Check out these four tricks used to get you to spend more (without you knowing it).
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Long before you stand eye-to-eye with your future spouse and repeat the words “I do,” you’ll have to learn another phrase: “I don’t.” As in, “I don’t think we can fit that in our budget.”
Now before you get the wedding-bell blues, be encouraged! Just because you can’t afford an ice sculpture of a swan and a six-course dinner doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Every area of the big day—from the venue to the flowers to the cake—can be saved with a little bit of creative substitution.
We asked Dave’s Facebook Fans to share tips for planning a reasonably priced and elegant celebration. To fully embrace their suggestions, you might need to embrace your quirky side, but that just means your wedding will be more you.
We got married in our favorite movie theater, which has old art deco style and lots of antique film equipment. We rented the place for $100 plus concessions! —Tim
I got married at a train station in Norman, Oklahoma. It was $100 to rent the facility all night! —Sereta
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Parks are a great location and usually more affordable. Some have lovely halls with chairs and tables. —Toni
Getting married at my alma mater was super cheap, and we had a backyard reception catered by a taco truck. —Rick
Get married on an "off" day—a Friday instead of Saturday—or out of season. A January wedding got us a $2,500 venue for $400. —Kat and Ashlyn
We did a midafternoon wedding at 2:30. We didn’t feel the need to serve a full meal, so we did appetizers and finger foods instead. —Andy
Limit your guest count and don't have Ruth's Chris taste on a Golden Corral budget. It doesn't work. —Rachel
We had a smaller wedding and rented out a restaurant. The food was better than wedding food. —Amy
We reused the flowers from the ceremony to decorate the reception. —Jennifer
The day of the wedding my mom went to the local farmers market to get fresh local flowers. We spent way less and supported our local farmers. —Rachael
Instead of spending a ton of money on flowers, we bought plants and decorated the pots. —Linda
Ask the florist which flowers are in season at the time of your wedding, then build around that. —Elizabeth
Don't bother with Save the Dates. —Wendy
I made the invitations, programs and other printables myself and was able to put our own personal touch and design on each one. One of our friends was so impressed she had me do the invitations for her wedding. —Yasmin
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Use postcards for the RSVP—they’re lighter, and the stamps are cheaper. —Jennifer
Contact art students majoring in graphic design. They can do amazing work for the experience. —Fredda
One of my favorite weddings I attended had a lovely small cake for the bride and groom that was decorated to the nines. Then guests were served simple Costco cheesecake—$9.99 for 20 slices—with beautiful pitchers of strawberry, chocolate and caramel sauce to pour on top. It was lovely and so original! —Kristen
We placed cupcakes on antique cake plates from thrift stores instead of getting pricey floral centerpieces. —Kate
My friend asked each of the influential ladies who watched her grow up in the church to bake a cake as a wedding gift. She served the cakes on different stands during the reception. —Kristin
We borrowed table runners from a friend and bought our linens on Amazon, which was actually cheaper than a rental company. Now I can hopefully sell them on Craigslist and make some of my money back. —Jillian
Vintage style weddings are popular now, so you or a family member may already have a lot of the decor desired. A little touch-up here and there, and it's perfect! —Alana
There is nothing more beautiful than a wedding in the great outdoors! Plan for spring or fall when everything is adorned with color. —Elaine
Of course, there’s no substitute for the wedding budget. So go ahead and do that first. Then, start practicing your “I do.” After all, that’s why you’re planning this party in the first place!