Wedding Budget Do's and Don'ts

Brides Behind the Scenes, Budget, Wedding Style & Decor

Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham

Every bride wants to save. But there are good ways—and bad. For those in doubt, BRIDES magazine has the playbook.


DO print a single card with both ceremony and reception details.
DON'T text the invites.


DO decorate with potted bulbs, herbs, or fresh produce instead of just-cut stems.
DON'T skip centerpieces altogether: Bare does not equal beautiful.


DO give your guests a limited menu for drinks, such as a signature cocktail, beer, and wine.
DON'T have a cash bar or, worse, make the reception BYOB!


DO serve a pasta buffet for an informal wedding.
DON'T do chips, pretzels, and baby carrots and hope that people will show up having already eaten.


DO order a cake for just two-thirds of your guest list. (Some people will skip dessert or leave before you cut it.)
DON'T ask Mom to make her Jell-O molds. Everyone may have raved about them when you were growing up, but this is a wedding, not a playdate.


DO ask vendors for a discount, but expect to compromise. (Maybe that means shortening the cocktail hour.)
DON'T ask vendors to donate stuff.

—Barrie Gillies, BRIDES magazine

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