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BRIDES magazine suggests some big ways to save without having to compromise (too much) or getting that "sensible" wedding dress (is there such a thing?)
1) Trimming the guest list. If you haven't socialized with someone in a year or more, cross them off the list. (Sorry, Facebook pals.)
2) Serving wine, beer, and a signature cocktail rather than a full bar.
3) Picking a predecorated, fully furnished site. You won't need to spring for rentals and decorative items to make it look photo-ready.
4) Having a lunch reception.
5) DIYing your wedding stationery.
6) Scheduling the event during the locale's off-season and/or on a quiet day—in most places, any but Saturday.
—Barrie Gillies, BRIDES magazine