Whatever Your Wedding Budget

Whatever your wedding budget, you don't have to resort to DIY bouquets to come in on target. Here are five tips to consider:

ONE

Hire a reputable stylist or planner, as they know all the in's and out's of the industry and have spent considerable time making valuable industry contacts. They will also be able to provide styling items and selected vendors at special prices due to the nature of their work and industry collaborations. They key rule for hiring a stylist or planner is to find one that charges up front services fees, rather than commissions, that way your spending is known and controlled without any nasty surprises or increased mark ups.

TWO

Decide What's Most Important. Pick your top three priorities and allocate a little extra money for them (i.e., wedding dress, styling, and band).

THREE

Cut the Guest List. We know it's tough, but one of the fastest and most effective ways to lower your wedding cost is to pare down the invitees. Get out that red pen! At $100+ a head, taking 10 guests off the guest list saves $1,000! Also consider the size of your wedding party: Gifts, hair, and makeup are cheaper for two than for ten. Key rule: Make a rule and whittle away. Rule #1: If you have never spoken to, met, or heard the name of a particular guest, they get cut. Rule #2: Anyone whose bedtime occurs before 9 p.m. will miss the cake cutting anyway, and probably won't have the best time. (All under-12 year-olds get a no) Rule #3: Significant others? Consider someone worthy of an invite if he or she is currently living with or has been in a relationship for more than one year with the friend you want to invite.

FOUR

Simplify Your Menu. Keep your menu simple but filling. Stick with the specialities of the season and region.

FIVE

Pare Down the Cake Extras. Order a small, fabulous cake that's exactly what you want and, in the kitchen, have several sheet cakes of the same flavour cut for your guests.

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