Wedding Budgets: How to Cut Costs

From a true expert and icon in the wedding industry and the editor-in-chief of Today’s Bride magazine, comes the ultimate handbook for brides planning their big days. In The Wedding Expert, Bettie Bradley shares with bridal couples more than 400 tips and tricks she’s learned are vital to the wedding planning process. She’s been observing changing wedding traditions and new trends over the past thirty years, so Bettie offers practical, thoughtful, and expert advice to make every wedding a success.

Here are four of her best tips for cutting costs when your budget needs a bit of help:

Limit the hours the bar is open. Having a cash bar is a faux pas, but good hosts are not obligated to offer an open bar throughout the whole reception. Instead, have a tray service at the cocktail party, have just wine available during dinner, and then open the bar after the dinner and toasts are over.

Don’t include something just because “it’s tradition.” Use only those services or traditions that are important to you and you’ll see a measurable decrease in your budget. For example, is a wedding cake a must-have for you? Maybe you’d rather serve your guests an unusual dessert. The omission of a wedding cake won’t be noticed—except maybe in your budget, when you see your savings!

Choose any day but Saturday for your wedding. Be sure to ask any ceremony or reception site you’re considering about possible discounts they offer for a weekday or Sunday wedding. Many venues offer substantial price drops!

Charge everything to one credit card. To help pay for your honeymoon, designate one credit card to pay your wedding bills—and choose a card that earns frequent-flyer miles. Make payments from your designated wedding bank account, and pay the bill in full each month so you don’t run up high-interest debt.

Beautifully designed, bursting with tons of ideas, and featuring sample budgets and invitations, quizzes, and even wedding etiquette, The Wedding Expert is a charming and indispensible guide for the biggest day of your life.

The Wedding Expert was published by Appetite by Random House and is available wherever books are sold.

To connect with Bettie Bradley’s publisher online, please follow them on Twitter @RandomHouseca and Instagram @appetite_randomhouse.