Five things to cut out of your wedding budget

Like many of you, I got up early yesterday to watch the royal wedding. It didn’t take much effort for me to tune in, since my kids are up at 5:30 most mornings anyway, and Wills and Kate are a bit more interesting than Diego.

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Like many of you, I got up early yesterday to watch the royal wedding. It didn’t take much effort for me to tune in, since my kids are up at 5:30 most mornings anyway, and Wills and Kate are a bit more interesting than Diego.

Since it’s my job to write about all things frugal, I don’t have a whole lot to say about Kate’s dress or the large amount of champagne surely consumed at the reception — and of course they weren’t worrying about money on their big day. But in honour of those brides-to-be out there who are in fact on a budget and don’t have millions of pounds to spend on their wedding, I offer up five easy things you can cut out of your budget to save big time. Here they are (Will and Kate — feel free to take notes):

1. Ditch the DJ: Time to banish the wedding singer back to the 1980s. Today, technology puts the music in your hands. If you have an iPod or MP3 player, you can make your own wedding mix and save big bucks by not hiring a DJ or band.

2. Professionally printed invitations: Home printers do amazing things these days. You can design and print invitations that look fabulous without having to take them to a professional printer or designer. You can even opt for an Evite — yes, your mother would probably be upset, but I have friends who did this for their wedding and it was quite lovely (and saved paper)!  

3. A full open bar: I’m not a fan of cash bars at weddings, but you can save money by limiting what’s available at your bar. Stick to serving wine, beer and maybe a signature cocktail — that way, you can easily keep tabs on your bar tab at the reception.

4. A sit-down dinner: Not all weddings have to involve a sit-down dinner. You can save big dough by choosing a cocktail reception or a buffet without the added costs of servers. My husband and I went the cocktail route with pass around trays and a few food stations — it was a great format because everyone could mingle and no one was tied to one single table for the whole night. We had a blast.  

5. Say no to seafoam green: You don’t need to dress your bridesmaids. Those dresses are expensive and anyone who’s been be a bridesmaid knows that they a) never flatter everyone and b) never get worn again. Simply ask your bridesmaids to wear their favourite black cocktail dress and be done with it.