Courtesy of James Bass
Cyd Converse (thesweetestoccasion.com) shares money-saving strategies for getting the most out of your wedding-day essentials.
1. KEEP THEM COOL WITH PROGRAMS
If you're celebrating during a warm-weather month, print your ceremony information on paper fans.
2. REPLACE RICE WITH RIBBONS
Put ribbon sticks at the end of each row as funky ceremony decor; guests can grab them on their way out and wave 'em in lieu of rice or flower petals as you and your man make your grand exit.
3. THINK ELEGANT AND EDIBLE
Skip the traditional floral centerpiece, and display an assortment of colorful confections (mini cakes, small tarts, fondant-iced cookies) at each table. After the entrée, it's dessert time!
4. FIND YOUR SEAT AND EAT
Have the menu work overtime. Print each guest's name at the top instead of having separate place cards.
5. SNAP AND SAVE
Set up a DIY photo booth using a digital camera and a printer. Friends and family snap one pic to take home and paste a second into a scrapbook—instant guest book!
6. SNAG A TRIPLE THREAT
Find an aunt with a piece of jewelry in sapphire, blue topaz, or turquoise and you've covered your somethings old, borrowed, and blue.
Photo by Halley Ganges
7. BESTOW TABLE BLOOMS
Another centerpiece idea: Cluster mini vases as table decor, along with a note inviting guests to take one home at the end of the night. (Remember: You'll need enough for every couple or single at each table.)
8. CELEBRATE IN ONE SPOT
Get the most out of your venue by holding your ceremony and reception in the same place. You'll save major cash, and there's less chance out-of-towners will get lost.
9. TOAST WITH WINE...OR A MOJITO
You don't need champagne to say, "Cheers!" Attendees can order a cocktail from the bar and raise that beverage come speech time.
10. REUSE CEREMONY FLOWERS
The blossoms that decorate the pews can be hung from chair backs at the reception. Also, altar arrangements can take center stage on either side of the dance floor, and your bouquet can add style to the cake table.