Q: I have a giant guest list and limited budget. Can I have an hors d'oeuvres reception at the church for everyone and then invite a smaller group to a seated dinner-dance?

A: Think of how you'd feel if someone invited you for 60 minutes' worth of stuffed mushrooms, then left with their really "good" friends for an elaborate dinner. The first thing you need to figure out is your priority: a huge guest list or the dinner-dance. If the numbers are most important, there are countless ways to trim costs: Save on site and catering fees by holding your wedding on a weeknight, havinga brunch, or limiting the bar to wine, beer and soft drinks. If your heart is still set on a lavish evening reception, get out that guestlist and start slashing.

See all questions about budget etiquette

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