1. Keep your number of attendants small. Not only is it less aggravating to deal with fewer attendants, you’ll save money on attendant gifts, rehearsal dinner meal, flowers, transportation and hotel accomodations.
2. Forego that limosine and use personal cars.
3. Schedule your wedding during the non-peak wedding dates. The prime time for renting facilities and securing vendors is Saturday and therefore the prices are higher as a result of supply and demand. Instead, marry on a Friday evening or Sunday when fewer people are likely to and you should be able to negotiate much lower prices for facility usage, catering and photography.
4. When the guest list must be minimized to save money, refrain from inviting children, co-workers and an automatic “and guest” for every single adult guest. Invite the significant others by name but do not put “And Guest” on the invitation.
5. Popular wedding magazines will suggest asking talented friends or relatives to help with your wedding but the Etiquette Hell position is that it is improper and presumptive to ask people to give you a free gift of labor and talent. You can ask for help with the caveat that you are offering to pay for their services and then follow through and pay up. By all means accept offers of help but with an eye towards not presuming too much on these volunteers. And be sure to express your gratitude, both verbally and with note, as sincerely and frequently as you can.
6. Think outside the reception box and consider having your reception at a county or state park pavilion. Check out local and state owned parks and facilities for their reception potential. One county park near us has a lovely meeting room lined with glass doors overlooking a lake with a large deck system over the water. It’s a great value.
7. A deejay is always cheaper than a live band.