Brides On A Budget

With the average American wedding costing over $25,000, many brides are looking for ways to save money without sacrificing style. We talked to Jodi Cohen and Sarah Lowy of JOWY Productions, an exclusive full service event/wedding planning and production company in Los Angeles, to find out practical ways to cut wedding costs.

Wedding day

1Trim your guest list

Each guest is going to cost between $80 and $250, depending on your venue and caterer. Eliminating eight guests means one less table and floral centerpiece, as well as fewer invitations, reply cards, favors and more. Every little bit adds up. Trimming the list can get tricky, especially since the parents of both the bride and groom are going to want to include people too. Make rules from the start and stick to them (e.g. Invite first cousins only, no kids, no dates unless living together, etc.).

2Consider a date change

Saturday weddings are pricey. Select a Friday or Sunday wedding and try and negotiate better "off-night" pricing. An alternative option is to not have the traditional afternoon wedding and dinner reception and have an early Sunday ceremony and a brunch.

3Hire a DJ instead of a band

Having a DJ is more affordable than a band and is an increasingly popular choice. Using an iPod is the most affordable music option, and gives you complete control over the set list. Perhaps have a friend or family member emcee the event to help the flow and intersperse the piped in music.

4Pick the right wedding dress

Try and get your wedding dress at a sample sale or trunk show. Also consider borrowing or renting a dress. Vintage is in. So if your grandmother offers to lend her dress, take her up on it.

More wedding planning tips

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The iPod wedding reception
5 Hot wedding trends for 2011

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