Brides Daily

10 Ways to Save up to $1,000 on Your Wedding Reception


Annie Schlechter/BRIDES

In the new buddy comedy Cop Out, Officer Jimmy Monroe (Bruce Willis) hopes to pay for his daughter's $48,000 wedding by pawning off a rare baseball card. BRIDES magazine offers up tips to cut costs without sacrificing style and the need for crazy shenanigans. These savings are based on a wedding with eight attendants, 150 guests, and a seated reception. If your guest list is larger, you'll trim your expenses even more!

1) Schedule your wedding during your locale's off-season (usually November through March). Most venues reduce their prices during these times. Other vendors may also offer lower, more flexible rates.

2) Save on a high-season wedding by throwing your bash on a Friday or Sunday instead of a Saturday evening, which always costs most.

3) Trim the guest list. You'll cut food, liquor, and rental costs, and you might even be able to downsize your reception space.

4) Reserve a site that's fully furnished, like a hotel or restaurant. You'll save a fortune by not having to rent tables, chairs, dishes, and flatware.

5) Choose local, seasonal blooms instead of expensive varieties that need to be shipped. Cut costs even more by opting for smaller centerpieces and bouquets: Fewer stems equal a smaller final tab.

6) Hook your iPod up to your venue's sound system instead of hiring a DJ. You'll lose an emcee, but you'll gain more control over the music.

7) Have waiters ask before pouring wine if you're paying by consumption. Also request that they avoid clearing half-filled glasses.

8) Find a BYOB venue. Caterers often triple the retail price of liquor, so book a site that let you bring your own beverages (buy wine by the case).

9) Transfer inexpensive wines from their original bottles into decanters. That way, no one can inspect the label. Or make fruity sangria; they'll never suspect the vino costs just $5 a bottle.

10) Skip the full bar. Instead, serve just wine, beer, soda, and one popular cocktail (it's hard to turn down a margarita or mojito).

—Yolanda Crous, BRIDES Magazine

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