1. Simplify your "vision of the day". A daytime wedding or party, can still be very elegant.
2. Reduce your guest count. A special event for 50 is much more affordable than it is for 250.
3. Gather white linens from your friends and family, and make or rent matching toppers for each table, or go for a country feel, and embrace the individuality of each table, and even use multi colored napkins. Avoiding plastic tablecloths and paper napkins will give a more formal look to your event, and will be much more gentle on the environment.
4. Hold your event at the home or garden of someone close to you. It's possible that one of your friends or relatives have a lawn area, or barn that could work perfectly for your smaller, dream wedding or party. Offer to clean and spruce up the area. Plant extra flowers and leave them as a thank you for the use of the property.
5. Consider using cupcakes instead of a large wedding cake. Cupcakes can be made days ahead, frozen and frosted the day before the wedding by a trusted friend or relative. A simple cupcake decorated with a fresh viola will look beautiful on your cupcake holder. Use a wire mesh holder, or make your own holder with tiers of wood pieces in a pyramid shape. Cupcakes can be served without a plate or fork, thereby reducing the amount of service ware required. It's eco-friendly and economical.
6. Save money by using recorded music for your ceremony. You can save hundreds of dollars simply by using a recording of Canon in D, rather than having a string quartet play as you enter the wedding area.
7. Simplify your menu; chose cake and punch over a full, sit-down dinner. Or have the ceremony at 7:00 p.m., and serve an assortment of finger foods and desserts.
8. Reduce the number of hours the event will last. From the start of the ceremony, till you wave your good-byes can be as little as 3 hours, and still you will have had sufficient time to celebrate your special occasion in style. Guests have ample time to return home, and you can start your honeymoon and not be exhausted.
9. Clothing is another area where savings can be made. Consider making your own dress, using a recycled dress or simply wear an outfit that you already have that is special. In former times of financial hardships, weddings still occurred, and brides wore "their best dresses" for the occasion.
10. Look no further than your flower garden for your bouquets. Plan ahead, if possible, and plant an assortment of zinnias or roses. Hydrangeas are another wonderful choice. If you aren't able to have your own flower garden, look around your neighborhood, or at the yards of friends and relatives. Many people would be happy to share some cuttings from their flower gardens for your special day. If this is still impossible, consider purchasing some small bouquets of flowers from a local store and make your own simple bouquets and centerpiece arrangements. This can also save you hundreds of dollars.
Look over your wedding or special event plans. Make a list of what you want, then see if there are any changes that you can make that could save you money, while not sacrificing your dreams. Your wedding planner can offer many suggestions for keeping to a budget while designing your speacial day.