budget wedding planning

Did you know that in 2011 the total average wedding spending  was $25,631?

With many brides-to-be looking for ways to reduce their wedding costs this year, you'll need expert tips to stretch your dollar from the  first wedding announcement to the last dance at the wedding reception.

Use the following 10 top budget wedding tips to have an elegant and beautiful wedding without breaking the bank.

    1. Hire a small band or use a college DJ.
    2. Email your save the date cards using evite.com
    3. Make your own menu cards and wedding favors.
    4. Serve a large sheet cake instead of a multi-tiered wedding cake. Skip the wedding champagne toast, serve and  beverage such as a bubbly proseco wine instead.
    5. Reuse the ceremony flowers to decorate the cake table. Hold your ceremony and reception at the same site. A spot that can accommodate both your ceremony and reception can save money on decorations, guest transportation costs and a second venue rental fee. One idea: Your favorite restaurant that has a private room. This eliminates the need for rentals and sometimes the room is free. Only visit reception sites that can accommodate the number of guests you plan to invite.
    6. Be flexible with the venue. Nearly every wedding location has a high and low season. Fall and spring tend to be more expensive. While September and June are peak wedding months. Winter and late summer are often less expensive.
    7. Use larger tables at your reception. You'll need fewer centerpieces and tablecloths.
    8. Use no more than two types of flowers in your bouquets and wedding decorations.
    9. Consider a weekday wedding. Try Thursday or Friday evening. These days can often represent a 20 percent discount. If the wedding venue doesn't offer you a discount, try the following: Tell them they're your second choice but the price might sway you. And don't make your infatuation with the place obvious.
    10. Hire students. Call a music school and have them recommend an experienced student group for your ceremony. Or if you want a professional band, hire a condensed version of a large ensemble for a smaller fee. Use design and wedding planning students to help pass out reception programs or help the wedding planner on the day of the ceremony.

You have many decisions to make  for your wedding. But with these tips under your belt, you will save a pretty penny as you plan your reception.

If you have  caviar dreams and champagne wishes for your wedding, but live on a sandwich and soft drink budget there's no need to worry. You can still have an awesome wedding using these cost-cutting wedding secrets.

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