Couple outside in front of brick wall in the fall

Photo: Will Pursell Photo

Buffet vs. Sit-Down Dinner
“Don't assume that a buffet is always a less expensive option than a plated meal. Consider that food costs are more controllable when portioned out, as opposed to having large quantities on a buffet table. Check with your caterer for options that are not only cost effective, but in the spirit of how you want to serve your guests.” —Donna Urban of Donna Urban Events in Salt Lake City, Utah

Brunch Weddings
“Celebrating during daylight hours is just as much fun as under the stars! Your guests will enjoy watching you say your "I dos" no matter what time! Plus, the cost for this time frame is much more reasonable when selecting a venue or choosing entrée selections, as portions tend to be smaller for lunch selections, which is more reasonable for your budget.” —Emily Jolly of Jolly Events in Fort Collins, Colorado

Monday Weddings
“Your guests will be absolutely still come if your wedding is during the week! And this is actually becoming more popular, as a weekday wedding can be significantly more reasonable in price than on a Friday/Saturday! Plus, this could actually be more enjoyable to some couples, as it is not as busy during the weekdays, allowing more undivided attention from all vendors as they won't need to rush from wedding to wedding...VIP attention...sign me up!! —Emily Jolly of Jolly Events in Fort Collins, Colorado

Cut the Guest List
“Cutting down the guest list will have a trickle down effect on items like flowers, tables, and event space. Make a guest list and then edit, edit, and edit.” —Sharron McKechnie of Northland Special Events in Duluth, Minnesota

Varied Centerpieces
“Mismatched centerpieces can save you money. We recommend a combination of 2 or three different arrangements. Smaller arrangements can be cost - effective but if you throw in a few tall large arrangements and it will give the room a trendy, eclectic vibe.” —Sharron McKechnie of Northland Special Events in Duluth, Minnesota

Reuse Centerpieces
“Repurpose the ceremony flowers into the design of the reception. Use the altar flowers on a buffet or pew markers and bridesmaids bouquets as part of a tabletop design. The florist will provide an empty vase on the tables that will hold the repurposed bouquets and your planner/wedding director will move them for you while you are enjoying your cocktail hour!” —Dawn Schenkel of Premier W.E.D. in Nashville, Tennessee

Hire a Planner
“People would be surprised on how much a planner will save them! The fee for their services seems like a lot up front but in the end they will get discounts with preferred vendors, keep you organized, manage your budget closely and advise you on items that are ‘worth the money’ and not. All the while, offering tricks of the trade that would take years to learn.” —Dawn Schenkel of Premier W.E.D. in Nashville, Tennessee