We have a special treat for you today! Rebecca Leary from Wedding Paper Divas is here to share some budget-savvy tips to help you through the wedding planning process. I know there are so many brides out there who can use this helpful advice right now, so without further ado here’s Rebecca…

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Let’s face it: weddings can be expensive. But just because Ashley from The Bachelorette spent nearly $150,000 on her dress alone doesn’t mean you have to, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful day without breaking the bank. You can.

 No matter the specifics of your day, every bride can save money on her wedding with a little extra time and creativity in three main areas.

#1: The Invitations

There seem to be as many different styles of wedding invitations as there are wedding dresses and cakes: layered invites, pocket fold enclosures, single page, etc. You can customize your options based on typography, color, and style—the possibilities seem endless. Of course, with different levels of customization come different pricing levels. Decide what’s important to you and spend money there.

wedding-invitationsImages- Wedding Paper Divas

Save the date cards are also extremely popular, especially if the wedding is still several months away. Cute and practical postcard options allow you to save money by using less postage.

#2: The Flowers and Décor

One of the greater expenses of a wedding is the décor and flowers. But that doesn’t mean every bride has to carry an over-the-top brimming bouquet of roses. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with roses, or a big bouquet if you really want one—but, before you decide take a look at other options, many of which can save you a great deal of cash.

  • Use in-season flowers to avoid the high prices that come with hard-to-find ones.
  • Have your bridesmaids carry a single rose or calla lily instead of a whole bouquet. You can add some ribbon to create a simple, yet elegant look.
  • Use silk flowers. Not only can you find these on sale and make the bouquets yourself ahead of time, they will last much longer than real flowers.
  • Include fewer flower types in your arrangement.
  • Larger reception tables mean fewer centerpieces.
  • Online DIY craft sites are your best friend. Get adventurous and make your own centerpieces.
  • Choose a reception location that’s already decorated, such as a garden or beautifully furnished home.

#3: Food and Drinks

This tends to be an area where couples spend most of their budget. But have no fear—it’s still possible to save.

  • Provide appetizers and finger foods instead of a full meal, or hold a dessert-only reception.
  • Do the mashed potato—or rather, a mashed potato bar, with all the toppings displayed buffet-style. Serve in martini glasses for an extra flair.
  • Alcohol is one of the biggest drains on a wedding budget. To save here, use sparkling cider instead of champagne for the toast and serve only beer and wine at the reception instead of hosting a full bar.
  • Hold a potluck for a more casual, intimate reception.

Your wedding is your special day, so make it your own. It’s important to prioritize what you want most, and splurge if you really want something and you have the means. Then decide where you can make sacrifices or stand to do less. Also, figure out what you are willing to do yourself and ask friends to lend their talents instead of giving wedding gifts. Your wedding will be memorable, but you don’t have to go broke making it that way.

Author Bio: Rebecca Leary is a seasoned writer and guest author who enjoys connecting people with thoughtful products, services and ideas as they relate to the wedding and event planning industries.

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