1. Choose a venue without a financial minimum required. Make sure it includes tables and chairs. Consider options such as city parks and recreational areas, VFW's, Bowling Alleys and even historial buildings.
2. Minimize complimentary alcohol options at the bar. Often times couples feel pressured into offering a full bar and this gets extremely expensive fast. If you offer one domestic, one import and two wines (one red, one white) with a cash bar option guests are still able to find something to their liking.
3. Send out electronic invitations and RSVP's. This will eliminate the cost of both the invites and postage. There are multiple apps available via the web that offer this service for a minimal flat rate fee.
4. Eliminate the late-night snack. When serving a full meal a late night snack is not necessary. When my husband and I go to dinner we don't eat an appetizer, full meal, have desert, drink endless alcohol and then turn around and eat again 3-4 hrs. later. Thats alot of food!
5. Have a friend officiate you're wedding. If you have a friend or family member whose a great public speaker have them get ordained and speak at your wedding.
6. If your able to bring your own soda purchase them when large grocers offer holiday discounts such as Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, etc. They often times run fantastic savings.
7. Don't provide favors. This can easily add up to a few hundred dollars and can be eliminated. No one expects them and they won't go missed.
8. Bridal shops typically have trunk sales once a year in the summer. This is by far the best time to purchase your dress and bridesmaid dresses. Sign up for email and instagram alerts to stay in touch.
9. Grab some bouquets from your local farmers market for your tables, cocktail tables and the corner of the bar. Put them in Dollar Store vases or better yet bring vases from home that you've collected over the years.
10. Setup your timeline to skip cocktail hour and go straight to dinner. If you do a first look, it's not necessary because your pictures are already done. Carving cocktail hour out of your timeline can save you thousands in food and drink.