Fairytale-Worthy Weddings on any Budget

Today's post features insider tips to make your bridal dreams come true. From finding discounted dream dresses to cutting the cake costs . . . Tatiana Byron, Founder of The Wedding Salon and a longtime wedding planner herself, shares insider cost-cutting knowledge and tips for getting the biggest bang for your buck. According to Byron, "Every wedding planner and industry expert knows that you don’t have to have a million bucks to make your wedding look like it costs that much."

(please see the post after this one for details on how you can receive complimentary tickets to the NY Wedding Salon, taking place on April 21st. I have 5 tickets to give away, each ticket admits 2 into the event.)

THE BRIDE
• Sample sales, trunk sales and high-end consignment shops can save you up to 50%.
• Consider alternative fabrics: Silk organza, crinkled silk and silk faille give the look and feel of a designer gown for half the price.
• Nix the fancy bouquet: Opt for a few exotic flowers that are local and in season.

DÉCOR
• Use less expensive filler flowers: Choose bargain flowers in season or in your color scheme. Pricier blooms can be final touches.
• Blend fruits with floral to create vibrant, unique and money saving centerpieces.
• Pick a beautiful site that doesn’t need a lot of embellishment to save tons on décor.

DINING
• Use costly ingredients sparingly, like lobster or caviar, in hors d’oeuvres which still give an expensive impression. Heavy appetizers can replace a dinner course!
• Cut out the fancy beef or fish dish; opt for a delicious chicken or vegetarian entrée.
• Lunch or brunch menus are less pricey but can still be exquisite. You can also save on bar and venue fees.

LIQUOR
• Switch out champagne for the trendy Prosecco or a sparkling white wine.
• Limit the free liquor: Keep the open bar to beer, wine and a signature cocktail or nix the top-shelf liquors.
• Bring your own alcohol; stock up at Costco, but find out about corking fees from your venue first

OTHER
• Smaller wedding parties save money on boutonnieres, bouquets and gifts.
• Off-season and Friday night weddings usually include lower rates.
• Timing is everything: A longer engagement gives you time to find the best deals and delaying your honeymoon till the off-season can save you thousands.

"Just by making a few adjustments, you can save a lot of money," Byron confirms.