7 Hidden Ways to Cut Wedding Costs

Looking for ways to reduce staggering wedding costs, but have nightmares about a roomful of guests picking at a dry chicken breast for dinner? Take heart! We've got ten seven easy ways to cut costs that will go entirely unnoticed by your guests.

1. Avoid the High Season – You can dramatically reduce wedding costs simply based on the date you choose. The wedding high season extends from May through October, when the majority of weddings take place. Consider getting married in an off month, such as January or March and you'll save on nearly everything, from the venue to the flowers.

2. Buck the Night Trend – It's pretty much a given that most venues and reception halls charge the most on weekends after 7 p.m. As such, consider holding your ceremony and/or reception during the day. Even better, have it in the middle of the week instead of on a weekend.

3. Go Easy on the Desserts – After a few hours of eating, drinking, and dancing, the last thing most guests want to do is fill up on sweets. Most brides actually overspend on desserts, which can quickly deflate any budget. One renowned Salt Lake City caterer suggests sticking to just one or two desserts, unless you are having a dessert-centric reception. Here's another trick: choose a smaller version of your dream cake and supplement with a sheet cake that can be cut in the kitchen and served to guests.

4. Economize with Other Brides – Network with other brides who will be getting married right before or after you at the same venue as you to see if you have similar decorating tastes. You may be able to economize and divvy up decorating costs.

5. Consider Hiring a Pro – While hiring a wedding planner costs money itself, for many people, it yields more savings than it does cost. In theory, a planner or consultant does all the legwork for you, from negotiating with vendors to shopping around for the best bargains.

6. Skip the Bubbly – Purchasing expensive champagne for all your guests can be an instant budget-breaker. Instead, purchase a few bottles of your favorite bubbly for the toast and serve a less expensive brand the rest of the night; your guests won't be able to tell a difference!

7. Think Green – Not only are seven-piece invitations bad for the environment, they're also bad for your budget! Most of the inserts in the invitation are wholly unnecessary and cutting back can help you save significantly.