nonalcoholic) drinks on hand. Consider fresh lemonade in tall, sugar-rimmed glasses for a warm-weather wedding or sparkling water with colorful wedges of orange, lemon or lime.

    Photo Credit: David Schwartz Photography

  • Trim Your Bar Tab

    Trim Your Bar Tab

    Topshelf isn’t a high priority. Choose midshelf liquors for significant savings (guests usually can’t tell the difference). Another way to approach this: If the best brands are important to you, indulge guests with just a few choices of these but close the bar early and offer just wine and beer as the party winds down. Here's how much booze you need ►

    Photo Credit: D. Park Photography

  • Trim Your Bar Tab

    Trim Your Bar Tab

    For an added festive touch, dress up your signature drinks with colorful, attractive garnishes, like curled lemon and lime peels, orange slices or mini fruit kebabs on toothpicks. Garnishes are usually provided free of charge by the venue or caterer, but give the appearance that you’ve spent more.

    Photo courtesy of Stix on Grace Bay at Grace Bay Club in Turks & Caicos

  • Trim Your Bar Tab

    Trim Your Bar Tab

    Eliminate shots or any drinks that make use of a number of liquors — these all raise your bar tab and aren’t necessary for guests to have fun. 

    Photo Credit: Igo Photography

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  • Trim Your Bar Tab

    Trim Your Bar Tab

    If you’re stocking your own bar, do your homework! Check winespectator.com for less-expensive wine vintages. Corkage fees (a charge for opening bottles of wine or liquor) may be up to $10 a bottle or even more. Try to negotiate these out of your contract.

    Photo Credit: Milou + Olin Photography

  • Trim Your Bar Tab

    Trim Your Bar Tab

    Make sure the wait staff knows not to pre-open bottles or clear glasses from tables that aren’t empty. This is a sheer waste of money! Create cute reusable drink holders ►

    Photo Credit: Harper Point Photography

  • Trim Your Bar Tab

    Trim Your Bar Tab

    Close the open bar an hour early and offer coffee. You’ll save hundreds of dollars; even better, guests will have a chance to sober up before they head out to the road.

    Photo courtesy of foryourparty.com

  • Trim Your Bar Tab

    Trim Your Bar Tab

    Speaking of coffee, forgo a coffee bar offering expensive liqueurs with java and treat guests to a rich brew with flavored syrups. Or serve espresso before sending them home.

    Photo Credit: Bridal Musings via Lover.ly

  • Stationery Savings

    Stationery Savings

    If you, your fiancé or your friends are DIY-ers, consider creating your own invites by hand or high-quality printer. Your crafts store will have invitation and program kits — you can really get some unique effects this way!

    Photo Credit: Meagan Hearne

  • Stationery Savings

    Stationery Savings

    Choose basic black ink for your invitations and other stationery. Prices go up if you choose colored inks or a deluxe foil-stamp process. Also, colored paper and unconventional shapes tend to be more expensive than white or ecru or the standard square or rectangle. More ways to save on stationery ►

    Photo Credit: Bella Figura

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  • Stationery Savings

    Stationery Savings

    Don’t pay extra to have your invitations assembled; just get the bridal party together and set up an assembly line. If you have a friend who happens to be a terrific calligrapher, have her address your invitations as her gift to you — rather than paying someone else to do so.

    Photo Credit: Paperfinger

  • Stationery Savings

    Stationery Savings

    Calligraphic fonts that look like the real thing are readily available. Free font sources: searchfreefonts.com, highfonts.com, and dafont.com.

    Photo Credit: Ashley Lurcott on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly

  • Stationery Savings

    Stationery Savings

    Order your thank-you notes when you order your invitations. Some stationers give bulk discounts.

    Photo Credit: Inspired By This via Lover.ly

  • Transportation

    Transportation

    Instead of renting a limo, go with a less costly option like a party van from a local car rental company. Whether you decide to book a limo or a van or any other sort of transportation, do this at least six months in advance of the wedding in order to get the best deal.

    Photo Credit: Azelle Photography

  • Transportation

    Transportation

    Ask about any special wedding packages a car rental company may have. A typical one may offer three hours of service, a bottle of champagne and a tuxedo-bedecked driver for about $300 (depending on your location). More tips for booking transportation ►

    Photo Credit: Long's Photography

  • Transportation

    Transportation

    Remember that white limos will always cost you more than black or silver ones.

    Photo Credit: Leo Patrone on Inspired By This via Lover.ly

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  • Transportation

    Transportation

    Don’t have the car that brings you to the ceremony wait for you all day — hourly rates will add up quickly. Have a different car pick you up later, after the reception.

    Photo Credit: Bella Rose Photography via Lover.ly

  • Photo & Video

    Photo & Video

    Photography is no place to skimp — your photos are the tangible mementoes of your wedding day — but if you do know someone who is just getting started, you may get a more affordable deal. A caveat: Make sure the work is top quality. Ask for references from former brides and grooms who have used the pro’s services.

    Photo Credit: Tony Gajate Photography

  • Photo & Video

    Photo & Video

    If a photographer you love is out of range of your budget, find out if you can wait till after the wedding to order proofs or albums. That way, you can put some of your gift money to good use.

    Photo Credit: Rebecca J. Murray Photography

  • Photo & Video

    Photo & Video

    “Point and shoot” videography is the least expensive option (around $1,000). For this fee, you’ll get nuts and-bolts footage of your wedding. Tell the videographer to avoid gimmicky graphics and not to ask guests “to say a few words to the camera (if you find this tacky). With plain point and shoot,” the best treatment is simple and classic. 10 questions to ask a potential videographer ►

    Photo Credit: Fotowerks Custom Photography

  • Photo & Video

    Photo & Video

    The most surefire way of finding a photographer and videographer who are right for you is to get recommendations from friends and family. However, be sure to carefully consider the work of many pros before making a decision about whom to hire and always keep in mind that the most expensive choice is not necessarily the best.

    Photo Credit: Heather Fitch Photography

  • Entertainment

    Entertainment

    Want a live band? Hire talented students from a local music school to perform at the ceremony. Ask to hear them play — they may be just as good as professionals, and charge you less. Stay local: If a band has to travel for more than an hour, your costs will increase. More tips for finding a band ►

    Photo Credit: Susan Baker Photography

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  • Entertainment

    Entertainment

    If you’re deciding whether to go with a five-piece band or a DJ, you'll save at least half by choosing the DJ. Or, why not be your own DJ? Download your favorite music and create playlists for the ceremony and the reception on your iPod. Hook it up to rented speakers and enjoy! 

    Photo Credit: Scratch Weddings via Lover.ly

  • Entertainment

    Entertainment

    Negotiate a deal that you like. The closer you are to the wedding date (six months or less), the likelier it is that the band leader will work on your terms. Find out if one or two musicians can perform for the ceremony or cocktail hour as well.

    Photo Credit: Leigh Miller on Snippet and Ink via Lover.ly

  • Entertainment

    Entertainment

    If your band offers a singer who also plays an instrument, you’ll save money. And remember: You don’t need more than one of each instrument—one saxophone will do as well as two or three.

    Photo Credit: Aaron Lockwood Photography on Every Last Detail via Lover.ly

  • Budget-Friendly Appetizers

    Budget-Friendly Appetizers

    1. Theme stations are always popular, and a fajita or Thai station are not budget-busters. You can have your caterer set out the food in big woks or take-out containers that echo your wedding colors or theme. Consider pyramids of basmati and jasmine rice, tons of egg noodles and an array of condiments. Other options: a mashed potato bar where guests can top martini glasses of spuds with bacon, sour cream, flavored butters or a panini bar that serves a choice of grilled sandwiches. Check out stylish ways to display your food & drinks ►

    2. How about a pierogi bar? These potato-stuffed morsels of dough, served with cheddar cheese, goat cheese or spinach and a sauce, are a terrific variation on low-cost comfort food.

    Photo Credit: Milou + Olin Photography

  • Budget-Friendly Appetizers

    Budget-Friendly Appetizers

    3. A perfect (and inexpensive) appetizer option for a cool-weather wedding: Serve miniature cups of soup, like clam chowder or acorn squash. In warm weather, consider mini cups of cold soup like gazpacho.

    4. Crudités don’t actually have to be crude just because you’re on a budget! Serve artichoke hearts, broccoli florets and radishes cut in shapes—instead of carrot sticks and celery.

    5. Instead of traditional cocktail party fare, go for comfort food like macaroni and cheese in martini glasses, mini grilled cheese bites and tiny crab cakes. (Hint: These low-cost goodies are huge crowd-pleasers!). Get more mini food ideas ►

    Photo courtesy of lifegoesstrong.com

  • Save on Seafood

    Save on Seafood

    1. At the cocktail hour save costs by hand passing pricier appetizers, like shrimp, scallops or other seafood items. When guests self serve, they usually consume 40 percent more. Wedding food that won't bore your guests ►

    2. Comparison shop for cocktail-party seafood. Calamari and mussels are usually half the price of shrimp cocktail. Your caterer should be able to offer guidance about other lower-cost selections.

    3. Two kinds of stations to skip: first, the raw bar, which will be over-the-top expensive; second: a carving station. Prime rib, ham and pork loin are too heavy — and costly — for cocktail hour fare.

    4. Before deciding on a seafood entrée, find out from the caterer what will be in season at the time of your wedding—a seasonal choice will save you hundreds of dollars. Likewise for meat: Select one that will come at a reasonable cost when you’re tying the knot.

    Photo Credit: Sherman Chu / Wedding Planner: Sasha Souza Events

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  • First Course

    First Course

    1. A sophisticated salad course — like spring greens — can offset a less-costly entrée.

    2. Go for a rich look at a low cost: Caterers often suggest putting out lots of lush salads and grilled vegetables in unusual platters, like colorful bowls and big woks, for a great presentation. Also keep in mind that people eat with their eyes first, and if you display food beautifully —  like small tapas-style plates —  guests won’t notice or care if the fare is quite simple.

    Photo Credit: Laura Yang Photography on Every Last Detail via Lover.ly

  • Entrées for Less

    Entrées for Less

    1. Presentation is key. A simple meal will seem special when you consider the visuals. Brightly hued vegetables on low-cost chicken can make all the difference.

    2. Have your caterer patronize local farms for produce; it’s fresher, better-tasting and cost-effective. 

    3. After nibbling on appetizers, your guests will not need a five-course dinner. Three will do — salad, an entrée and dessert.

    4. Serve a duet plate for every guest. For example, you might serve a plate of beef medallions and grilled shrimp or crab cakes. You’ll save on the amount of food you offer—and on costs.

    5. Use a delicious sauce on a simple pasta or chicken dish to up the wow factor. Ask your caterer for low-cost recommendations.

    Photo Credit: Flory Photo on Snippet and Ink via Lover.ly

  • Entrées for Less

    Entrées for Less

    6. Add interest to pasta — a good budget choice — by considering more unusual varieties, like mushroom ravioli or spinach and cheese tortellini. 

    7. Forgo the filet. Your caterer can show you price options for different cuts of lamb and pork as well as beef. Braised boneless short ribs are a great choice. 

    8. Consider a vegetarian entrée option. These are usually less expensive, and guests might appreciate it for the novelty!

    9. For side dishes, consider risotto instead of potatoes for something inexpensive and a bit unusual.

    Photo Credit: The Popes Photography on Lisa Dupar Catering via Lover.ly

     

  • Entrées for Less

    Entrées for Less

    To feed your photographer and musicians, offer lower-cost food — this may cost 60 percent less per person. Find out which vendors you need to feed ►

    Photo Credit: Melinda Le Photography

  • Entrées for Less

    Entrées for Less

    If children will be attending, choose a caterer who offers free or half-priced meals for kids. 10 ways to make your wedding more kid-friendly ►

    Photo Credit: Alana Aston Photography

  • Cakes & Desserts

    Cakes & Desserts

    The traditional wedding cake is usually covered with fondant, but keep in mind that it’s expensive because it requires extra labor to make. You may want to go with buttercream instead. One caveat: For an outdoor wedding, go with fondant since buttercream or cream cheese will melt in the sun. 12 simple, chic cakes we love ►

    Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

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  • Cakes & Desserts

    Cakes & Desserts

    Consider cupcakes. These save money because they require less intricate decoration. Get ideas for non-traditional tiered desserts ►

    Photo Credit: Tori Ava Photography

  • Cakes & Desserts

    Cakes & Desserts

    Have a small cake for the cake cutting ceremony and supplement it with a sheet cake, served from the kitchen. More tricks for saving money on your cake ►

    Photo Credit: Steve Lee Photography on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly

  • Cakes & Desserts

    Cakes & Desserts

    Go with fresh flowers. The amount of labor that goes into creating flowers out of sugar ups the price of the cake. 

    Photo Credit: Life's Highlights

  • Cakes & Desserts

    Cakes & Desserts

    Consider your humble local grocery store. One bride’s supermarket bakery made her an elegant confection, based on a magazine photo, for less than $200.

    Photo courtesy of Giant Food

  • Cakes & Desserts

    Cakes & Desserts

    If you like fruit fillings, think seasonal. Strawberries can cost three times as much when served out of season. If your baker charges more for multiple cake flavors, limit yourself to your favorite.

    Photo Credit: Sarah DeShaw

  • Cakes & Desserts

    Cakes & Desserts

    The baker may instead calculate the price by averaging the cost of different flavors, so plan carefully. If you have the most expensive flavor on the bottom layer (the biggest), it will cost more. Check out 101 amazing wedding cakes ►

    Photo Credit: Maria Angela Photography

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  • Cakes & Desserts

    Cakes & Desserts

    Have a dessert buffet. Mini pastries and other tiny sweets are crowd-pleasers. Save money by having only a small cake for your cake cutting.

    Photo Credit: Jessica Claire Photography

  • Cakes & Desserts

    Cakes & Desserts

    The cheesecake option can be a boon because it costs less. Arrange the cheesecakes on pedestals of varying heights — it will resemble tiers — and offer sauces, such as chocolate and kiwi.

    Photo Credit: Rebecca J. Murray Photography

  • Cakes & Desserts

    Cakes & Desserts

    Traditionally, couples save the cake’s top layer to share on their first anniversary. If you and your fiancé don’t think you’ll be ready to dig in, forgo the extra layer and save some dough.

    Photo Credit: Long's Photography