By Rebecca Black
Below are some ideas to save money as you plan your wedding.
Money-saving tips for your wedding and reception:
* Host your wedding and reception at the same venue.
* A cake and beverage reception is perfect for an event early in the day.
* Limit alcohol to beer and wine. Purchase your alcohol in bulk from a discount store. Of course, the shorter your event is, the less you will need.
* Buffets served as food stations can be very special and are usually less expensive than a sit-down meal.
* Choose a wedding date in a less popular month or on a Sunday.
* Hire photographer/videographer for the wedding only and ask friends to fill in the gap.
* Contact the music department of the local high school or college about musicians.
Money-saving tips for cake alternatives:
* Cupcakes are not as wasteful.
* Have a faux cake for appearance; serve a delicious sheet cake that guests don’t see.
* Offer a selection of deserts — pie is popular.
* Consider gourmet cookies, parfaits or ice cream.
Money-saving tips for decorations and flowers:
* A thrift or hobby shop is a good start. A friend purchased strings of silk red roses (very realistic) from a local hobby shop for a few dollars per bag and wound them around the posts of a gazebo leading to the alter — less than $10.
* She also found red rose petals to decorate the tables. The venue already has one candle per table. With the petals — two bags at $1 each — the look was amazing.
* Grocery stores can create special centerpieces for a fraction of the price of a florist.
* Farmer’s markets and local farms may have flowers in bulk at very reasonable prices.
* Purchase flowers in season.
— Rebecca Black is an etiquette specialist and teacher in Davis. For more information, visit http://www.etiquettenow.com