Affordable Wedding Alternatives to Luxurious Splurges

Your wedding day is meant to be one of the most, if not THE most special day in your life. It would only make sense to have the best of the best in every single aspect, right? Well, unless you’re one of the lucky few who are sitting on a fat trust fund marked “Wedding Cash”, you’re going to have to make some compromises. Here are a few ways to spend wisely while keeping a top shelf feel.

Silk Flowers vs. Fresh Flowers:
One of the easiest ways to save a huge chunk of change is to explore alternatives to traditional fresh flower arrangements. Simple arrangements are a snap to do-it-yourself, and there are many online stores where premade bouquets and arrangements can be had for a fraction of the cost of fresh. Now, if you’ve had your heart set on multitudes of fresh, fragrant blooms at every turn in your wedding, I won’t fault you. However, I always ask my brides this very question: in the last five weddings you’ve attended, can you describe the flowers in detail to me? You might be surprised to know that the vast majority of my brides can’t describe more than the general colors or shapes of arrangements. However, every single one could tell me whether they enjoyed the food and drink at the receptions, so consider that some of your flower money might be better spent elsewhere to ensure a pleasantly memorable event for all.

Fondant is a Fon-DON’T
I admit, I’m a total junkie for shows featuring high-end bakeries with their sculpted cakes and gorgeous fondant decorations. However, for most brides in the real world, fondant just isn’t a practical or cost-savvy option. Cakes covered in the smooth, sugary dough usually run anywhere from $3-10 per slice, sometimes skyrocketing to $20+ per slice for the truly elaborate. Multiplying those prices by the average guest list of 100 or more, and you can end up with a budget-busting confection. Many talented bakers can ice a cake in traditional buttercream, and make it smooth as to almost perfectly mimic fondant at a fraction of the cost. In addition to saving some serious dough, most people also prefer the taste of buttercream, as both the texture and super-sugary taste of fondant can be a bit much.

Five Star Doesn’t have to mean Five Courses
Having visions of an elegant meal but going into sticker shock from the prices on a full, sit-down meal? Add in the cost of wait staff to serve your guests and the price can really skyrocket. No worries, keeping your food budget under control doesn’t mean you’re relegated to the world of cold-cut buffets or asking guests to bring a covered dish of their own (I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it on an invitation with my own eyes). One great way to save money is to feature an array of appetizers in lieu of a traditional meal. Tapas (small plate) dining is growing in popularity, and with the inclusion of a few heartier selections, can make for an interesting and satisfying dining experience for all of your guests. Another way to save without appearing stingy is to opt for a nice pasta entrée like lasagna or chicken parmesan. These choices please a wide variety of palates and are usually much more budget-friendly than beef or pork choices.

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