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We know, we know, setting your wedding budget is probably the least fun part of the wedding planning process. Even worse? Trying your best to stick to it! Whether you need to slash your current number or or just want real brides' cost-cutting advice, we don't know a single bride-to-be who isn't looking for ways to save money on her wedding.
The good news is, there are many ways to throw your big-day bash without breaking the bank—and the secret to doing so doesn't have to be as drastic as you may think! To get the lowdown on how to make the most of the wedding budget you have, we consulted event planning pro and founder of NYC event planning and design firm Fête, Josh Brooks, for his favorite budget-cutting tips. From taking a hard look at your guest list to choosing a less popular wedding date and staying away from an open bar, you can potentially minimize your finals costs by a third! Here, Brooks's favorite cost-cutting tips. Consider this your cheat sheet to staying in the black.
1. Move three couples to your B list.
2. Get married off peak (e.g., a Friday in March).
3. Buy your gown off-the-rack.
4. Decorate with candles and minimize the flowers.
5. Book a photographer for six hours instead of eight.
6. Book a great DJ in lieu of a live band.
7. Eliminate food stations at cocktail hour.
8. Offer a signature cocktail, wine, and beer instead of a full bar.
9. Don't give a choice of entree for dinner.
10. Serve a vegetarian first course and a chicken main course.
Want more expert wedding budget advice? Check out New York Wedding planner Annie Lee's top ten things to consider when creating your wedding budget.