Top 10 Ways to Save Money on a Wedding

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Specific online sources and practical tips for saving money on a wedding without sacrificing quality.

Looking for ways to have the unique and exquisite wedding of your dreams without overspending? Hoping to arrive at your big day with a little something left over for the honeymoon? Try the ideas below to enhance your wedding with charming details at a reasonable expense -- without sacrificing quality.

1. Forego the traditional bridal gown, and consider buying a bridesmaid's or other formal dress in ivory. You may find it where you least expect it -- J. Crew offers elegant full length silk dresses for $225.

2. Make wedding invitations yourself using your home computer and printer; it's actually fun and easy to do, and there are many beautiful papers and embellishments available. Go to Formal-Invitations.com and produce luxurious and unique wedding invitations under $1 each. They also offer free printable wedding invitations templates to download as well as step by step video instructions. For further savings, skip the second envelope and use reply postcards.

3. Simple yet impressive wedding favors can be made from wrapped ring boxes, organza drawstring pouches or fancy satin pouches ($3-7 per dozen) filled with miniature wrapped mints, soaps or seeds. JewelrySupply.com provides a nice selection of boxes and bags.

4. Order a small wedding cake decorated with fresh organic flowers for display, and serve guests from a sheet cake.

5. Contact local universities for qualified and inexpensive musicians and photographers. If you emphasize your need for photojournalists or portrait specialists, professors will be able to direct you to their best students.

6. Consider having the wedding party members carry one dramatic stemmed flower, and use bud vases to hold them as part of a stylish head table decoration. Repeat this understated theme on guest tables and avoid expensive fussy arrangements.

7. Hold the ceremony and reception at the same site to save on flowers, decorations, site fees and transportation.

8. Instead of an open bar, serve beer, wine and one signature drink. Check out recipes from Modern Bride.

9. For your reception, consider a brunch, high tea, or late afternoon jazz reception, held during off-peak hours.

10. Think about renting a beachfront house to hold your destination wedding. Visit http://www.BeachHouse.com for rentals around the world starting at $1000 per week.

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Melissa Nyssen
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