Once the wedding date is fixed you should first work out a budget for your wedding. A formal wedding will be the most expensive and the informal the least and who pays for what? Over the years the responsibility of paying for the wedding is no longer of the father of the bride but now includes the groom's family too. Also, with many couples marrying later in life when they are well settled financially, they are sharing in the expenses.
There are numerous ways to save money on your wedding. Limiting yourself within a budget does not mean that your reception cannot be wonderful. Break down everything associated with the feast, from setup to cleanup, to see where you can start cutting. With a little ingenuity, you can save money and still serve the banquet of your dreams.
Schedule your wedding ceremony for an "off" season time such as the morning of a weekday or have it during the middle of winter instead of spring. Avoiding peak seasons will save you money in banquet halls rentals. If weather permits have your wedding in the great outdoors. Book space at the village green or a public park, and decorate the picnic tables with elegant tablecloths, silverware, candles and bottles of wine.
Keep your wedding personal by having a small visitors list of your most intimate kith and kin. Limit the number of bridesmaids. Set your own tables and take the help of family members to help you out.
Have your reception at you home and go for a brunch instead of an elaborate dinner reception. The menu should be simple yet pleasing to the eye by selecting dishes from recipe books, magazines and the internet. If it is a small wedding go potluck, this gets everyone involved in your special day. Setup your own dinner. Ask a pal or relative who loves to cook to manage the meal.
Try to make some of your accessories like your wedding ring pillow, wedding veil, and decorations yourself. Art & Craft and fabric stores offer various choices of designs, ideas and fabrics.
Buy your wedding gown from a place other than the bridal boutique. Compare prices and decide on the best deal that meets your requirements. Make your own wedding favors.
Print your own wedding invitations on wedding invitation paper available and use the easy DTP software to design.
Instead of hiring a professional photographer distribute disposable cameras to some of your guest. You will be surprised at some of the great candid snaps that will come out. Request a friend to be the disc jockey and borrow or rent a good sound system.
Try to decorate with balloons instead of using just flowers. Even if you use flowers keep the décor simple.
With regard to food serve fewer courses and limit individual choices. Like you can skip the hors d'oeuvre and serve the wedding cake as the dessert. Try to buy your wine at a bulk rate from a source other than your caterer like a military canteen. Engage your own waiters. Hire some dexterous college kids for less than what the liveried professionals charge.