1. Create a wedding website and send creative e-vites to your guests. Most people do not save paper invites – decrease waste and design your beautiful on line invitations! This also saves on mailing fees. Average price for traditional invitations range from $650 to $3000.

2. Skip open bar (most will run $7,500+ and in 20 years no one will remember what they drank at your wedding) If you wish to treat your guests offer ~ a wine and beer selection. Don’t forget non-alcoholic options such as lemonade, ice tea, sparkling fruit infused water.

3. Cut back on large and expensive table centerpieces and go with simple elegant decor. Try illuminaries and hand made artisan items that flow with the theme of your day. Many designer table arrangements run $300+ per table which adds up to over $7500+ for an average size wedding of 250 people. (and about $20,000 if its all floral) Give the centerpieces away at the end of the night.

4. Go local for floral bouquets with fresh cut / in season options available at your local farmers markets – such as daisies, hydrangea, solidago, rice flowers, eucalyptus or baby’s breath. An average bridal bouquet is $300 – $1000+ (and they will be dead by the end of the night). Average cost of a fresh market bouquet / hand tied – about $30 (gift it to your personal attendant at the end of the night!)

5. Be comfortable and buy with a pair of dancing shoes instead of designer stilettos (that no one will notice them under your gown) Designer heals run $500- $1000 and since most are uncomfortable brides end up ditching them a after a couple hours. Try a Uber comfy pair of: Anne Klein I-flex, Bella Vita, Sledge pump, Comfort plus, Franco Sarto, Sole society, Easy spirit or Naturalizer and dance the night away!

6. No need to buy separate “plate” favors for each individual guest. Try a tasty- s’mores, popcorn or candy table. Everyone can grab a quick fix throughout the evening or take it home and to enjoy the next day. Food= happy people!

7. Offer cupcakes instead of wedding cake OR if you have decided on cake try serving sheet cake instead of purchasing a designer tiered wedding cake. Many designer cakes run over $1000+ and since many guests prefer an adult beverage over sweet cake at the end of the night – much of the cake will go to waste. If you’re not into cake serve your fav dessert such as pie or have an ice cream bar! It’s YOUR BIG DAY!

8. Create your own “Support Team” by selecting an on site wedding planner from your reception salon in combination with your maid of honor and personal attendant. As a Team you can divide up the work & planning without having to hire a separate wedding coordinator which would save you about $3000!

9. If your Ceremony and Reception are at the same place, skip renting a limo or bus. ( Many orlando limo companies change $1000+ for the afternoon and if you will not be able to enjoy the ride why spend the money) If you locations are less than 20 min apart ask your Groomsmen to drive your bridesmaids to your reception hall. *The best time to rent a limo or bus is if you are planning on bar hopping to avoid anyone drinking & driving!

10. Consider heavy horderves instead of a heavy meal. Since most people attend weddings to socialize – spreading the appetizers out will allow guests to mingle and catch a bite when they feel like it. Horderves can be a mix of your fav goodies and served throughout the night! Average horderves are $8+ per person x 250 guests = $2000 + a wait staff, bartenders & tipping versus average plate fee of $30-50 in the mid-west which is about $7500 and up.

BONUS TIP ~ I’m all about YOU finding your dream gown. If you dont mind last seasons styles (which sometime is only a month or 2) simply  ask the manager at the dress shop to show your their “Sample dresses.” Every store has an area they keep all of their gowns that are no longer orderable due to a strap, color or bead change. Their is nothing wrong with these gowns expect they have been tried on. If you find one that you love they are usually between $100 – $400…even with a dry clean fee you are still saving $.
Happy shopping ladies!!!

* All of my tips add up to saving about $35,000 – pick and choose what’s best for YOU!