10 Tips to Have a Beautiful Wedding on a Budget

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Do you have champagne taste and caviar dreams, on a white bread and soda pop budget? Don't worry, you can still have a beautiful but cheap wedding. Check out these great ways to cut costs and save money.

  • 01 of 10

    Trim Your Wedding Guest List

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    Each time you add a name to your invitation list, you're increasing your budget significantly. It's not just the catering costs, but also the extra centerpieces, favors, rentals, etc. Don't invite anyone you haven't talked to in five years. Don't feel obligated to let single people bring a date. Avoid feeling pressured to invite all your work colleagues. And don't let your friends bring their children. You can also decide to eliminate categories like "relatives more distant than first cousins" or "friends from volunteer work." By not inviting anyone from that group, you'll help avoid hurt feelings.

  • 02 of 10

    Save Postage on Your Wedding Invitations

    Invitations
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    Forgo the inner envelope and blotter paper, which are leftover relics from times when ink needed time to dry and people wanted a pristine envelope. Rather than having a reply card, ask guests to reply online or by the telephone. Not only will you save money on the printer bill, it should also reduce your postage expense.

  • 03 of 10

    Shop Sample Sales and the Internet for Cheap Wedding Dresses

    Selection of wedding dresses in boutique
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    If you wear a size six, eight, or 10, check out sample sales, which generally happen once a year. It's a great opportunity to get a designer dress at rock-bottom prices. You can also look on eBay, Craigslist and other websites for deals on used wedding dresses. Remember that cleaning the delicate fabric of a wedding dress may cost up to $250, so avoid the cheap dress with the filthy hem. And many towns have a shop where you can rent a wedding dress, saving you hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

  • 04 of 10

    Change the Day of the Week

    Save the Date
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    Have your wedding on a weeknight or a Sunday. There is less demand for these dates, so vendors will often be willing to give you a better rate. Check with your wedding venue to see whether they schedule at such times. While you may worry that some guests can't make it, consider that many of them would have plans for any given Saturday as well. It may take a little more coordination for people who are traveling, but it's just as likely they would have had to take a day or two off from work to come to a Saturday wedding anyway.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Save Money on Church Decorations

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    For religious weddings, consider having your wedding near a major holiday. The church will already be decorated, saving you lots of money on flowers. On other days, look for simplicity. A candlelit ceremony can be romantic, gorgeous, and inexpensive.
     

  • 06 of 10

    Learn to Ask for Help to Save Money

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    If you want to have a cheap wedding, pool your friends' and family's resources. Think of musicians you know, well-spoken friends who could be your officiant, and crafty people who can help you assemble things. They will generally be honored to be a special part of your big day. Also look for money-saving tips everywhere. Check websites and ask friends and family members for what they did to save money on their big day.

  • 07 of 10

    Get Crafty and Do It Yourself

    women hand holding scissors cut flower. concept craft in shop.
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    It can be fun to make parts of your wedding DIY. Throw a "pitch-in party," where you ask your friends to be a special part of your wedding by helping you assemble favors and make invitations, centerpieces, and other homemade inexpensive touches. Be sure to put out delicious snacks and have inspiring tunes on the stereo, so that your friends feel like they're at a party, not just part of an assembly line.

  • 08 of 10

    Look for Cheap Wedding Food and Drink

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    Be honest with your caterer about your need to save money. Ask them which are the least expensive entrees and whether a buffet is cheaper than a seated dinner. See if they'll let you provide your own liquor, or if serving only wine and beer will be cheaper than a full bar. Also consider only having the bar open during your cocktail hour, then serving an inexpensive wine with dinner. Especially if you and your fiance don't drink, consider having a dry wedding.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Make the Most of eBay

    Welcome Wedding Decoration
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    eBay, eBay, eBay. It's a great source for everything from second-hand dresses to wedding favors, cake toppers, ring pillows and more. Be sure to allow ample time for the auction to end, and for shipping. Look for trusted sellers whose feedback indicates they have accurately represented what they have sold.

  • 10 of 10

    Consider Cheap Wedding Invitations

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    Don't go for engraving—regular printed invites work just as well. There are a variety of cheap wedding invitations available on the internet. For a casual wedding, consider printing your own invites from your home computer. Stationery stores now sell printed paper meant to use in a home printer as cheap wedding invitations.