{Day #9} Budget Tips

Planning your big wedding on a tiny budget DOES NOT mean sacrificing your taste and personal style! All you need to do is prioritize and make some concessions on smaller details or be willing do DIY. Here is the biggest budget cutting advice:

{Dates} Schedule your wedding for the off season. (January, February, March and November). For further discounts, be willing to host your wedding on a Friday or a Sunday. You will get better deals on nearly every wedding service if you schedule during the off season. Also, avoid on or near holidays (late November through December when Hotels are busy with holiday parties).

{Time} Be creative with your timing. Host a morning brunch early in the day, a picnic style lunch or cocktails and appetizers in the early evening.

{Location} Think about more non-traditional wedding locations for lower costs. How about a park, public garden, historic building, museum, or backyard?

{Gown} Bridal gowns aren't the only white dresses out there. It may be that the dress for you is amongst the women's evening wear section of the department store.

{Decor} Spend your money on the things people will see the most of throughout the event. Your guests will notice the bouquets more than the pew flowers. They will notice your centerpieces more than the backs of the ceremony chairs being decorated or the extra flowers on the cake. Candles will add extra drama with little cost so, alternate your centerpieces to save money. Tiny white twinkle lights also add a special touch to the ambiance without breaking the bank. Have fewer larger tables to save on linens and centerpieces. But your most strategic way to spend money on decor is to pick a location that needs little or no embellishment like a garden in bloom or  scenic beach..

{Flowers} Use only flowers that are "in-season" and locally available for your wedding. Hydrangeas are the biggest in bloom and a beautiful flower. Carnations are by far the cheapest, so intersperse those in your bouquets and centerpieces.

{Theme} Picking a theme for your wedding reception can be a great way to cut costs and hide what isn't included. Have a Mexican Fiesta: the food will be cheaper and you can limit the bar to only Mexican imported beer and margaritas.  Serve a family style Italian banquet and limit the beverages to red and white wine with dinner and espresso with desert. Follow your barefoot beach wedding with bonfire grilled chicken and buckets of beer and sangria. The possibilities are all there, just think outside of the box!

{Talents} Harness the talents of your family and friends. You may have a classic car in the family that can serve as your limo or a graphics wiz that can help with your invitations and programs. Let everyone know you are looking for ways to save money and they may offer their services to help.

{Guest List} Unfortunately, one of the major ways to save money is to limit your guest list. You cut the cost down on virtually everything...food, alcohol, flowers, favors, etc.

{Resources} Consult websites and all of the resources available to you like Wedding Channel and The Knot. Make sure to stay organized and keep track of your budget to plan and control costs. If you have your budget in mind, there will always be a way to save money without sacrificing your style.

{WeddingChannel.com, DIYBudgetWeddings.com, APaperProposal.com}

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